Luggage - Rick's or not Rick's?

I ordered by mail Rick's carryon with weels. I am considering sending it back, and that's why. I know for sure that all my stuff won't fit in it if it is unexpanded. In fact, I might have a second bag with me because I meet up with my mother in Europe and plan to bring a few things for her, and also I plan on shopping for clothes in Paris. And in this case I would have to check it in. And if I do that anyway, I might as well get a bigger size roller suitcase so that I won't have to have two pieces to check in instead of one. Can someone recommend another brand of weeled suitcase that is larger than Rick's and good quality?

Posted by Adam
2923 posts

Even better than Rick's bags is his packing advice: pack light, pack less.

How much you take is of course a personal choice--I find Rick's bags too big and have lived out of smaller ones for as much as five weeks--but "pack light" is really good advice.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

I think even if you check a bag (I will have to check my bag when I go to Europe this summer), you want a carry-on size. You're going to Paris - a lot of the subway stops are stairs only. If you have something bigger than a carryon, or if you have 2 bags, what are you going to do? If you want to bring your mom stuff, pack less clothes and wash more while you're there. If you want to buy a lot while you're there, pack a foldable lightweight bag in your main suitcase so that you can check it on your way home. I just really can't imgagine traveling in Europe with anything bigger than a carry-on size and I especially can't imagine traveling with 2 pieces of luggage.

Posted by bluedenim
vancouver, bc, canada
421 posts

What we do is take a smaller wheeled bag, 20 inches....which we check and a carry on each.
Managing these two is pretty easy.

Posted by Teena
Piedmont, nc, usa
296 posts

Adam's right. When I made my first trip to Europe, I took a big wheeled bag and a smaller carry on. The 2nd time, the same but with less stuff. The third time was with a smaller roller bag. Since then I've taken Rick's bag. Packing is a personal choice but Rick's bag is plenty big before it's extended. I carry a fold up bag in my suitcase to pack all those things I couldn't resist buying on my trips. But there's nothing like the feeling of grabbing that bag out of the overhead and getting through customs while everyone else is still at luggage claims. I've regretted many times having taken too much but never have I regretted taking too little.

Posted by Natasha
Concord, California
138 posts

Thanks to all for sharing your experiences with me. I suppose it is great to grab your carryon and zip through customs. But it is also a wonderful feeling to check in all you luggage and get on a plane with only your personal handbag or whatever other means you use. And not to have to fumble trying to stuff that humoungous (by carryon standards) suitecase into your overhead compartment.
And I won't have to lug it through Paris metro, I will use the pick up and drop off that the woman who rented me a studio provides. In Switzerland, there is a service that sends your bags to your next destination in the morning, so you travel luggage-free.
So I think I will use a bigger than Rick's suitecase, but only one.
Thanks again for your advice, you all are great.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

Well just to play Devil's Advocate of sorts, I will be taking an expandable carry-on size suitcase for a 6-week trip, but I will be checking it (every airline I'm taking has a one bag only rule and I need to carry a backpack with my laptop, guidebooks for planning, ipod, etc.). I guess if you don't have to lug it around anywhere, then you might as well take a bigger one. Lugging it between 10 cities is why I'm taking a small one and packing as little as possible - not to actually carry it on. So if you don't have to worry about that, there's no need to have to take such a small bag I guess. :)

Posted by Natasha
Concord, California
138 posts

You got it, Debra::))

Besides, the suitecase I am considering is not huge by any means. Rick's capacity is 2500 cubic inches. I measured mine yesterday, and it comes to 3300. It is heavier when empty, that's true, so I'll have to be careful and weigh it when packed to make sure it is within the 50 lb limits.

Posted by Debra
Los Angeles, CA, USA
1001 posts

Well you can help with weight by what you actually take. For example if you want to have room to buy lots of clothes in paris - take less clothes and wear some of what you buy! Also, you can bring lighter clothes, don't bring jeans. Bring as few cosmetic type stuff as possible (especially electronic appliances - yes I don't yet know how I will live without my flatiron for 6 weeks this summer on my trip LOL). 50 pounds is a lot of junk, even with a heavier suitcase. And taking a smaller duffel bag is a good idea, you can stuff it inside your suitcase, but if you buy so much that on your way home you might be over the limit, you can fill a small bag and carry some stuff on with you.

Posted by Karen
Colorado Springs
326 posts

We may all find we will have to start checking our bags more often, but the main issue for me is lugging a lot of stuff onto trains and buses. It's fine if you rent a car (we've done that,too), but the more we travel, the less I want to take with me. It's always a challenge, but even thinking about 50 lbs., unless you are actually moving to Europe, makes me tired. I'd rather make everything fit into a carry-on size, even if you check it, and a daypack additional bag. Anything bigger get unwieldy pretty quickly. Taking a small nylon duffle for your return trip works great.

Posted by Marjorie
Atlanta, GA, USA
32 posts

In my humble opinion, unless you are staying in the same place for your whole trip, you will be sorry if you take 50 lbs worth of luggage! Instead of a light-hearted stroll down the street to your hotel from the train station, you will have an agonizing stagger over the cobblestones and up the stairs. You can get by on less clothes - I know it seems impossible but it's not. You'll be so glad you did.

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1545 posts

I have been to Paris 4 times, and always shop for clothes, jewelry and cosmetics. I always bring the RS carry-on bag, except for last year when I brought one big bag, because I was staying in one place there for over 2 weeks. But still lugging the large heavy bag in and out of the shuttle van, through te cobblestone entryway to the apartment, and into the teeny, tiny elevator was still a hassle!
And, if you are going anywhere by train - forget having a big heavy bag.

You will find many wonderful clothes to purchase there and wear, so just bring the basics, and good shoes of course -- this is key. Bring a duffle bag to hold new purchases. On the way home, stuff your carry-on and check it. Put new items or fragile things in the duffle bag and carry it on.

Posted by Larry
Pearland, Texas, USA
423 posts

My advice is to ship ahead whatever your mother needs and ship home any clothes you buy in Paris. A small suitcase is the only way to go.

Posted by Ann
8 posts

I agree with the post to "wear what you buy!" I find it to be a great challenge to pack light and I love to see what I can end up mixing/matching together. If you bring only basics, then perhaps they will be able to be worn with what you purchase. Have fun shopping!

Posted by JB
Redding, CA, USA
1568 posts

My daughter and I each had Rick's 21-inch Roll Aboard and a small 2 compartment day back pack for our 8 week trip through out western Europe.

Perfect for getting on and off trains and up stairs at the rail stations.

We mailed our purchases home. Post office had boxes.

Caution: Pack Light - not too heavy.

Posted by DD
104 posts

I have always mailed somethings back.

I've never yet had at least 1 thing I didn't wear for while I was there but I'm getting better at it.

So choose carefully and wear some of your purchases as stated.

I have a wheeled bag (lands end) and a small carry on that carrys my electronics and medications necessities.
All else goes checked.

Safe Travels