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Best of Europe 20 nights luggage recommendations... Backpack vs rolling luggage???

Hello... For the long Best of Europe 20 nights... I currently have a old heavy 2 wheel standard.... Carryon size. 22x14x9. Also have a lightweight backpack. Hate to have to buy new luggage until after this "learning" trip to Europe (first). I am a bad over packer and typically take hairdryer, flatiron etc. But not this time unfortunately. My backpack isn't really big enough for all of my stuff... Also have a smaller day pack (Osprey Daylite). I would probably have to check my rolling bag since it's 12lb empty!. Any tips? Ty I am healthy and strong and can lift so that's not a issue luckily. I was waiting to try and see what type luggage works best after this trip coming up soon. Ty

Posted by
18 posts

First, if you haven’t read or seen the packing tips, hints and suggestions in the Travel Forum and on the RS Website - start there. Make and follow a packing list (see Rick’s tips and list) and weigh (yes, weigh) what you are packing. Scour the Travel Forum for helpful tips when you are looking for new luggage. Have a great trip. Yes, you can, even by packing less.

Posted by
7389 posts

Even though it’s buying something, I would consider going to a TJ Maxx or similar and see if you can find something much lighter that’s also not too expensive to haul around Europe. Or there are very inexpensive G4Free backpacks on Amazon that only weigh a pound.

Keep notes on your trip of what you would like to change (add or subtract) for a subsequent trip. Have a great time!

Posted by
8500 posts

Another approach is to buy something that isn’t too pricey. I suggest Ebags Mother lode back backpack that is carryon size

Posted by
2852 posts

Derek, you beat me to mention the sale.

12lbs empty is just plain crazy! There are times on the tour you will hike 1/4 mile uphill to your hotel. And carry your bags up a couple flights of stairs.

Spend the money and buy a new carry on. You’ll use it again sometime in your life. Don’t forget to buy packing cubes if you don’t have them.

I use RS Rolling Carry-on. It’s been to Europe twice and we’re headed back in June. All have been RS tours sandwiched between a week pre and a week post of solo independent travel. I bought 2-wheel suitcase before RS spinner was available but would buy it again for durability on roads, cobblestones and (Venice) stairs.

Posted by
6801 posts

I will "fourth" the suggestion to buy something. As the others have pointed out, there are sales going on and you can go to places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and so on and find good carry-ons that weigh much less than 12 lbs. My TravelPro Maxlite 5 spinner only weighs about 4 1/2 lbs so you can do much better.

If you're worried about making a bad choice, you could scout some out then come back here and ask for advice about them, but generally, if it feels good, is easy to lift, and you like it, then it's probably a good choice. I guarantee you that you will not regret getting a lighter bag. And go with a 21" instead of a 22" if you want to be able to carry it on.

Posted by
1259 posts

You cannot spend three weeks on the road with a 12# bag filled with stuff you don’t need. It will make you nuts.

Backpack/wheelie/spinner decision is highly personal and the the topic has been covered many many times here. Spend a few hours watching the dozens of packing clips on the yootoobs, read the back pages of the forum, do some additional research, and then maybe post questions about specific luggage items. Personally, I prefer a backpack, I pack for three days, do laundry every night, and can get my kit into a 45L bag with room to spare. You can, too.

Posted by
3194 posts

Perhaps a friend who has travelled may be happy to lend you a lighter bag so you can see if it works for you?
Again , TJ’s, Marshall’s etc all have lightweight bags that are inexpensive.
Nearly all hotels have hairdryers nowadays, so that’s one thing you won’t need to bring!
(You can email them and check.)

Posted by
2092 posts

I’ve taken this tour. You will have at least two times to do laundry at your hotel or have the hotel do the laundry for you. Less is better.

Posted by
14156 posts

I've taken this tour as well. I used the RS Convertible BackPack for this tour and did a back to back to back with 2 other RS tours. By the time I got to the end of my nearly 8 weeks in Europe I could not lift the backpack to swing it around to my back. I had to set it on the bed, sit down, slide it on and then I could stand up. That was my last time with the Backpack. I DID overpack as well but it was my first BIG trip and I had no idea.

I also agree with the others. I would not even start out with a roller that weighs 12#. If you go with a new roller, I would not get one that weighs no more than 6#. I was very worried about dimension and bag weight for my trip last fall and went ahead and purchases an overpriced bag that is 4.5# which worked perfectly for me. This was to replace the #6 RS 2-wheeler. My bag weighed 16.1# when I left the house for the airport.

Start with a packing list. Weigh everything. I am not kidding. If you don't have a kitchen scale, go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and get one and pick up a hand held luggage scale while you are at it. Make sure everything is able to wash and dry overnight. As mentioned there are a couple of occasions where you can get laundry done on this trip but I sink washed the whole time. Pack for 1 week.

4 shirts x 3 pr pants = 12 outfits

Add 2 scarves = 36 outfits

Try packing up your current back pack and then your current suitcase. Weigh both. See what you had to leave out of the back pack. Buy new luggage based on the results, lol!!

Posted by
18504 posts

If you are under 55 buy a RS Back Door bag. Cheap and works well. And you cam always use it for grass clippings if you don't travel again.

Posted by
914 posts

Ty, remember you are traveling, not moving! Pack less and have some laundry done along the way. I am sure your guide will more than likely know exactly where to get some laundry done. With most of the stops on this tour you can find toiletries or an article of clothing if you need it.

Posted by
8500 posts

If you do go for the backdoor backpack, you may find that it works better if you can build some structure into the bag by using packing cubes. My friend used one on tour without doing that and was miserable as things were always shifting.