Backpack or Suitcase or Both...

Apr 22nd, 2013, 08:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Backpack or Suitcase or Both...

So I'm traveling aboard in just over a week...Going to Berlin, Austria and Italy(Florence, Venice and Rome). I'm trying to decide WHAT to pack in..

Now my plan right now is to pack a small roll-suitcase(it's very small and can actually fight a lot because the top expands)...that would be for my clothes.

But I also want to bring my backpack. It's just a regular backpack....It could fit my very small netbook computer and all the other things I'd be bringing along..

I also want to make sure I have something to carry my computer around with me as a I walk. I'd like to spend at least an hour a day, sitting a coffee, taking in the sights, relaxing and writing. Writing is a big part of my trip.

But I can't imagine walking around each day with a backpack strapped to my back, so I guess I'll need to buy a day bag...My netbook is small and light, so just need to find one that fits that and my kindle(where all my travel books/maps are stored)...

Now I some people get those big backpacks and just travel with those but I'm not sure if I want to do that...or can even afford it. I'd imagine my clothes getting keep all my things together seems like a recipe for disaster. Can I really put all things in one bag? And I'd need to buy a new backpack...and I have no clue what sort of backpack to buy. Definitely don't want to buy anything I'd have to check.

So yeah would a backpack and a small rolling suitcase be too much? Plus whatever day bag I buy. What's the best way to go about this if I'm bringing a netbook?
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
You can fit a week's worth of clothes in a bag if you pack smart.

I suggest the eBags Weekender. You can fit a week's worth of clothes in it, you can carry it on the plane, plus there is room for your netbook. It's a really well put together bag. For your day to day activities, bring a small-medium messenger bag that your netbook and accessories can fit inside.

If you're more comfortable with a small roller suitcase, pair that with a messenger bag for your daily outings.

Netbooks are small so you can get away with a smaller messenger bag than a normal laptop.

Also, be advised that aside from some hotels, free WiFi is extremely hard to find in Germany.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,621
I use both, a small rolling suitcase that I check and a daypack that I carry on in addition to a purse or tote. After years on the road I find it's the best solution for me. When I take a side trip or go walking for a week I leave the suitcase at a hotel and just take the day pack. Filled with tablet, toiletries, emergency clothing items (in case the checked bag needs a day to catch up with me although it never does), it's heavy but manageable to carry on. I see no reason to carry everything on as the airlines do a good job of it in my experience.

I think there's a myth regarding carry-ons that it's the experienced travelers who take everything with them rather than check bags. I think it's the opposite. It seems to me it's the inexperienced ones struggling with all their worldly goods and fighting for overhead bin space while the experts check and relax. Not 100% I know but seems mostly that way to me. One can just tell by the anxiety levels.
MmePerdu is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,621
Sparkchaser is quite right. It's what you pack not how much that makes the difference. If you plan to travel more I suggest you invest in a few clothing pieces that you can rinse out and dry overnight. I can be on the road for 6 months, not just a week, with a smaller than maximum carry-on sized bag. I pick up accessories as I travel to keep absolute boredom with my clothes at bay.
MmePerdu is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Yeah I don't plan on packing too much clothes. I just fear being short of things and not having room for stuff or having too much room and carrying bigger bags than I should. I just found a small bag that might be able to fit what I need it too..

But I guess my normal sized backpack and wheely wouldn't be too much? All my hostels have lockers and wifi. And I'm not looking to get onto wifi outside, just writing. What two things be too much. When I'm out and when I'm sleeping where do I keep valuables(? Lockers? In bag or outside it?
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,505
Backpacks, even day packs, are awkward in crowded urban environments. Every time you turn, you whack somebody behind you. Getting anything out is a yoga exercise -- except for pickpockets. A messenger-style bag with its strap slung across your chest is more secure and convenient, and the right shape for a notebook computer.
Southam is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Sorry on cellphone shopping and clicked too soon. But continuing where do I keep tickets, passport wallet? On me at all times in those bags?

Also off topic but where do I get a money belt. Can't seem to find one.
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,871
I agree with Southam about backpacks. They're a menace on public transportation and an invitation to pickpockets. I take a 21" rollaboard and a medium-size cross-body bag (same one I use at home; I don't like trying out new equipment when traveling). I never use a money belt and always have my passport, wallet, tickets, etc. inside a zippered compartment in the purse.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Hmm yeah I was thinking about a messenger bag. Haven't found one that isn't super bulky though the one I just found is super small instead.

Isn't that risky to career with you though? All those things together at once in one place?
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,871
Can't be too risky, as I've made well over 100 trips to Europe and never lost anything or had anything stolen. Other people lock things up in hotel safes, split up their money, and do things just depends what works for you. What works for me is not to vary the routine I'm perfectly comfortable with here in the USA (or anywhere else) and always to be aware of my surroundings and not be distractable.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 12,611
How are you travelling between the places you plan to visit? If you are flying you will almost certainly need to check the bag with your clothes in it, since one piece of carry-on means just that on all low cost and most legacy airlines.

Find a small messenger type bag for your valuables. Keep it on you. Have a look at Pacsafe for instance - their bags are slash proof and have wire through the strap so it can't be sliced. Keep the bag to your front at all times. You are unlikely to be robbed, but better safe than sorry. A wide shoulder strap will be most comfortable for you.
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,282
I use a carry on suitcase and another small bag for electronics, medicines, papers,and pack an empty day pack and purse in my suitcase; they don't take up much room at all. I have both Rick Steves and Nike day packs.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
I guess I could buy these online or would luggage stores carry them?

And I'm doing all trains and hostels. Don't plan on taking many taxis.
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 350
I have a Tumi crossbody messenger bag that I love.
Inside zipper pocket big enough for my passport and extra
money. Two compartments with a couple of pockets on each side
for phone, lipstick, etc.
Zipper pocket on the front and slipper space on the back the my iPad just fits into.
Very thin nylon - so the bag itself doesn't weigh more than several ounces.
Strap can easily be adjusted to fit crossbody or just over my shoulder.
Comes in many colors.
loveyblue is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Pacsafe seems like a nice bag. Decent size that could probably fit what I need + safe.

Which of these do you think is best...I'll be carrying a netbook, folders(with tickets), and a kindle. I guess I'll be keeping my toiletries and misc items in my suitcase(though I'll probably divide between the two)...

I'm an amazon prime member so I don't really need to worry about shipping. Can get it in two days.

I should use these as my dags right? And I guess they'd be my "second" luggage to store all my "other"(tickets, electronics, passport) items.

Another quick would most hostels have room with two bags. Storage locker wise...I wouldn't want to keep my dag bag in there. I know lots have safe lockers(one of them have them right by the bed)...

One thing I do is use my phone as an alarm clock...which is important in terms of waking up to catch trains...So where do I store dag bags and computers?
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 11:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Also does anyone think the bag might be a bit too...womanly? It's called a handbag after all....But it seems to be the bigger of the two options.
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Assuming you're not as experienced European traveler as StCirq, bring a money belt. I do and I don't know how many times I've been to Europe. It's just safer -- for your credit/debit cards, passport, tickets. When you arrive, you'll be jet-lagged and sleepy for a day or so. En route, you'll be in foreign cities finding your way around when not everybody speaks English. You'll have to concentrate on protecting your phone, netbook, and Kindle. There's just an extra degree of general confusion. It's more pleasant not to have to worry about your non-electronic valuables.

BTW, can you read books on your notebook? We have a Kindle app on our iPad as well as Overdrive. So no need to bring a Kindle.

You can buy a money belt on line at Amazon. Or from a travel supplies store. There are different styles for you to pick from.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 03:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 24
Thanks Mimar and everyone else too! And yeah I can read books in my netbook but I need to be connected to the internet, so I still need the kindle..which is alright because it's super thin.

I bought the Pacsafe Luggage Mircosafe but a version that was just a tiny bit bigger then the one above. It looks good, so excited for it to come.

I guess I'll buy the money belt, just to be safe. I think at least traveling to the airport, it would make me feel better knowing my passport is right on me. Don't have to wear it all the time and with my pacsafe, I wouldn't have to wear it all the time.
JKline1229 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2013, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,522
I'd wear the $belt all the time..Also lock the zippers or use rwist ries.. Open season for pickpockets and electronics no matter how aware you are of your things.. Any deteriment that can slow them down and let you come home with the toys you took with you!!!
amer_can is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:47 PM.