Luggage vs. Baggage: What's the Difference?

Luggage vs. Baggage: What's the Difference?

We get a lot of questions that we love answering about luggage and packing. But there is one popular inquiry we would not have thought to answer if you hadn’t asked – mainly because it’s a topic that we at Travelpro® take for granted:

What is the difference between luggage and baggage?

While people, both inside and outside of the travel industry, use these terms mutually, the definition of baggage and the definition of luggage vary. Their definitions are similar but with a subtly important difference. 

What is the Definition of Luggage?

The meaning of luggage is the same in most dictionaries: “suitcases or other bags in which to pack personal belongings for travel; something lugged; bags and suitcases that contain possessions you take with you when traveling,” and so on. Even awork backpack or computer briefcase can be called “luggage.”

In many cases, dictionaries include “baggage” in the luggage definition as a synonym. But can “baggage” always be used in place of the word “luggage” and vice versa?

Is luggage vs. baggage the same thing? And if not, what is the difference between luggage and baggage? To answer these questions, we first need to dig into baggage and its definition.

What Does “Baggage” mean?

At first glance, baggage and luggage seem to have the same definition, but look closer. Baggage is defined as: “personal belongings packed in suitcases for traveling.” So, in some cases, “baggage” refers to what is inside the bags.

Other baggage definitions are almost identical to luggage, including, “the trunks, bags, parcels, and suitcases you take while traveling.” Some dictionaries even list “luggage” in the definition, but there is more packed into baggage.

In military terms, baggage refers to movable equipment and supplies that can be carried or hauled. The Old French word baggage, translates as “military equipment," and bague, for "bag or bundle." Luggage does not share this definition.

Finally, the most important difference between luggage vs. baggage is the subtext. While we use both words here at Travelpro®, baggage carries a different weight on the street.

If someone says, “You have a lot of baggage,” and you’re not hauling anything, consider yourself insulted. This baggage refers to emotions about the past getting in the way of the present. So, losing your baggage isn’t always a bad thing.

What is the difference between luggage and baggage?

In short, luggage is:

  • Suitcases and other containers used to carry your belongings while traveling

And baggage is:

  • Suitcases and other containers used to carry your belongings while traveling
  • The belongings carried in those suitcases and travel bags
  • Military equipment and supplies that is moveable
  • Emotional residue from past experience

The Travelpro® Commitment to Quality

Whether we call it “luggage” vs. “baggage,” acarry-on,checked bag,duffel bag, or your favorite travel companion, Travelpro® manufactures to the highest standards of quality with built-in durability and innovative features designed to make every trip the best it can be. Because how you get what you need where you are going is serious business, and nobody wants to have baggage about their luggage.

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