Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Best Luggage Sizes for Planes, Trains, etc.

Best Luggage Sizes for Planes, Trains, etc.

Aug 4th, 2009, 09:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15
Best Luggage Sizes for Planes, Trains, etc.

I will be spending a month traveling in several European countries, flying, renting a car and using trains. Am I better off with 2 carry-on size suitcases or one larger medium-sized bag (too large to check)? I am thinking of navigating train stations and city streets. (Of course I will try for one carry-on size but I'm not sure I'll succeed.) Thanks for your advice!
keysgirl is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,186
Two smaller bags are better. I use a 22-inch rolling carry-on and a matching shoulder tote that can attach to the top of the rolling bag. It's easier to maneuver the smaller bags, disconnecting them from one another as necessary to deal with stairs, train station, getting on and stowing on trains, and so forth.
ellenem is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,247
I'm 5'2" and am not a body-builder. I travel solo a lot and use plenty of public transport (buses, trains, planes etc). I use a 19" carryon suitcase, plus a small day bag. I never travel with more than I can handle myself - by that I mean:

1) I can easily lift the luggage into a overhead bin
2) I can climb 3 flights of stairs with luggage without difficulty
yk is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,414
Hi kg,

Whether you are going for a weekend, a week or a month, you don't need more than a 22" with wheels and a totebag.

Wash your undies in the sink. Use a laundromat every 2 weeks or so.

ira is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
I travel solo a lot too, so I must be able to stow my bags in the overhead on the plane or on the overhead rack on the train. I travel with a roll-on computer bag and another carry computer bag that attaches to the roll-on. I do have to wash my clothes during my 3 weeks stay, but I have no choice but to pack light.
scatcat is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
After my last trip, I swore to do carryon-only whenever I possibly could. That will especially hold true for my next trip, when I'm planning on using a lot of trains (not always direct ones) and staying in hotels which likely don't have elevators. I'd rather wear the same clothes a few times than lug more luggage around train stations, cobblestone streets and narrow staircases. Right now for that trip I'm planning on a carryon roller and a messenger bag.

One other thing to keep in mind: When you are flying, which airlines are you using? The budget airlines (e.g., Ryanair and Easyjet, among others) have very strict luggage rules and high fees for overweight luggage, plus fees for checking bags. Make sure you know what you're dealing with.
jent103 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 11:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15
Thank you everyone for your quick and helpful responses.
keysgirl is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,607
I am a girly girl and I traveled for 6wks in Europe with a 21" roller and a messenger day bag. You can do it if you force yourself to be ruthless when packing. (I have a harder time paring down my toiletries rather than clothes but I force myself and it's worth it.)

You will never regret packing light but you will get tired of schlepping a bigger bag if you can't carry it easily. On my last trip there was always some girl struggling to deal with her bag on stairs and trains (not the same one everywhere!), and we were glad not to be her.
cheryllj is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 132
I would suggest that one of the bags be a smaller/medium size backpack. Having this on your back and wheeling a 22" worked for me.
barbmc is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Just a thought: I like a messenger bag better than a backpack for traveling, because in crowded spaces (like a bus or subway car) they're much easier to spin around to be at your front. This not only is less annoying to people around you (I've accidentally knocked more than a few people with a bag on my back!), but lets you keep a better eye on your bag and thwart any potential theft attempts. When neither is necessary, they go on your back like a backpack. A good one fit properly will distribute the weight pretty well.
jent103 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,247
I'm like jent103, I prefer a messenger-type bag where I can wear it in the FRONT of my body, so I can keep my hand and eyes on it at all times. With a carryon, one of my hands is already occupied, and I definitely look like a tourist which makes me an obvious target for thieves. I like to be able to keep my other hand on my day bag.
yk is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,939
I have been hit in the head many times while I'm seated on the plane and a person passing by with a backpack whacks me. They usually don't even know that it hit me, but I let them know. I've also been in a store in the airport when a person wearing a small backpack knocked items off a shelf. I think it's easy to forget that they are wearing it.
scatcat is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Sep 20th, 2017 05:37 PM
May 19th, 2013 10:31 AM
Oct 20th, 2008 11:09 AM
Jun 14th, 2006 09:32 PM
Aug 20th, 2002 06:49 PM

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 03:30 AM.