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Can we do a RS tour with a 29" rolling suitcase?

The packing issue is causing a lot of friction between me and my spouse. In our many other trips to Europe, we have used our 29" rolling suitcases and have gotten by just fine. We check our bags on the airlines and carry on a travel day pack. We've locked our suitcases with a cable on trains and we've hauled them on the public buses. airport buses, trams, metros, Tube, BART, subway and ferries to get to our hotel destinations. One time we rolled those suitcase on pavement over ½ mile in Barcelona to change hotels in the Las Ramblas. Not something I want to do everyday, but we did it and we are still happy travelers.
Our RS Scotland tour is 10 days of an 8 week trip where I am studying in Cambridge (so I will have a laptop) and then we go to Greece. So we have to plan and pack for both cold and rainy and hot and humid weather. we have test packed, with packing cubes and compression bags, and we cannot fit everything in a 22" bag.
Our first hotel and last hotel in the RS Scotland tour is the Parliament Hotel. I've already emailed them and they state they cannot hold our 29" luggage between those times.
So my questions are:
Will I look out of place on the RS tour wheeling our 29" suitcases from bus to hotels while everyone else is wheeling their 22" carry-ons?? I assume RS isn't going to ban me from the tour because of my suitcase size. I fully understand I will be the one carrying those monsters up the stairs to our rooms and wheeling them over cobbled streets.
Is it possible to store our large luggage in the storage hold of the bus for the entire tour, so we just use our daypacks for the 10 day tour? Is it the same bus for the entire trip?
And if not, there is a luggage storage place at Edinburgh Waverly train station. It's not cheap, but we may well have to store our large luggage there while we do the tour. what time does the tour arrive back in Edinburgh on the last tour day? We will have to walk over from the Parliament Hotel to Waverly Station that evening and retrieve our luggage, because we fly out early the next morning.
I understand the need to pack light, but no lectures please. You're preaching to the choir. My spouse is threatening to not go if she has to live out of a 22 " carryon for 8 weeks. She's not a grump, just stubborn.

Posted by
9885 posts

Yep, same bus and driver from day 3 to the return to Edinburgh. There is plenty of room in the bus luggage bay so this should not be a problem. I’d just explain to the driver to leave them on the bus. The drivers are awesome and part of the group so they are very easy to talk to.

If you need more room than backpacks you could combine clothes for both of you for the tour in to one bag. Take it in and leave the other under the bus.

Posted by
16941 posts

Just checking a spot on Nannybag, 76 GBP for 9 nights storage. May be better deals at other spots and did not look at Bagbnb. How does that compare to Waverly station?

Posted by
5484 posts

We had a couple who did basically the same thing on my tour last year. Their other bags went into “deep storage” on the bus with no difficulties whatsoever.

Posted by
1805 posts

I can’t speak to your particular tour, but I know on at least 2 of our 5 tours people brought bigger bags. I think most of us could care less how much someone else takes as long as they can carry it. And, on our first tour people were a happy to step up and help those who had the large bags navigate the one train we took. I hope this relieves some stress.

Posted by
11450 posts

We are in a five week Europe trip right now - we normally take our 22 inch bags but went up to a 24 inch bag ( that expands ) - because like you we needed cold and warm clothing for various climates .

I hate having such a big bag - but I’m happy it’s only a 24 inch bag and not the 29 inch bag - you must be a lot stinger than me , in our last ferry ride between Greek Islands we were made to go on second floor of a ferry with no escalator and no luggage storage ( some Ferries have this some do not ) and I hated lugging my bag up and down that many steps when people were so crushed around me I was afraid going down it i dropped it I would have injured at least 15 people in stairs below me .

Anyway one of you could reduce to the 24 inch or even 26 inch bag and one keep the 29 inch bag and least you can trade off helping each other out .

Posted by
93 posts

We did the RS Scotland tour last month. The size of the suitcases will not be an issue as there is plenty of room in the bus storage hold. We did, however, have hotels with no elevators. I would be tempted to pack a nylon duffle that you can put the tour clothes in to lighten the load you have to carry up the stairs. If you are concerned what folks will think about the size, when you do the group intro on the first afternoon, just say, “You will recognize us by our oversized luggage,” and explain you are in an 8-week multi-country trip. Make a joke of it to break the ice. But really, I can’t image anyone caring about your luggage one way or the other.

Posted by
855 posts

We have done independent travel in Europe and 7 RS tours. Our first trip to Italy was Independent travel for 3 weeks. I had a large bag and hubby had a 22". We arrived in Venice and had to walk over 1 bridge (with steps up and down) from the train station to the hotel. We stopped at the top of the bridge to gaze at the Grand Canal and hubby was carrying my bag and I had his. He looked at me and said "If you EVER want to come to Europe again, you have to bring a smaller suitcase" I said, "DONE!" and we've been back multiple times.

Your situation is different because of the length and change in climates. On the 7 RS trips we've been on there have been a few people who have had real big suitcases. It has bothered no one except them. And using deep storage in the bus and a smaller bag to take into the hotels is the perfect solution. The bus drivers are all very friendly and helpful. They don't carry bags but load and unload them. And believe me they have probably seen it all.
No one else will care about the size of your bag and most importantly, if it keeps your wife happy, that's what's important on a trip like this.

You are going to have a Great Time and I hope you write a trip report!
Mimi

Posted by
21843 posts

The smaller bag is simply a strong recommendation. As long as you can handle the size and weight it should be a non-issue. But do not expect anyone to assist you. Our bicycles fit in a 29" suitcase, so I personally have difficultly understanding why you would need 29". But as you requested -- no lectures. It is your trip -- enjoy it.

Posted by
308 posts

In my experience having taken three RS tours, nobody will care. The number one rule is that you are responsible for your own bag!

Posted by
2927 posts

I actually found handling my own bags on an RS trip was easier than during my independent travels, so you shouldn't have a problem. Yes, you could deep storage the bags in the bus. However, my tour guide on my one, so far, RS tour had a large bag that size...she said there was no way she was going to spend any free time doing laundry...and she managed just fine. The key is as long as you can handle your own bags. Have a wonderful time vacationing and studying. I will say that I wouldn't leave my computer in the bus, just in case.

Posted by
1649 posts

My spouse is threatening to not go if she has to live out of a 22 " carryon for 8 weeks.

As you know, a 29" will be cumbersome, weighty before it is even packed. Since I'm about 5'4", I could never take a bag that big all by myself, lol.

But, my travels have been to "one place" stops - either abroad to a friend or by myself. I (free) check a bag and bring a carry on with the allowable sizing. My bags are no bigger than 22 inches (maybe 23 inches in one instance.)

I've used a rolling duffle which has a lot of open space, the Travel Pro (CloseOut) Walkabout 22" 2-wheeled luggage which has generous spacing, and a tote carry on - at different times.

I don't fill the bags to the brim though; allowing room for souvenirs. Packing cubes - I use the frameless ones - have been very good for organizing. Lightweight, durable material, a lot of space or nooks and crannies. Travel Pro also has large luggage.

Each luggage named above held up excellent through use as a carry on and/or a checked luggage. No damages.

Since you have a mix of weather patterns, you need to dress for those. Layering can work.

I mostly travel with a monochromatic or tonal look which helps a lot and mixing and matching is easy. I accessorize. I don't care to launder but may with a few underthings.

You can never go wrong with black, grey, white, red, cream purple, navy, brown, etc. Even in the summer, you can find have a "cooler" look with darker colors. Turquoise is lovely as a splurge of color.

Take a look for the heck of it at -

The Travel Pro https://www.macys.com/shop/product/closeout-travelpro-walkabout-3-22-expandable-carry-on-rolling-suitcase-created-for-macys?ID=2584988

Also, https://www.kipling-usa.com/discover-small-carry-on-rolling-luggage-duffel/100141811.html?rmsrc=1&gclid=CNfyrpm13eICFZFTDQodxdIGlQ

I got both of mine for a steal with sales and coupons added. But, the Travel Pro is still at a good price.

Try watching Farnoosh Brock - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=farnoosh+packing She likes to bring a lot of clothes, etc. One trip, her husband "challenged her" about taking a carry on for a weeks-long trip. She made me worn out watching her struggle, but she did it! lol

Posted by
3493 posts

Take what you want as long as you can handle it with zero assistance. The suitcase size is a suggestion, not a limitation.

One RS tour I took a person had 2 29" bags, a backpack, briefcase, and a day pack. Still don't know how you can have enough stuff to fill all that.

Another RS tour I took one woman had a 26" bag just for her shoes (she would change shoes at least twice a day and never to a pair she had already worn).

And then there is me who manages up to 3 months at a time in various European destinations including changes in weather with just my 20" RS original bag (NO WHEELS!) which weighs less than 20 pounds with everything in it I bring.

Posted by
719 posts

Although using one large suitcase and a day pack per person is do-able, maybe take a hint from business travelers/ aircrew who are mostly seen with matched stackable bags, one 20”/22”/24” and one 12”/14”” with a slotted back that fits securely over the handle and doesn’t slip around. The larger can be checked and the smaller carried on and the ultralight daypack (rather than a heavier daypack that might/ might not hold tour clothes) can be a carryon “ personal item.” Then the Greece items/ Cambridge items can be packed separately and left in the bus for the tour. And dressier clothes ca be carefully packed in one of the bags and will not be mixed up in the churn of the day to day clothes. Carrying up stairs is much less of an issue then for any individual bag.

Have fun,