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LUGGAGE HELP!

I WAS WOUNDERING WHAT MOST PLP TAKE WHEN TRAVELIND TO EUROPE? I AM PLANNING TO TAKE A MEDIUM WHEELED BAG,A SMALL CARRY ON JUST IN CASE MY LUGGAGE GETS LOST, AND A BACK PACK INSTEAD OF A PURSE. IS THAT TOO MUCH??

Posted by
43 posts

Mily,

If you decide to carry a messenger style bag or purse, here's an FYI/tip: I also opt for this style of bag and I find that at times the friction of the strap across the chest results in the dye on certain shirts or turtlenecks (or whatever) to fade or rub off a bit. This isn't an issue when I'm wearing a coat...which most of the time I am since I travel off-season. So just be aware of where your strap is hitting and adjust every so often when you're doing a fast-paced, long-distance walk so you don't get the worn-out, faded patch on the front of your shirt. I think it's the motion of bag/strap that causes this effect so I also try to hold the bag steady when my pace is quickened to prevent the strap from moving up and down and back and forth.

Posted by
1589 posts

Mily,

Carry your proposed luggage around Miami for the next week to see if you NEED all that stuff. Have a great trip!

Posted by
16 posts

I would carry a "legal" size carry on and the small backpack along with a moneybelt for the things you don't want to have stolen (CC, Debit card etc.)Generally you don't lose your carry-on since it will be above your seat. Less is more!!

Posted by
36 posts

Sorry i am new to traveling.. lol.. what is a legal size carry on?

Posted by
14955 posts

One bag, it can have wheels, no more than 22 x 14 x 9 and a small backpack that doubles as a daybag/purse.

This article may help:

Tips for Packing Light

Another suggestion is to read Rick Steves "Europe Through the Back Door." It will make you a better traveler.

Posted by
23250 posts

I would suggest you have two bags too many. What is the total weight of everything that you are planning to take? Probably twice what you need.

Posted by
2193 posts

Follow Rick's recommendations on travelling light, and you'll have an enjoyable trip from a "luggage" perspective. I never take more than a carry-on backpack - that's it. Be careful about weight. Many airlines restrict not only the size of the carry-on piece but also the weight. They'll charge you (or may require you to check it) for going over their weight limit. Most economy class cabins will limit you to one carry-on piece, but you can usually take a coat and a purse on board with you. Triple-check with your airline before leaving home.

Posted by
8938 posts

I would use a messenger type bag instead of a purse or a backpack. I find carrying a back pack just about kills my back. Some of you guys recommending to carry a back pack instead of small rolling suitcase tend to forget that this would be torture for many people. I hate carrying bags. If it doesn't roll, I don't want it. Rolling across a few cobblestones is not that hard, since I do it here all the time. It isn't as though you take your suitcase sightseeing with you. Anyway, that is my humble opinion.

Posted by
2193 posts

It's probably a matter of preference based on a variety of personal factors, but messenger bags are good, too. I can recommend Timbuk2 messenger bags and Victorinox backpacks.

Posted by
36 posts

I am afraid to take a purse .. i mean i have a bag that runs across my shoulder n only has one zipper on the top.. I mean i dont think it would be a bad bag to take..WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Posted by
11507 posts

Mily,, you will enjoy your trip so much more if you travel as light as possible. Europe is so bumpy,, LOL , So many stairs, cobblestone streets, and many hotels in the budget to moderate catergories do not have elevators!
You need alot less then you may think.

I personally always take a purse. I don't like backpacks, they hurt my back, and I don't like wearing them in front cause it looks dumb, but on subways etc, it is trouble to wear them behind you as pickpockets love that..

My purse is very utilitarian, rather like a messenger bag. It has a long thick adjustable strap that I can wear crosswise my body, and it not only zips up, but has a flap that goes over the top zipper and buckles down tight. Much better then just the zipper I think. It is lightweight, but big enough for me to carry a small pocket book, map, sunglasses, and even a small umbrella. It sort of a tough woven fabric,, I don't know exactly what, but it has lasted well for years.

How long are you going for? Is this a tour or are you visiting independently ,, will you be renting a car or taking trains?

Posted by
36 posts

I will be in Europe for 15 days..I am going to my boyfriends familys house they will be picking us up in the airport ;). We are expected to travel around the cities of Spain! ;) My bag is kinda weird because when u put things into it the weight pulls it down and you cant really see the zipper.. lol... Yeah the hole back pack thing doesn't sound to convincing to me i also tend to get back pains..

THANKS FOR THE ADVICE!

Posted by
14955 posts

As you can see, there are as many opinions as there are people posting.

Let's look at your choices:

Main bag--wheels or no wheels--this is a personal choice and there are enough people so one sided on this, they'd be willing to literally fight it out. You have to ask yourself which you'd prefer--wheeling a bag or carry it on your back. There are pluses and minuses to both.

Day bag--your two basic choices are backpack or messenger bag style. Again, both have pluses and minuses. Some of t hese bags are huge and others are the size of a purse. (When someone says they don't carry a messenger bag but carry a purse across the body--that's what most of us would refer to as a messenger bag.) You'll find that women in Europe tend to wear their bags messenger style.

A simple zipper is easy to open and pick by a professional. You may want to look for a bag that offers both a zipper and some sort of flap or locking device, or a way to clip the zippers together making it harder to open. And in a crowded place or train, keep it in front of you, not in the back.

Again, if you spend some time reading "Europe through the Back Door" you will get almost all your generic travel questions answered.

Posted by
36 posts

THANKS i think i will figure out a way to close the zippers cause that bag is super comfy!

Posted by
14955 posts

A small carabiner might work...the screw type is more secure and harder to open than the clip type.

I like the "Versalink" sold at REI. Very small and inexpensive. I carry a few in case one gets lost.

Posted by
11507 posts

Mily you are lucky,, if you even are staying a few days with locals( boyfriends family) then you will have assess to laundry.. Don't think about needing two weeks worth of clothes,, you enough for 5 days and then launder stuff,, remember, you will never see the same poeple again,, other then the family members, so you don't have to have tons of different outfits, 4 or 5 good outfits and some scarves and cheap jewerly will do.

Posted by
32201 posts

Mily,

Lots of great suggestions from the group so far! I have a few thought to add.

As you're "new to travelling", you might find it worthwhile to read Europe Through The Back Door as it provides LOTS of information on smart and efficient travel. Having a look at the Spain Guidebook might give you some ideas on sites you want to visit while you're there.

Given the fact that you'll be staying with your BF's family in Spain, that simplifies the luggage question to some extent. Something like this may work for you:

Medium Wheeled Bag - take that as checked luggage, holding the majority of your clothing, toiletries, etc.

Carry-On - Use a small Daypack for your carry-on luggage. Use this to carry your airline approved liquids & gels in a Zip-Lok bag, a toothbrush, a small amount of "backup" clothing, etc. That way if your main bag is "misplaced" by the airline you'll be able to last for a few days. You'd also be able to use it for day touring when in Spain. Using a Daypack shouldn't be a major problem to carry, as they're usually fairly small so won't put too much strain on your back.

You could also use a small Messenger or other Bag. A few examples you might look at are the This or This. To simplify things, you could place your Purse inside this when getting to & from Spain (depending on how big it is of course).

It would be a good idea to use a small travel Lock on the zippers, to discourage thieves. Also, be sure to use a Money Belt, especially if you'll be in Barcelona! Have a look at These for some examples.

Unfortunately, I can't offer any advice on whether or not to take a Purse.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1158 posts

Mily,

I only travel with 2 bags, a carry-on and a day backpack. Three is too much. Why worried about losing a bag?
I use the day backapck when I walk around the cities.
I found that the best bags are the ones that have an attached day backpack. They seem to be more compact.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks for all the advice !
Its not really a purse that goes around your shoulder its a bag but it has a extra strap to use it as a messanger style bag. The strap itself is thick and made out of black cloth like material... so i think it would be good.. i mean i am not really gonna carry around my documents in town since they will be staying at the house ;) . I will only be taking a small amount of euros around town just in case i need to purchase some items..

Posted by
345 posts

Yes: too too much.

Listen to Bea and Pat then visit onebag.com.

Watch the RS video on packing and check the RS packing lists. Read ETBD.

I pack 1/3 of that for 18 days.

Posted by
36 posts

so for those who have experience traveling to Europe... What exactly do u take? and is a back pack considered a carry on or a personal item?

THANKS

Posted by
2193 posts

A backpack that meets all of your airline's size and weight requirements to be allowed in the passenger cabin may be considered carry-on. Some of the European airlines refer to carry-on as hand baggage. In addition to your carry-on/hand-baggage, many airlines will allow you to bring a personal item (such as a coat and/or a purse) on board with you. You really should check with your airline, because the allowances vary.

Posted by
32201 posts

Mily,

"so for those who have experience traveling to Europe... What exactly do u take? and is a back pack considered a carry on or a personal item?"

I normally travel with a larger Backpack (always checked during air travel), a Daypack (fits the sizing frame) and a Camera Bag (also supposedly "approved" although I have a new bag on order so I'll have to check the size on that before departure).

As the others have said, most N.A. airlines allow a carry-on as well as a "personal item" which can be a Purse, Laptop bag, etc. From what I've seen, they're usually a bit "relaxed" in enforcing the rules, as I've seen passengers trying to stuff enormous Duffels into the overhead bins.

I usually wear my coat, although if I remember I stuff it into the Daypack when going through security (it can be scanned just as easily).

One important point is that many of the budget airlines in Europe (if you'll be using any?) have a strict limit of ONE carry-on/cabin baggage item ONLY. Their weight limits are also more stringent than what we're used to here & there are usually extra charges for luggage that is over limit (RyanAir is especially brutal!).

If I ever have to again use a budget airline in Europe, I'll probably just snap my Daypack onto the main Backpack (they're designed to fit together as one unit) and suffer the overweight charges. I should have enough spare room in the Camera bag to kit it out as an impromptu carry-on.

One final note - don't forget the "3-1-1 rule" for any liquids or gels you have in your carry-on. They must be in a 3.4 oz. bottle or smaller, packed in a 1-quart size zip-lok bag and you're only allowed one bag (which can have several of the small bottles inside as well as small "travel size" containers of toothpaste, shampoo, etc.). You'll have to place this in the Bin when you go through security at the airport. Check this Site for all the details.

Cheers

Posted by
421 posts

All my other trips I have treid to pack pretty light but that being said I have still always checked a bag which is ussually a bag that would pass as a carry on. Then take my camera backpack and my partner a legal size backpack.

This next trip I am going to attempt to take a carry on bag and one persoanl item. I have a new camera bag that does not look like a camera bag that fits my camera and two lens and other stuff. Partners personal item will be the lap top bag which is small.

The only issue again is those low coast airlines. I am hoping I can fit the camera bag inside and the lap top bag in the other bag. If not I guess we check.

We have to change planes in London when we first travel over there so I don't want to take the risk of luggage getting lost at the beginning of the trip.

I have been looking at a new bag.
currently I have a whelled ricardo 20 inch which I am sure my partner will continue to use. I am looking at moving more into the backpack shoulder bag route.

check out tom bihn aeronaut which is what I am considering for the trip. It might get dinged on the low cost airline because of the size and might have to be checked but I understand because of the way it looks and holds its shape they often think it is fine by looking at it and dont make you put it in one of those sizers.

time will tell.