3.5 Weeks in Europe with no luggage

Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:13 AM
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3.5 Weeks in Europe with no luggage

Hello -

Early next year, Husband and I are heading to 6 European countries in 18 days and are thinking of not carrying luggage to avoid wasting time in the airports.

Are there tips you can share on how to go about only having a carry-on? Husband thinks we should buy those honking backpacks but I personally think those bags are better suited for camping not in a Eurotrip - I dunno. Perhaps because the bags are almost 4 feet tall????
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Determine what the currently-mandated size of carry-on bag is and stick to it. Something 4 feet tall will NOT be allowed as a carry-on. I use a duffle bag with zippered expandable ends so if I do need extra room I have it, but at the same time I can keep it small for conveniently carrying on a plane. It's a challenge to narrow down what you bring with you but if you pack it in the smaller configuration you'll always be "legal".
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:19 AM
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How will you be traveling? Unless you are flying on low cost carriers, there is no need to worry about the size of the bag other than if you wish to carry it.
I use a backpack because I go to small towns without a car, and I rarely have the time to wait if my bag is delayed (experienced it once--DH's bag was flown over to our island on a helicopter!). I do not use a large frame backpack--mine is soft sided but with support and is about the same measurements as a legal carry-on would be (45 linear inches). Mine, made by Osprey, has a flap where you can store the straps and use it as a duffel bag, a nice feature I think.
There are hundreds of discussion of this here, but it all comes down to the specifics of your travel plans and your personal preference.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:21 AM
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What are the other two countries you haven't mentioned? There is IMO only one "tip" and that is plan on doing some laundry.

Personally I think having to DO laundry often is a much bigger "waste of time" than waiting for my luggage to come off the carousel. Yes, I realize that luggage can get lost but it usually doesn't.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Forgot to mention that I travel for 4 weeks at a time with this small bag and accept the fact that I have to do laundry more often than someone using a larger configuration.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:41 AM
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You cannot take a 4' back pack on the plane with you. I fyouplan ondoing this you need to check on the regs of all airlines you will be flying on and be sure they fit.

I flown to and fro Switz quite a bit in the last few years to see a client and on the trip back to the US on local airlines the US size carry-on isn't even allowed - you must have one that is no more than 19" - including handle and wheels. Have seen many US travelers have to gate check their US legal carry-on - that was 21" or 22".

You can't just haul anything on the plane because it's a "back pack" versus a "suitcase" - it's the SIZE that matters.

As for tips -

Take dark colors so don't show the dirt
Limit yourself to 2 pairs of shoes - the larger/heavier worn on the plane
Assume you will do a lot of laundry
Make sure whatever you get is either easy to pull (sturdy wheels) or comfy to carry (no way would I make myself into a Sherpa)
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:47 AM
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I'm with Dukey1--I'd rather carry a lot more underwear and socks than to have to spend time finding a Laundromat and doing laundry every other day or so. That dwarfs the few extra minutes in the airport waiting for the bags to come off the carousel. I think it's sort of fun to watch the people retrieving their bags and to have my anxiety relieved when ours finally show up.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:56 AM
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18 days is not 3.5 weeks. And if you're really planning to go to 6 countries in 18 days, you have bigger problems than luggage and laundry.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:01 AM
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I guess I don't see why a person on an 18 day trip would be doing "a lot" of laundry unless it's high summer and you're getting seriously sweaty. I don't wash my sweaters or jeans often at all, even at home. If you're staying in proper hotels, you use the laundry service and waste no time at all. If all you're laundering is underwear socks and a couple of t-shirts, it won't even cost that much.

But nyt is right, determine the size of carryon that is allowed by the carriers you plan to use, which will be the 19"; and buy one, from Zappos perhaps, so you can return it for free, and see what you can put in it. If it works, great, opa, you're off to the races! (You will be able to bring two bags each on board, one that will fit under the seat in front of you, and one in the overhead.)

Personally, I find carry-on only very freeing, but to each his own.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Airports are not the only place you have to deal with the consequence of large/heavy luggage. Every time you move luggage, any transportation, checking into hotels without elevators, getting to a hotel requiring hauling luggage because the uneven cobble stones making your fist size luggage wheels useless, etc.
Laundry can be a burden if you choose to make it that way. If you have chosen relevant fabric, they can be washed and rinsed in minute in the hotel room sink or shower and be dry by the time you wake up in the morning allowing to pack them or hang them in the room closet in time for the breakfast. You have to make trade-offs, if you don't want to deal with laundry because "it is a vacation" , then deal with the consequence of hauling items no longer usable until you get home.
Packing is a long-tail event. There are items people take at the tail end of usage pattern - used for just one time for few hours, if at all. They can be a space/weight hog. You would become more aware of how you use your items, which items can be used for multiple purposes, and which items have "acceptable" substitutes to eliminate "best" but rarely used bulky/heavy items.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:17 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the tips. Also got a tip from a co-worker today. She said maybe try to wear layers and layers of clothes while you're in the airport and then just take them all off when you're on the plane. Smart! Has anybody been caught pulling a stunt like this one?
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:21 AM
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I opened this thread to see how you would travel for 3.5 weeks with only the outfit you were wearing. Now I see that you are taking luggage.

A carry on bag is luggage. And a 4 foot bag is not a carry on.

I travel with a 19" roller bag and a small soft-sided duffel (carry on). I can live for a month with this and wash clothes in the hotel sink. The clothes soak while I take a shower.

With only 3 days per country, I would not want to sit around in a laundromat for 2 to 3 hours waiting for the washing to be finished.

My rule is that I have to wear everything I bring a minimum of 3 times during the trip unless it's a specialty item such as a water proof jacket/poncho.

PS 18 days is 2.5 weeks, not 3.5 weeks.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:22 AM
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hilarious.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Thank you Adrienne - yes it is 2.5 weeks. Sorry for the typo. 18 days is 2.5 weeks.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:30 AM
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We always travel carry-on only. When we went to Iceland for 2 weeks, meeting the weight requirement was a challenge. I think it was 13 pounds (or something around that). I did put on my coat which is roomy and was carrying DHs camera lenses, one in each pocket. He wore one of those Scotte vests and had several things in the pockets. It went smoothly and was not much trouble. Good luck!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Depends on how ridiculous you get about it. Certainly wearing a few layers - eg a tee shirt, a thin sweater, a thicker sweater and a light jacket is OK. In fact you WANT to be using layers so you can adjust what you need rather than have for example three different thickness sweaters. But no, I wouldn't be putting on three pairs of jeans or something stupid like that.

You can also put small heavy items in your pockets - like phone, camera, tablet, etc. (helps to have a jacket, even if it's light weight windbreaker type, with big pockets). Because it's not just the SIZE of your bag, it's also the weight. But all airlines have this information on their websites. The strictest may be 19" but many are 20 or even 21 but that includes handles and wheels - not every bag you can buy that is labeled 'carry-on' meets the restrictions of every airline. You can get some that are ultra light weight.

But based on your other thread and the itinerary you are having I would definitely urge you to go carry on only. Most airlines allow one 'carry-on' bag PLUS one 'personal item' (again, go to the airline web site and see the size and weights - often the personal item is not weighed, that's where I put my electronics and heavy items). Easyjet is an exception - they allow ONE carry-on - if you have a purse or laptop bag, etc it much go INSIDE the 'carry-on'.

There are MANY threads here on packing light and carry on only. Type 'carry on only' into the search function at the top of the page. Hundreds of tips.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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When you take all your layers off, where do you think you'll put them? Your friend is not so smart, and I don't think you've thought about this at all.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:37 AM
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I know from your other posts you are taking some inter europeon flights.. they tend to be very strict on carry on size and weight.
Yes,, my husband did see a young man in Berlin airport.. his bag was overweight and he did in fact start pulling on clothes in layers over his clothes.. not recommended idea though.. lol

Also note.. some airlines say ONE carry on they mean ONE,, not one carry on suitcase AND a purse or camera bag.. so I advise you to read CAREFULLY all the luggage rules on each airline you are taking. Having to pay for a checked bag at the airport is more expensive then prepaying for one .
I have no trouble travelling for 2 -3 weeks with one small carry on.

I find it takes me all of 5 minutes to wash some socks and undies in a sink,, not sure how some people find that so time consuming..
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:37 AM
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These are the two suitcases we use for our two months in Europe. They are carry-ons on large airplanes, such as flying from coast-to-coast or across the Atlantic, but it is not clear that low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet would accept them as carry-ons.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623094971409/
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Six countries in eighteen days? Are you even going to have time to do laundry?

The previous replies have already explained why you won't be carrying on a 40 liter backpack. If you're hell-bent on a carry on only and want a backpack, I highly recommend the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender: http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/m...ertible/143101

Depending on the time of year you travel, you can easily fit a week's worth of clothes in it plus electronics.
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