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Backpack or not?

Old Apr 12th, 2002, 05:56 AM
  #1  
Steven
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Backpack or not?

I was wondering what experienced travelers carry around when exploring streets of Europe. Since you, probably, want to have some printed guide, Fodors or Eyewitness Guide can be quite heavy, bottle a water, possibly some snack, sunglasses, etc.

Do you prefer a backpack? Something else?

Steven
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 06:27 AM
  #2  
Ronda
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We always take a Jansport type backpack with our shaving and make-up kits, camera, and other items. When we arrive at our destination, we dump everything out and use the back pack for a day pack. Gotta watch those zippers though. Make sure your wallet is secure.

I have taken a backpack type purse with a side zipper. I know better than to put my wallet in there. Sure enough, everytime I get off the train, it is unzipped. Just maps and waterbottles though.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #3  
Betsy
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I carry a very lightweight black sport mesh Jansport type backpack that I bought at Ross. I use a little padlock to secure the zipper tabs together on the one compartment where I put valuables such as my wallet and passport. I like it because one shoulder is not weighed down by a handbag and both hands are left free. I've tried lots of combinations and permutations of what to carry, and this works best for me.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 07:00 AM
  #4  
Ellen
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I don't carry a backpack as they are too cumbersome and hot. I switched to one of those lightweight safari vests with a million pockets. It's perfect. I looked very touristy though - so I made my husband wear it! : - )
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #5  
Bev
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I used a backpack last year and it is a big hassle to have to take it off your back every time you want to get your camera or guidebook out. I am looking for a bag/purse I can sling across my chest, hold in the front of me for easy access into it. Just big enough for my point and shoot camera, small guidebook, and a few small items. I thought it would look a little more fashionable too Any suggestions?
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 09:20 AM
  #6  
elaine
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Bev
For years I've been using various versions of a black microfiber totebag.
It's pretty big, weighs not much when it's empty. It's water repellant. On the plane it's my carryon bag with no extra purse needed. While traveling it's my day bag, no extra purse. (I pack a small bag for evenings I want to dress a little.) Roomy enough for guide book, map, assorted papers, small camera, wallet and cc cards, travel umbrella, even a light sweater or jacket can be jammed in. It has some stucture and lots of zippered inside and outside pockets, so not everything falls to the bottom in one heap and it will stay open while I rummage through it, it doesn't collapse on itself. A zipper closes the top. It has long straps that go over my shoulder, though not across my chest. I'm happy to say I've never been a victim of pickpocketing and I do't use security wallets or money belts.
Just look around department stores, especially in the less-expensive handbag areas. Travel stores like Magellan's (toll free phone or website) may also have something, but it doesn't have to be specified as a travel bag. A good one will last years, and I've never paid more than $50, probably less.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 09:35 AM
  #7  
Liz
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Bev- Have a look at www.lesportsac.com

They have all kinds of light-weight totes and bags. I bought the deluxe messenger. It suits my needs.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 09:49 AM
  #8  
elvira
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My valuables (passport, tickets, ATM card, dough) go into a microfiber purse that slings across my chest (it's really flat, so it holds only the valuables, and is very comfortable; bought on sale at Target a couple of years ago). Boy, have I cut down on what I tote around (I'd say it was because I'm older and wiser, but it's really because I'm older and arthritic): no guidebook, just a couple of typewritten pages of itinerary/notes; camera and a couple of rolls of film. If it's rainy, I have a Totes umbrella that weighs absolutely nothing, and that I take. All of this goes into this cheezy nylon bag (bought on sale, from Samsonite, it zips up into itself) that's big enough to carry purchases. It will never make Vogue magazine, but it weighs nothing empty, and that's my criterion for any sort of carrying thingy.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 10:46 AM
  #9  
ttttt
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ttttt
 
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #10  
Judy
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Just a reminder, faa is only allowing one personal item and one carry on and a backpack is counted as a carry on (can't be considered your purse or briefcase). I had to check my roller because of this new law.
 

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