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2 Month Travel to europe help please

Hi all,

I am leaving in about 1 month. I just finished creating a day to day intinerary. I know that I will not follow it exactly, but if I do not know what to do one day I can refer or try to keep up. I still have to purchase my plane ticket and eurail pass...will do so in about 1 week.

What type of luggage should I order?
29" Bag seems to be the best bet for storing things. Will I be able to lock my luggage in a hostel. Is this too big to travel with? I would like to travel with enough clothes.

I like the samsonite X'ion
and samsonite aspire light 29"

I am worried about the spinner wheels breaking though?
Are they reliable? Are the in-line skater type wheels better?

Also, is it easy to figure out how to get from station to station. I am planning things a little late here, but I have a month with no work and nothing else to do except plan. I am a college student and am traveling from march-may and then coming back to graduate.

Also what is the best bank to get an ATM card at? I have citizens right now and I hear that Eversave has the best rates (no fees at all!)

Please help me...thank you.

Posted by
486 posts

For banks, check out the ones that are primarily online banks (but ones that are well known. Look at ING and USAA. I know the latter not only gives excellent rates but refunds ATM fees charged by the "other" bank. Also, if you are eligible to join a Credit Union, check them out. Since they are member owned, they are not out to nickel-dime you to death.

Posted by
3 posts

I have the xion luggage and really like the fact that the wheels spin in all directions. It makes it super easy to use. The 29 in bag is HUGE though. I would not recommend taking it. Get the midsize, I believe it is 24 in and on clearance at Macy's right now.

Capital One doesn't charge any fees for their ATM cards and their credit cards have no additional charges for purchases.

Posted by
9363 posts

A 29" bag is enormous! Even though you are traveling for a month, you could pack a lot less and plan to do laundry along the way, whether you find a laundromat, have your laundry done, or wash it yourself in your hotel. Because you'll need to schlep the bag around with you, you will probably be much happier with something smaller, like a 21".

Posted by
2788 posts

Have you gotten and read Rick Steves' "Europe thru the Back Door" book yet? If not, do so. You might also want to check out his books on the locations you will be visiting. I get one for the area I am heading for each year RS and the others who take his trips use a 21" suitcase - I (and my wife) for a month each year - RS for up to 3 months - it can be done - study up on packing light. Get a debit card from a credit union if you can join one - they have the best exchange rates in general. I have never had a problem getting cash from ATM machines in Europe (lucky?). Happy travels.

Posted by
2 posts

So 29" is definately too large? Will I definitely regret not taking something smaller.

Would you guys recommend a 4 wheel spinner, or 2 wheel inline skater type wheels?

Also, I am going in March...

what is a better route:
Starting March 9th ending May 7

Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna, Lucerne, Geneva, Bari-->Grrece, Greece-->Bari, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Nice, Lyon, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris ending in the first week in paris.

Or what I orginally planned

Paris--->Brussels(May)

I am purchasing the luggage this week so if someone can recommend a bag I would truly apprecaite it.

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello Sunny. I recommend fly to ROME, and go to the countries in northern Europe last when the weather will be warmer there.

Posted by
1888 posts

29" bags are too large. You are overloading yourself already, and making travel too difficult.

Get a carry on size bag, plan to wash clothing on a break once a week, or you can wash your under garments a couple of times a week.

Travelers on the road will not be seeing you again, so you can rewear your clothing lots of times.

I traveled to Europe on a Eurail pass 32 years ago for 5 weeks. I used a backpack. I travel these days...and I use a backpack. It's carry on size, you will need straps to get up and down the stairs at all the train stations you are going to use, and up and down the stairs at your hostels.

DO not overload yourself...take less than you think you need, cuz you don't need to fill a 29" bag! Go for something that is 24" at most. You will be much happier!

Think of it this way: pack for one week. that's everything you will need for your entire trip.

We use Compass Bank (see if they are in your area) They also have NO ATM fees anywhere in the world.

Posted by
6 posts

Sunny, just a tip: no matter what card you end up getting, whether debit (recommended) or credit, make sure you call your bank before you go to tell them which countries you'll be in and the dates. Otherwise, when you're over there trying to withdraw money, you WILL GET REJECTED. Don't make the same mistake I did. Call your bank.

Posted by
203 posts

I recommend getting a 24" Rick Steves rollabout suitcase available on Amazon.com .(The link is below). We have several different types of Rick Steves lugguage, and they take abuse well--especially compared to the Samsonite bags I have owned. A 29" suitcase sounds way too big to be putting on and off of trains. I love my smaller 21" Rick Steves bag; it works well with shorter trips or summer travel. However, clothes and everything in Europe will be quite expensive to buy. I would bring a variety of clothes that will work in different situations and different types of weather, and for that you would need a 24" suitcase.

http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-24-Roll-About-Merlot/dp/B000PWLZLG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=apparel&qid=1201383663&sr=8-2

Posted by
1568 posts

I would suggest a smaller suitcase along with a back pack. I would recommend one of the PacSafes backpack or day pack as they are slashproof, snatchproof and tamper proof.

I would also suggest buying one of the cable locks to attach your luggage to the luggage racks in the trains and for use in the hostels.

The cable locks and packs are listed on this link:

http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=12

Posted by
11507 posts

Hi Sunny, yes, you will definately apprieciate having a smaller bag, 29 inches IS way too big. Remember stairs,, they will be everywhere, metros , train stations, hotels, you name it, and a 29 inch bag packed will be heavy, and when you hit curbs with no ramps( which are everywhere, as so many places in Europe are not " wheel friendly" ) be again prepared to lift that bag.

As another poster said, you are never going to see the people you see again, so where your clothes multiple times, just wash them in hotel sink, pack stuff that is easy to wash and drip dry.

Posted by
9363 posts

I would second the suggestion to inform your bank or credit union that you will be traveling, though I have never had my card rejected anywhere (even before I knew to let my bank know I'd be gone). You might also want to see if you can increase your daily withdrawal limit, just in case you need it while you are gone.

Posted by
1806 posts

If you haven't bought your luggage already, skip a suitcase (wheeled or not) and get a backpack - especially Europe with it's many cobblestoned streets and lack of elevators. Eagle Creek makes great ones - I can testify to just how well made they are as I was in New Zealand last Spring and my backpack was in the luggage hold of a bus. During the trip, the hold popped open and my backpack fell out onto the road and was gone. Lucky for me, some kind soul found it & turned it into the police station in a neighboring town. When I got my bag, it had a couple scuff marks on the outside and the enamel covering the luggage lock was broken, but the bag and everything inside was fine (despite hitting the asphalt at 70 mph). Eagle Creek also makes nice pack-it cubes and folders for sorting.

Test the weight of your pack before you leave. Walk at least 1 to 2 miles (including uphill) with it filled with everything you intend to bring. If it's too heavy here, it's too heavy for Europe.

Posted by
131 posts

I traveled via train and bus for just over six weeks last summer- granted it was summer. Just plan on using laundromats every week to 10 days for what you can't wash out in the sink- they often are quite near an Internet cafe and in Italy I found one that had both!!! I bought a black bag, called the "Maximum Legal Carry-on" with a shoulder strap from LuggagePros from Patagonia. It could convert to a backpack and there were at least half a dozen times I was grateful for that option. City streets can be crowded and narrow with a wheeled bag and the subway and train steps must be contended with- to say nothing of getting on and off the trains themselves. Definitely use the zippered cubes to keep you organized when you are constantly moving and never really unpack. I also took two compression bags, stored flat on the bottom of the bag when I left. One I would fill with clothes I couldn't hand wash, to protect my clean clothes. On the trip home I used both, for room for souvenirs!