Many a traveler these days has turned in his matched, molded luggage set and is carting around his own combination of "unluggage" - knapsacks, duffel bags, shoulder totes, and tote bags, mostly made of canvas.
These fabric bags, much in evidence at Washington's airports, are lighter, cheaper and let you tuck in more clothes. Besides, these smaller bags can often be stuffed under an airline seat, never out of sight of the owner, eliminating long waits at the baggage claim area and the risk of loss.
Brenda Mosley, of Dayton, Ohio, left, got her large tote bag for $8 four years ago, and says that it was one of the best investments she ever made. "This bag has taken me a lot of places. I can fit everything I need for a weekend in it and not worry about it getting lost on the plane, since I can put it under my seat."
Having a duffel bag instead of a suitcase also has many advantages.
"This airlines can't spring the hinges on my duffel bag," says David Lacquement of Westminster, Md., right. "I'm going to Africa and have all I need in my duffel and backpack, which I'll take on board with me. They're so much more practical than the hard luggage, and I can cram an unbelieveable amount into them."
Mark Silverman of Crystal City, center right, likes his Gucci Canvas suitcase because "you can get more into it and it will withstand more wear and tear."
Larry Blight of Wikes Barre, Pa., far right, had a special reason for taking only a mini duffel bag on a recent holiday trip home. "I've got all I need for the weekend in here, plus a present for my wife, so there's no way the airlines can lose my luggage. I'm going to keep my eye on it the whole trip."