Best bag to use for 25 days in EU?

Old May 20th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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Best bag to use for 25 days in EU?

I am going to Europe for 25 days with a travel company. I won't have to lug my bag everywhere with me as I'll be able to leave it on the bus or at the hotel.

I've heard that for going all over Europe, it is best to get a backpack (maybe one with wheels).

Or would it be better to get a hard suitcase or duffel bag?
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:34 AM
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By the way, it is a whirlwind trip.
Ireland, Wales, England, Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain in 25 days.
So I'll pretty much be living out of the bag I bring.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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In Europe we always travel with backpack style carry-on size bags. We find that wheels are only marginally useful -- bad sidewalks, no curb cuts, lots of stairs, etc. Wheels adds weights and take up space. However, some will prefer wheels. Mostly a matter of personal preference.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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In Amsterdam: Dime.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 07:04 AM
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For a 25 day trip where you don't anticapate having to cart about your luggage to often, I'd go for a large wheeled duffel. Something like this one.

http://www.pentagondirect.com/p/over...-free-delivery
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Old May 20th, 2010, 07:10 AM
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When I travelled to Africa, I had a large backpack for inter-city travel. Incorporated into this backpack via zippers was a smaller shoulder backpack. So once at a location, I could use this "day" pack for wandering around. I'll see if I can find the brand name from home.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Your tour company may put some boundaries on what size/number luggage you may take on the trip--check that first.

Restricting yourself to one 22" rollaboard or a backpack is not as important for a tour as for when one is traveling solo via train and bus and will be moving about alot. Do take something you can handle on your own up/down some stairs. And remember that the suitcase will have to go somewhere in your small room, which may get crowded.

With a trip where you will be having many short stays, I think the organization of the bag and access will be as important as the type of bag. It would be best to have groups of outfits together rather than all your tops in one place, bottoms in another, etc. so you do not have to take everything out of the bag at each stop. Many people like the mesh packing cubes--I haven't used them so can't say if that is the best solution.

Get something that is versatile enough that you will use it again, not just one trip. Some people like the softsided expandable bags so they leave home with it unexpanded, then when they buy souvenirs or just can't get everything back in as neatly as when they started, the bag can expand 1-2" to accommodate.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:38 AM
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Lala, what company or school arranged this tour? From your various posts it looks like they are trying to just do a "touch-down" in as many countries as possible in the shortest period of time.

Here is why I bring this up, each time you move you lose at least .5 days. You have to check into your acomodation, you have to check out. If going by coach, then you have to drive to next location. If by air or train, you have to get to the terminal, wait, take the mode, disembark.

Honestly, this is like the craziest itinerary I've ever seen. Nine countries, 25 days. Minimum 5 days is travel time, probably closer to 8 or 9. If your 25 days includes your touchdown and take-off days, then you are down to 15 days in each country. That is little more than 36 hours per country, at the most 48 hours. I'd love to know the travel company that put this together as I fully believe you are being scammed. This makes no sense.

dave
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:42 AM
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I'll be spending 3 nights in London, Dublin, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam. 2 in Florence, 1 in Wales and Lucerne.
And we're taking night trains and night boat rides to each country.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Here is a link to the trip I am going on.

http://www.efcollegebreak.com/colleg...&tourcode=ITSB
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Old May 21st, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Now I see that it is EF. I will say that they are a reputable company ( I used to teach for EF Language, hence "daveesl"), but boy this is quite the whirlwind tour. And to be honest, you would have a hard time seeing all of those places in that amount of time for the prices quoted.

Now for the caveat. On much of the tour you are going to be in a bus. You are not doing only night trains and ferries, in fact, much of your itinerary is traveling from place to place in the day, which can be fine. I've never done a bus tour, nor would I ever, but for some it is fine.

This is a safe way to travel, which should make your folks happy. And it will give you a "taste" of some places and a "whiff" of others.

Have a fun and safe trip

dave
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Old May 21st, 2010, 11:12 AM
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<I've heard that for going all over Europe, it is best to get a backpack (maybe one with wheels). >>

What works best is entirely dependent on how you're traveling and personal preference.

If you're traveling alone, a smaller bag like a backpack or 20-22" roller is usually best as it's easier to manuever. Depending on how/where you're traveling a backpack can be best. If you're going carryon only you obviously need to stay to carryon size.

I've done quite a few bus trips and most people tend to bring a 24-26" roller bag. It's easy to organize stuff inside, no hassle in most situations and as long as you can carry it up and down the stairs yourself you're fine.

Most roller bags can expand so that you get an extra inch or two of depth as you make any purchases.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:35 PM
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On a tour - definitely a suitcase. You will be buying souvenirs and don't want them to get squashed by other 25'.

Pack your things into clear ziplock bags - they sell even 2 gallons, so you can see which one to unpack - you don't want to dig in the suitcase every morning.

Bring a backpack or a carry-on to keep your pajamas and toothbrush, this way you can put your suitcase outside the hotel room not being too rushed in the morning. This you can leave on the bus in the overhead bin during the day.

This means you will need a purse to keep your camera, money, wipes - whatever you need with you for sightseeing and restaurants.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Also bring a really strong alarm clock - not just your cell phone - after a night of drinking you won't hear it at 6 am!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 07:38 PM
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I would use a straight-forward 24" rolling suitcase. That gives you plenty of room to pack, but is still an easy to manage size. I have "lived out of" mine and it works well. Get one with some nice mesh interior pockets to organize things.

I would definitely not take a backpack for the trip you describe.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Wow, they really are trying to get you to most of western Europe in less than a month! I hope you enjoy it and are able to get a feel for where you'd like to go back to when you're able.

The reason people recommend a backpack or a small roller bag is because it's much, much easier to deal with when taking trains or climbing up stairs in small hotels without elevators. If you won't have to manage your bag in those kinds of situations, I'd focus more on getting a good quality suitcase that will hold up to being tossed in a bus twenty times.

I have the medium (carryon) and XL sizes of these LL Bean bags. The big one is great if I'm not moving around much (or if someone else is taking my bags everywhere) - it holds a LOT. It is definitely not great if I have to lug it up five flights of stairs myself, or cram it somewhere on the train. They're lightweight for roller suitcases, and I find the wheels really helpful. They've both held up well over the last three or four years - I'm not an extremely frequent traveler, but they've been tossed in car trunks and wheeled over cobblestones and shoved between train seats and still look and perform great.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63924?from=SR&feat=sr

Those two-gallon ziploc bags are wonderful. Ziploc bags of any size are your best friends.
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