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Need suitcase help...packing for 4 years studying in Japan!!!

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So, the only time I've ever traveled before was way back when I was 15 and I only went to Vegas for a week. This will be my first time traveling alone 100% and it'll be my first time out of country. And as well, I'll be gone for 4 years! I may even end up staying there to live and work. So I really need some help.

I've been looking at bags and was currently looking into something from American Tourister. At first I was thinking to get a 29 inch spinner bag, but I've read that 29 inches is really big and it sounds like, probably too big for my needs. So I was wondering, would 25 or 21 inches be better? I intend to have the bag checked regardless, but I'm also going to have to take the bags on a bus when I land in Narita to get to the university. I'm very weak (fuuu..) which is why I decided a spinner would be best for me, so I want a bag that's easy to handle so I was considering the 21 inch as most people seem to agree that 25 is a bit hard to maneuver. But would 21 inches be too small to pack for a trip of such length?? I can, of course, buy things when I get there. I should be able to fit shirts and dresses fine but I have a feeling my hips are too big to fit most (if not all) pants. (I wear a US size 6, although I hope to lose about 10 pounds! When I was 10 pounds lighter I was able to wear a size 4 in most brands).

But anyway, what are your opinions? What bag will be big enough for such a big trip, but also easy enough for a weakling like me to handle? >__<; Do you have any specific bag you would recommend??

I've also been having trouble finding a good carry-on bag. I intend to bring my laptop in it, as well as my canon camera and maybe other things, too. But I can't find a bag that looks like it would comfortably and safely store both of those things. :/ If you can suggest any, I'd be really happy.

Thanks!

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