Travel Bags

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Jan 24th, 2006, 09:51 PM
  #1
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Travel Bags

What is the best type of luggage (no backpack please) to take on a trip to Ghana? I had a very large/heavy suitcase for 3 weeks in Morocco & it really held me back. Any ideas? I do so like to pick up souvenirs/carvings etc.How do people do this?
lollylo25 is offline  
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Jan 24th, 2006, 11:02 PM
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Security wise I always take a hard sided case... one of those plastic moulded cases. Slightly harder to rob.
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Jan 25th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Hello,

If you like to buy heavy things like carvings, you might be better off with a small rollaboard type. If you'll be negotiating a lot of steps, a dufflebag would be easier. I use a rollaboard when travelling on business, and a dufflebag when on safari.

If you get a well-made soft-sided case, it will be equally hard to rob, as the fabric resists tearing and even knives. It will also be a lot lighter than one of those plastic hard-sided cases, and lighter weight seems to be a priority for you.

If you want luggage which will take a beating and last forever, take a look at Tumi or Hartmann. Not cheap, but I've had my Hartmann duffle for over ten years now and it still looks new.

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 1st, 2006, 07:06 PM
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I have a luggage obsession. Smiles. I've owned LOTS of brands and I love Kipling (kipling.com). I don't know where you live, but there are Kipling stores. We have two in L.A. area and while on vacation in Texas in October, the only Kipling outlet in the U.S. had just opened in San Marcos, I think the name of the place was...outside of San Antonio. I don't know if they ship. I've bought Kipling since around the early 90s. I was in Ghana both Dec 2003/Jan 2004 and Dec 2004/Dec 2005 and I took the Kipling suitcases both times.I own everything from Kipling-Tumi-Samsonite-Vuitton-Travel Pro and everything in between. Smiles. I packed my 22/23-inch Kipling carry-on with everything I needed to survive on...for two weeks... in case the checked suitcase got lost.I also took the Kipling 24/25-inch suitcase which is deep so I'm able to pack a lot of textiles in it. Kipling also has a 19-inch carry-on which I sometimes take on the plane instead of the 22/23-inch one since on overseas flights sometimes they make passengers check in 22/23-inch suitcases.I've seen it happen many times and it has occasionally happened to me although I was within the size limit....just don't overstuff it if you use that size. The airlines can be very picky and it depends a lot on who's working your flight on your departure day. From the States to overseas it's usually not such a problem, but coming back in the other direction it can be a real headache...especially if changing planes in Europe.Hope this has helped. Happy Travels!
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:35 AM
  #5
 
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If it's a case (ha ha) of taking it off the plane, putting it on a coach, then putting it in a hotel then hardsided is OK.

BUT if you are travelling around, especially by local transport then get a soft bag (not case) as it's less likely to get punctured by some sharp object.
alanRow is offline  
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Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Ooh.. packing. We've been doing this three or four times a month for the last ten years (packing for long distance trips that is, not going on holiday ... unfortunately) so hopefully I can help.

This may not be everyone's cup of tea but when we go on holiday we take quite a few things that are fairly old or that we won't miss and wear them on occasions when it doesn't matter much how we look (I know for some people that is NEVER). We then basically dump this gear as it becomes clear we have enough good stuff to see us through until the end of the holiday and fill the space vacated in our suitcase with souvenirs or carvings or whatever. Books are also chosen for disposability - or magazines if you are someone who cannot bear to throw or give away books. Toiletries never come home.

Speaking on behalf of my wife her advice for women would be to travel with a gentleman and share one suitcase. Surprisingly luggage never holds her back.

This may be obvious, but you should probably pack everything breakable or crushable in your carry-on luggage if you are using a soft sided suitcase - unless it is a real whopper. Our soft sided case got lost in transit on the way to Kenya last year and when we got it back everything inside was crushed - and this was a pretty big suitcase with a frame and very sturdy canvas. We had not had a problem before. Fortunately we only lost some toiletries. My wife never takes a soft sided suitcase on her working trips because she has seen too many sad stories at the carousel - and hse is always bring back stuff like pate, cream cheese and wine!). However, you can pack a smaller hard box inside the suitcase to carry breakables. Lighweight and unbreakable boxes are sold at camping/outdoors stores in my experience. It cuts into your luggage space though and these boxes are a little expensive to dump, so I normally do the carrying breakables thing.

What Julian says about theft is I think true, but Julian have you really gone at your bag with a knife to check it out... Or did you check that out in the shop when the sales assistant is turned his back? "Excuse me, this one's got a big line down the side - can you get me another?". :-"

(Except on holiday with her husband) my wife currently uses a plastic moulded case but the plastic is pliable and much lighter than a Samsonite or equivalent. It is surprisingly sturdy, despite appearances -so far around 100 trips and no breakages; however it does have to zip close because the air needs to escape if it is put under a lot of pressure and there is a slight theft vulnerability there.

I think most people mail back larger or heavier things. Decent guidebooks normally tell you in some detail how to do this and roughly how much it will cost.

Final tip is to thoroughly research the shops in the city you will be flying out from. You will often find you can get almost anything in a capital city if you know where to go and it may well be cheaper if you are in a country where haggling is the norm. Then try to resist the urge buy stuff you can buy in the city until the last day (this is at the very least theoretically possible!)

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