Please sign in to post.

Best Luggage/Travel packs - Family Tour

I am sure this question has been asked a bunch but I couldn't find anything too specific. We are doing the Amsterdam to Rome 14 day family tour in August. We have two teens (15 and 13) and starting to wrap my head around packing. We have travelled quite a bit with the kids in Italy, England, Ireland, Spain - however, this is our first organized RS tour. Normally we rent a car and do ourselves. So this could be a hit or a big bust for us.

In terms of luggage do folks suggest a rolling suitcase (what size) or a travel pack? I am thinking the teens might be better with travel packs and investing now for years to come. Might be better than trying to roll around a suitcase in less than ideal conditions - up stairs etc.

Any advice would be great.... or packing tips... or tips in general for family tours.

Thank you!

Posted by
6543 posts

21 inch rolling carryon bags for the parents--and a couple of cheap small backpacks. I prefer the ultralight Travel Pro brand cases.
Teenagers could use Amazon Basics 21 inch backpack suitcases. That would leave them with enough arms to carry their parent's carryon bags.

Posted by
1217 posts

If you're near a R.E.I store, they sell backpacks designed to last, and let you test them with different weights in the packs. Also good customer service that can help the kids find an ideal fit for their skeleton type, provided they're essentially done growing height-wise.

Posted by
8607 posts

This is one of the most argued points on this board.

The people who wheel will tell you to get wheels. The people who don't wheel will tell you to get no wheels (and some will make you think a bag with wheels is a crime against humanity.)

The answer to your questions is to do what you prefer. There are pros and cons to both.

Posted by
139 posts

My 24-year-old son uses https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/carry-on-backpack for his frequent trips to Europe. He is happy with it and he can move quickly thru the airport if needed. For overseas flights, he can stuff it and still carry in on. For budget flights within Europe, he can make it fit whatever their requirements are because of the soft sides. Empty it is quite light.

My husband and I use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LBZS310/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage. We love them and they work fine on cobblestones but the 6 or so pounds empty does cut into the carryon weight limit. We use them all over the US and for international flights but they are bigger than most European budget airlines allow. We use packing cubes too.

Check out https://adventureswithsarah.net/. She's a Rick Steves tour guide that writes about packing. After watching one of her videos a few years ago my husband and I became converts to packing light and carrying on.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello! I think we may be on the same tour! We have a 17 y.o. girl and 16 y.o. boy. My daughter and I will each be bringing a rolling carry-on size bag, and right now it looks like my husband and son will carry duffel bags. My husband and I will also be bringing small back packs that we can use as day packs during the tour. The kids will either bring back packs or string bags. It may be a challenge to pack for 14 days in such little space, but we're actually looking forward to not having to deal with the hassle of checked bags.

Posted by
6211 posts

We have two teens (15 and 13)

Big brawny boys or petite girls? What may be suitable for one may not do so well for the other

Posted by
10 posts

Exciting. I think we have settled in MEC travel packs with wheels. Can use as both rolling and carry on back.

Are both families that commented on the same tour? If so that is great!

We have boy who is 15 (2002 so 16 later this year) and girl who is 13. If you look on travel roster we are only Canadians on tour.

Can’t wait to meet up!

Posted by
441 posts

Hope your trip was a huge success.

The one-bag travel philosophy is manifest in specific techniques. We’d enjoy hearing how your adventure came together so please let us know by posting here,or creating a new thread.