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Luggage strategy for European trip
Old 12-05-2018, 04:38 PM   #1
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Luggage strategy for European trip

In the past we just checked in 2 pieces of luggage that were slightly larger then carry-on size. Then I just took on board "essentials" (medications, overnight needs) in a separate light duffle bag. DW cannot get all her stuff in a carry-on so 2 of these is not practical for us.

Now I'm thinking maybe we should have one somewhat larger size checked in bag (maybe 26 inches height) and one international sized carry-on bag for the "essentials". We would be able to get more stuff in the carry-on in case the checked-in bag was delayed due to baggage problems. DW would have an easier time handling the carry-on when we land and I would have to deal with the somewhat larger luggage piece.

Anybody else here do this or have a better strategy?
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:48 PM   #2
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On our latest, (unfortunately aborted), trip we each took one carry-on and found them to be more than sufficient.

But we don't travel like most people in our age group.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:53 PM   #3
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On our latest, (unfortunately aborted), trip we each took one carry-on and found them to be more than sufficient.

But we don't travel like most people in our age group.
I could do the carry-on but DW would be unhappy with it. To be fair, she has a minor health issue that means more warm clothing and stuff.

P.S. Hope you are fully recovered from your end-of-trip ordeal Nemo2.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:59 PM   #4
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. Hope you are fully recovered from your end-of-trip ordeal Nemo2.
Working on it! Thanks.

Oh, one thing DW does/has done is, if she's feeling chilly on a European trip.... she'll go into one of the many thrift stores, find a fleece she likes for next to nothing, and if she can't haul it back home she'll give it to another thrift store, (or similar), when we're leaving,
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:01 PM   #5
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L, we do what you guys do when we travel. The cab driver said he never saw 2 people taking a cruise have such few luggage.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:09 PM   #6
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My only comment is that if you're checking a large bag you need to be aware of its weight. Stay under the airline's limit or you could be looking at a hefty fee.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:15 PM   #7
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Light and lighter

Euro travel luggage strategy for 22-day trips in September-October. We stay in AirBnBs with washers.

1. Husband: Carry on bag (Eagle Creek). A backpack. Contains: 8 golf shirts, 10 underwear, 1 socks, 1 light fleece. Six of the 8 shirts will stay behind. Six of the underwear will stay behind. One iPad, one MacBook. My bag comes home semi-empty as I refuse to buy souvenirs.

2. Wife: Carry on wheeled bag (Tumi). She rolls it everywhere and I have no idea what is in it. One iPad. Not much as she does not throw out clothes and manages to find room for souvenirs.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:18 PM   #8
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You should definitely carry on a bag with what you both will need for a day or two until your lost checked bag shows up and/or to give you a little time to shop for critical missing items in your destination city.

We were on a trip to India one time and one of the travelers' bags never did show up. High impact, low probability event.

Any meds should be spilt between two people traveling to eliminate even the potential of 100% loss. I always travel with meds & vitamins in those 7-compartment plastic carriers. Despite the common warnings to use original containers I have never had a problem in traveling to over 40 countries. We do carry printed meds lists in case something needs to be replaced.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:31 PM   #9
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OP - By checking 1 large check bag, vs 2 smaller ones, you will save money if you hit a trip where you have to pay for the checked baggage.

Your plan makes sense to me, you will get more storage at less cost.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:13 PM   #10
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OP - By checking 1 large check bag, vs 2 smaller ones, you will save money if you hit a trip where you have to pay for the checked baggage.

Your plan makes sense to me, you will get more storage at less cost.
Yes, you highlighted the advantages. The only drawback is that I will have to move around with a bigger piece of luggage .... I think one rule for DW will be no stuffing the bigger bag with heavy items.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:06 PM   #11
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Our family rules are that you can bring whatever you can carry on the airplane--as long as it will go in a 21" ultralightweight swivel wheel bag and weigh no more than 22 lbs.
Rick Steves travels that way and even publishes a packing list.
I have traveled that way for years, and get lighter every trip.
Even my wife has learned to travel lightweight. She mixes and matches clothes and always looks great.
And after having checked luggage problems with airlines, we refuse to check any luggage.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:19 AM   #12
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We tend to travel with one large checked bag each, one or two carry on roller bags, and a backpack each.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:20 AM   #13
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Typical trips for us are 2-4 weeks. We each carry this:
https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/classic-backpack
and this:
https://www.amazon.com/Nicgid-Should...sbody+backpack

Rick Steves' packing list is a good starting point, but we try to go even lighter. The soft construction convertible bag can be stuffed into smaller overhead bins. Being able to put them on our backs frees up both hands. Rough streets and curbs are a nightmare for roller bags. Walking directly out of the airport without waiting for luggage is awesome.

The cross body bag works as our day bag. They can be on our backs for walking, or brought around in front for easy access and theft protection in crowds.

Best travel advice I ever got:

"For a great trip, take half the stuff and twice the money", and
"Assume you won't see your checked bag until your trip is over, so just don't do it!"

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Old 12-06-2018, 07:03 AM   #14
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On our latest, (unfortunately aborted), trip we each took one carry-on and found them to be more than sufficient.
^^^This^^^

An "Air Boss" holds enough clothes for a couple of weeks.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:31 AM   #15
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I'm usually going on bike trips and have two or three pairs of bike shorts and jerseys in addition to the regular cothes. DW and I just check a duffel and carry on a small bag with meds, documents and an emergency change.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:35 AM   #16
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We only go with carry on. Seven days or seven weeks. But I realize that this does not work for everyone. I have a 20" Eagle Creek, spouse has a 20" Rick Steves. Sometimes DW will put a few items in my bag as I usually have a bit of extra room. I used to carry a small backpack for book and ipad but I ditched this. Spouse has a big purse. We keep a nylon shell of a bag in our suitcase for the beach/daybag or in case we are concerned about being overweight. More than once I have put things in and carried over my shoulder if I thought the airline was really going to weigh AND I thought that one of us (guess who) had an overweight bag. It can handle 1.5-2Kg in a pinch. When we got serious about carry on only we started with bag instead of what we thought we wanted to pack. That made us prioritize (and focus).

I think that you should consider how you travel. If you are doing trains, rental cars, ferry, etc. you will be lifting suitcases-especially on trains. We also rent a small car so we either need a trunk or more often we get a liftback. Our bags fit comfortably and are not visible to the outside when we rent a Fiat Panda!

Hotels? We stay at all sorts. B&B's, apts, higher end. Will you be staying somewhere where you may have to carry your bags up two or three flights of stairs?

Will you be going from airport to hotel or might you be carrying you bags over uneven pavement or cobblestones. If it is the latter, forget the 4 wheel jobs and stick with a roller with 2 very good inline wheels.

If you are using discount airlines in Europe be aware that the size restrictions are slightly smaller for carry on (20") and the weight restriction is typically in the 7 or 8 KG (16-18LBS).
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:47 AM   #17
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We tend to travel with one large checked bag each, one or two carry on roller bags, and a backpack each.
Do you have the furniture shipped separately?
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:51 AM   #18
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Sometimes DW will put a few items in my bag as I usually have a bit of extra room.
Even though we have carry-ons, DW, (packer extraordinaire), splits our things between them...just in case one bag 'goes missing'.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:10 AM   #19
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We tend to travel with one large checked bag each, one or two carry on roller bags, and a backpack each.
And these two go in the hold, both marked with the appropriate tag.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:22 AM   #20
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And these two go in the hold, both marked with the appropriate tag. ...
Funny. We were on a short Road Scholar trip a few years ago, maybe six days. As we were leaving we ended up talking to another couple who were marveling at our two small bags. In conversation we learned that the woman had brought a different pair of shoes for every day!

For the record, I only remember carrying an extra pair of shoes on one trip -- to the Galapagos where water shoes were required for some landings. At most, DW carries one extra pair besides her hiking boots.
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