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1 26” and 1 carryon Dilemma

Hi there,
I know this subject has been posted a lot of times and most of you recommend packing light, but I still need a little help. My boyfriend and I are traveling to Italy and we are not sure yet what type of suitcases to bring.
Our major concern is that we need to bring a special pillow with us. One of us has really back problems and our special pillow will help to minimize the presence of pain. I think that is better to bring only one 26” suitcase which will contained our combined clothes plus the pillow and 1 21”carryon with wheels. We are planning to bring only 3 pair of pans (each), 4 tops (each) enough undies and 2 pair of shoes (each). All our clothes are going to be very casual, no dressy clothes or dressy shoes in this trip. We are going to visit 3 cities and we’ll be taking the train over there.
Are we bringing too much? Can we only travel with 1 26” suitcase and a carry on?
I will appreciate any advice.


Posted by
479 posts

Bianca, I have traveled both ways, and they have their plusses and minuses. If you are planning on taking a train anywhere then I suggest the 2 smaller suitcase option. Most train baggage shelves do not accommodate anything larger than a carry-on size very well.

However, if you go with the one bag option that leaves room for you to pack a large duffel bag in case you want to get a large souvenir for yourself to bring back. You'll have another person to claim the duffel bag as their checked luggage, and the duffel can be rolled up to a smaller size inside the 26" bag.

From my experience I don't think you're bringing too much, but you could lose one pair of pants each. They tend to be bulky. And get very lightweight and thin wool travel sweaters. They take up a lot less room than bulky ones and work better when layering.

Posted by
423 posts

I carry a special pillow for my back with me. It's now a smaller version from what I used to bring. I never put it in a suitcase, I put it in a cloth tote and have it handy to use. Then, I carry a 21" roller bag for myself which held the clothes I needed for my 14 day trip.

Posted by
532 posts

Check out Rick's new convertible 21" bad at the travel store. We're leaving for Italy next week and after watching his shows and the Travel Tips DVD that came with our rail pass, I decided to try it. After it came I packed with what I planned to take with me and had plenty of room to spare. Enough in fact that I was able to put my school book size back pack in it as well….and containing a DVD player and battery, Bose headphones, ipod, various other items and several movies. That way I have my electronics for the flight and only one bag on my back around the infamous thieves. You can get a standard sized pillow in the side access pocket that is the length of the bag. With 2 oz toiletries I don't have to check my bag, as advised many times by Rick and others. Good luck.