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Best Carry-On with Wheels

Hubby and I just returned from a 2 week trip to Switzerland. Our usual SOP is to take a flat, packable carry-on bag in our checked luggage……we get it out on our last day, pack it full of dirty clothes and fill our checked luggage with souvenirs. This trip we did the same except that our carry on got awfully hard to carry through the Amsterdam and Atlanta airport. I want a carry-on that rolls…..but am afraid there is not one available that would collapse to a flat case so that it would be packable for the trip to Europe- when we don’t need it quite yet. Anyone got an idea of one that might work? I like traveling TO Europe with just my backpack and 1 piece of checked luggage….so I would only plan to use it on the way home…….thank you for your help!

Posted by
275 posts

Would a small backpack be an option? Or is that what you have been using?

Posted by
8717 posts

There are duffle bags with wheels that you can buy. Just Google. We’ve bought a couple knock-offs in Paris several times when we needed to bring things home that we bought and couldn’t fit in our suitcases.

Posted by
10513 posts

That Biaggi collection is interesting and I may have to try.

Jane, FWIW we have the same problem, A few trips ago we added a small hold-all to our packing strategy on long trips (we go for 6 to 9 weeks) because of trekking sticks that need to be checked, medications sufficient for the trip plus a week, and so on. We just cannot do a long trip with 2 seasons in a 21” bag plus a day pack. But that hold-all gets heavy for walking very far so we are thinking of getting 24” roller bags so we can do away with it.

Also, we tend to stop and send our purchases home instead of schlepping them. Mailboxes, Etc., or the country’s postal system have worked for us.

Posted by
805 posts

Thanks so much, friends, for your advice……this latest post has my attention…..the one from Amazon….because it folds up for easy carrying to Europe and then you can pop it out with wheels and use it to get home. I remember trying to mail some things from Paris a few years ago….I have a FedEx account and thought that might help…..walked into a FedEx store there and the price they quoted me to send some things home was ridiculous…..seems to depend on where you are…..we happened upon a mail center in Vienna in 2019……the wonderful young man helping us spoke English…..he charged us for a box, we crammed as much into it as possible and sent it home for a very reasonable price. Thanks again… poor old back can carry just so much in my backpack!

Posted by
1035 posts

We have one from Ikea that folds entirely flat. I found it about 6 years ago or so and paid $5 for it and it is still going strong, lol. Now it is $20. Our daughter has the same bag and has taken it too Europe and checked it, and it has survived that. This is what it is, and if you go to product description, you will see that it lays flat even though the main page for it doesn't advertise that.

Posted by
7496 posts

Jane some of those look like they'd take up half your checked bag space. The wheels and frames are hard to avoid. Another alternative is to buy a cheap bag over there from one of those street stands or the cheap luggage stores all over.

Posted by
4895 posts

You didn’t mention if the wheeled bag you typically check is carry on size. Could you check your packable carry on and then carry on your wheeled bag?

Posted by
1241 posts

I don't see the logic of carrying an empty bag from home that you won't use till your return trip and hauling it around empty. Buy a simple rolling duffle bag during your last few days; can't be that hard to find or very expensive. A bit of research should locate a satisfactory unit.

Posted by
3957 posts

Lots of wonderful ideas on this thread. Great affordable bags! That said, I recall multiple couples on one of our tours purchasing an extra bag prior to departing.

Posted by
2326 posts

We have also bought bags to take home extras, from street markets and vendors.
They are cheap to buy, and you'd think they wouldn't last; but we have a couple that cost about E10 from Florence, and they are still going strong!
Don't bring one from home.

Posted by
29 posts

I've been eyeing some of the Biaggi bags for exactly this purpose...

I have a duffel that I bring from home and do the same thing with. One helpful trick I've found for coming home - the airlines are usually looking for volunteers to gate check their carry on bags. So, I pack the duffel as my carry on, but make sure anything I NEED (or that's extra fragile) is in my personal item. Then I can happily hand over my duffel as a free extra checked bag. Honestly, I usually have a big zippered tote/purse as my personal item, but I slide the purse I've been using while touring into it. Once they've checked my carry on for free, I can rearrange so that my purse goes down by my feet, and my personal bag goes in the overhead bin. It's a good way to get a free checked bag, and I don't have to carry nearly as much stuff through the airport (except for the customs shuffle, of course).