Suitcase is definitely a word you’re going to need when traveling. Whether it be to purchase a new one, ask where to pick up your bags, or answer questions at the airport, you need to know how to say “suitcase.” Of course, there are Spanish differences and more than just one word for it. Here are the Spanish synonyms for suitcase.
Maleta is the word that most textbooks use. It is universally understood. It is commonly used in the phrase “hacer sus maletas” or “to pack your bags.”
Equipaje is better translated as “luggage.” You can use this word pretty much anywhere to refer to your luggage, but it would sound a little weird to say “hacer su equipaje.”
Valija is kind of an old-fashioned word, but it still used by officials sometimes. You might hear this word used by airport security or employees. I’ve also heard it used interchangeably with equipaje and maletas in Argentina.
Petaca is used only in México and is interchangeable with maleta. In Mexico, petacas also mean “butt.” In Chile a petaca is a flask.
Bolsa is a catch-all word for bag. It can refer to shopping bags, purses (carteras, bolso), or luggage, depending on the context and sometimes the country. It’s not very commonly used to refer to luggage or suitcases, but in a pinch, it will definitely get your point across.
In some countries bolso is similar to a bolsa but is a more substantial bag. So for example, a bolso could be a duffel bag where a bolsa would be a grocery bag.
Is a type of bag that you can carry with you, like a duffle bag or back pack. In Puerto Rico this is the common word for a school bag or any other light bag.
Useful Related Words in Spanish
Equipaje de mano – carry-on luggage
Portaequipaje – luggage rack
Maletero – luggage rack
Equipaje de depósito – stored luggage
Equipaje extraviado – lost luggage
Cinta transportadora de equipaje – baggage carousel
Zona de recogida de equipajes – baggage claim
Maletín – briefcase
Alforja – saddlebag
Mochila – backpack
Check out these other articles about the Spanish Language.