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Luggage on the train

My husband and I are doing a tour next month, when the tour is over we are getting on a train to Florence. We have 1st class tickets and was wondering if we take our luggage to our seats(is there room enough for it) or do they have other storage for it.

Posted by
4540 posts

Generally there is a luggage rack at one or both ends of the train car. There is usually also a rack over your seat. The one over your seat will accommodate small bags.

Posted by
705 posts

As above. Although I have put a medium sized suitcase on the rack above me as the luggage bays were full. The worst part was getting it up there as it was a reasonable weight and I had trouble reaching. Can be done though. Must admit I prefer to use the luggage bays.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you Kent that was very helpful, we do have a cable we can take.

Posted by
21195 posts

First, you have too much luggage but you already know that so no further comment. Second there is always a potential for theft regardless of where your are. But, relatively speaking, it is low on the train. The biggest risk is a grab and run while in a station. In our circle of travelers, no one has ever lost luggage on a train but several have been pickpocketed (or mugged) and one was on the train in a station. I think it is a good practice to always lock down you luggage even if your are sitting on it. That way if this is a diversion or you step away, it is secure. We use a couple of retractable cable locks that are quick and easy to use. If cannot find something to secure your big bags to, secure them to each other is nearly as good. All you are trying to do is to prevent that moment of opporunity.

Posted by
12 posts

We will be in Italy for 3 weeks, I didn't think I had too much luggage, its our first time traveling out of the country and we are trying to bring as little as possible but we did a dry run this weekend on the packing and decided we needed the 21" roll on, so do you think we should eliminate the 21" or do you think the 26" are too much also? I looked at RS travel luggage and couldn't imagine how I would get all my stuff in one of those little bags.

Posted by
221 posts

there are many times on trains where your stuff will be out of sight, I don't agree here with another person's post that if you can't fit it where you sit you have too much, many compartments have very small over heads. so having said that, I would lock your zippers shut and do a cable lock on them. if you are going to be in a compartment that does fit your bag and it goes over night, you can at least hook a carabiner from your bag to the rack and that will foil a grab and go, my sons did this in Spain on a night train and it saved one of them their bag.

Posted by
21 posts

Sorry to comment on the luggage issue first..., but we just got back from 4 weeks in Italy and only took 2 Rick Steves' 21" rollaboards and 2 daypacks...that's all...it worked well and made train travel very simple..we could accomodate everything in the overhead racks right at our seats..the secret to packing light is to only take 1 week's worth of clothing and wash regularly...also everything should be able to be mixed and matched...don't take anything you won't wear at least 3, 4 or 5 times...the train and all other travel around Italy will be so much more enjoyable if you lighten up your load...follow Rick Steves' advice on packing light and you'll never regret it...

Posted by
320 posts

Anna - My wife and I have been on three European Trips. I like to keep a journal. In reviewing old journals to prepare for this fall's trip I note that on the flight home - in each journal I wrote "Bring less stuff next time". Each successive journey we have brought less and enjoyed ourselves more.

There is nothing worse on vacation than being overburdened with luggage. Even my fashion plate wife is now down to one small bag (and a big purse). She even leaves her Imelda Marcos shoe collection at home! Read Rick's packing lists - they are dead on.

Have fun.

Posted by
21195 posts

Anna, I think packing light is a learned experience. For us it was. I know that it would be hard if not impossible to convince you to take less. But as they say, "Been there, Done that !!" For our first trip to Italy 15 + years ago we took two very large rolling hardsides suitcases, a large garment bag, a train case, and a couple of misc shoulder/day bags AND a large wheel steel luggage cart. What a disaster!!! Seven trips later, we spent nearly 4 weeks in Italy -- into Rome, home from Zurich -- with a ten day cruise in the middle. Two carryon size, backpack style, bags and one carryon size roll bag was more than adequate for the entire trip. The extra clothes, shoes, etc. required for the cruise was in the rolling bag. No cruise, no rolling bag.

With train travel big bags are a large problem. Entry ways on trains are narrow, steep, and crowded with people and luggage trying to get on and off quickly. And excess luggage just increases your potential as a theft target.

Posted by
12 posts

I appreciated everyones input. I have taken my 21 inch roll-on back to the store and kept the 2 26 inch. My husband said he doesn't want to be washing clothes, he wants to see the city, I think he didn't want to hear any more what I was learning from you all. I had to convince him to let me take the 21 inch back to the store. He is a clothesaholic, I'm not, little reverse rolls there, I actually hate to shop for clothes. I hope you all find some humor in that, I do.

Posted by
36 posts

That is a funny role reversal. I have a feeling your husband will be sorry when he has to lug 26" bags around everywhere, but as someone else mentioned, it is all part of the learning curve.

Posted by
12 posts

We are doing a tour the first 16 days then taking a train to Florence where we will rent a car for 4 days and park it in Monterosso so the only time we will be lugging around the baggage will be at the train station and airport, I think that is why he is not too concerned about how much we bring. If I was traveling without a tour for 3 weeks and having to carry that luggage I would rethink everything.

Posted by
9 posts

Hopefully, those two 26" don't get lost and you don't ever get to see them on your trip. Just be sure to cross pack in a small carryon. Have a great trip

Posted by
33 posts

Anna,
In your place, I think I'd take the small bag for myself and leave the big one for hubby! Unless, of course, he volunteers to always handle BOTH! ;-) Just remember to have fun.

Carolyn

Posted by
4 posts

I have to agree with a previous post that you truly don't realize to 'pack light' until you've been there and lugged everything around! I took a trip to Europe for over a month and packed one large suitcase(I thought that was doing really good!). I learned that I wore the same pairs of pants (2), one skirt and 5 shirts over and over!I didn't need 3/4 of what I packed. I washed my underware and bra in the bathroom sink at night and wore the same two pairs of shoes. Many places and hotels do not have elevators which means you'll be carrying your luggage up flights of stairs. On my next trip I will pack everything in a small carry on suitcase and pack a duffle bag in the suitcase. The duffle bag works great after you've purchased gifts throughout your trip-you can check your carry on and bring your gifts with you on the plane. You and your husband can do laundry together one night every 10 days or so...beats lugging around stinky clothes with all of your clean ones!!Either way, good luck

Posted by
43 posts

Hi Anna - I think you'll be fine in a 1st class coach with your luggage...you can usually see your bags if they are at the end of the coach. The racks overhead by your seats are usually just big enough for a carry one. We just returned from 2 weeks in Italy and travelled on trains the whole time. We noticed lots of people with 26 in bags...and we were glad we just had our 21-22 in. ones! By the end of the trip they were SO HEAVY!! Just leave some room in your suitcase for things you want to bring back!
Tom & Sherry Trojanowski/Steger, IL