backpacks europe

Old Jan 5th, 2004, 03:30 PM
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backpacks europe

Hello, my husband and I are training Europe at the end of May for 3 weeks...We are in our early 30s and taking our backpacks because they are easier to pack..Is this safe/recommended?
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Will your backpacks be your only luggage? They make no sense to me, compared to a "rollaboard" but I'll concede that it might be a personal preference.

There are many good threads on how (not so) much to pack to make your trip more enjoyable.

Here's an olde but goodie, even if it is lengthy:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34441925

You may find that you find a lot of good information for backpackers at the ThornTree forum(s) of www.lonelyplanet.com

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Also the forums at:

www.eurotrip.com
www.guideforeurope.com
www.bugeurope.com

I haven't used backpacks yet, but my kids like them better than suitcases.
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Advantages of backpack vs rollaboard. Just one cats opinion.

They don't get rolled through dog doo in the dark. (I witnessed this in Paris.)

Much easier to carry up stairs.

Easier to lift onto trains. (Just do not turn around with it on your back.)

I can sprint with my 10kg on my back to track #187 in the alloted three minutes. (I am way past early 30s.)

Disadvantages are for short backed women ( due to sizeing)or for aging or weaker backs.

Take your pick and be happy.
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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My travelling partner(mid 40s) travels with me throughout Europe with a "fancy" backpack that also has small wheels and a pull handle. She swears by it. To each his/her own!
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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We switched to backpacks for a train trip last fall, Amsterdam-Cologne-Rhine-Basel-Luzern-Zurich. It was very easy to maneuver the train system and the bags were always small enough to keep by or above our seats (instead of the luggage storage). All of our hotels were within 0.8 km of a train station, so easy to walk to them. We used a taxi one time, only b/c hubby was not feeling well.

We liked the ability to get off the train at a stop, put packs in a locker and go explore. I guess you could do same with a 21" roller - we only needed one locker, maybe the rollers would need individual lockers (but hey, you're only talking 2E extra). We weren't sure before trying this that we would always be able to find a locker, so didn't want to be stuck with rolling luggage.

We were gone for 9 'hotel nights', though... you can do it too, but plan for doing laundry along the way. We dressed very casually and stayed in 2** or 3*** hotels, none of which would bat an eye at backpacks.

Having done that trip, a small rolling bag would have been fine as well. I'm reverting back to it for next trip b/c we aren't doing any side trips.
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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There's no one right answer to this question (in my opinion). I was never of the backpack persuasion, but used a medium duffle with shoulder strap many trips. Lately I find a 22" rolling suitcase more comfortable (back problems).

As far as safety with backpacks, just don't have valuables accessible thru a zipper pocket, while your bag is on your back (especially in crowded places like subway). Some people use locks or mesh cages (but this seems a bit much to me).
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Just be sure to watch your back. Pardon the pun, but backpacks are a great resource for pick pockets. We've seen back packers in Europe with very nice gear that had a lock on the main compartment.
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the advice!!!!I think we'll do the backpacks, hopefully the hotel owners won't get mad at us??? But then again, we are staying in cheap hotels.
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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We've always carried backpacks as opposed to suitcases on our trips to Europe. I like not having to wait for luggage only to find it hasn't arrived. We also take small foldable bags and then fill them up with our dirty clothes and check them on the trip home. This way we have our backpacks with us full of the things we have purchased. We're heading back in March with our 2 children, 10 and 12, and they too our carrying backpacks. We've never had to do laundry in the past but maybe this time with the kids. Socks and underwear can be washed in the hotel sink. Have fun!
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 08:32 PM
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We're 60-something and we always use backpacks. I have no idea why a hotel would care what kind of luggage you carried. They are compact and convenient and you don't waste space with a wheelwell.

I have seen people wearing them backwards (small ones) to thwart pickpockets, but we've had no troubles. I do lock my main compartment with passport, money, etc.

Take them and enjoy your trip.
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