Buying new luggage-need advice!

May 11th, 2004, 05:10 AM
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Buying new luggage-need advice!

I have a really BIG suitcase and a small carry-on on wheels. We are four people going to Europe and sharing a car. So I'm thinking I'll buy a medium size suitcase. But I'm wondering if four people can fit four medium and four small suitcases into a trunk? We won't be doing a lot of travelling with the luggage (mostly staying in one or two places) but we have to get there! And I don't want to "hog" the trunk space with 2 pieces luggage. But I just don't think I can go to Europe with one medium sized suitcase! Or should I just take my one large suitcase?
bashful is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:13 AM
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Even Bentley won't hold that much luggage - eight suitcases in a boot, what car are you driving - a truck?
m_kingdom2 is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:18 AM
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Okay, let's set aside for the moment all the good advice you will get here about packing light.

I think you should do a trial packing.
Lay everything, and I mean everything, out on the bed, or on a sheet on the floor. Include shoes, accessories, whatever. Then, remove SEVERAL things.
Take the one sweater that goes with everything, or the two pairs of dark pants instead of two colors that won't mix and match. You don't say how long your trip is, but honestly, anything short of three weeks should fit into one medium size plus one tote or SMALL carry on bag. Please be aware that on overseas flights, carryons can be limited by weight not just by measurements, so most small carry on wheeled bags will be over the weight limit when packed, even when only half packed.

good luck
elaine is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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Essentially, you have two choices: take one small suitcase each or rent more cars. Even if you rent a van, you'll be hard-pressed to fit four medium-size and four small suitcases and four people in it.
StCirq is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 05:21 AM
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Will all this luggage fit in your personal car now? If not, you know it won't fit into your car in Europe. You need to get together with your traveling compainions and discuss the luggage rules or you could wind up in the "worst traveling companions" travel thread.

CarolA is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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For any of these recommendations to work you are going to have to get out of that mindset: "I just don't think I can go to Europe with one medium sized suitcase." Of course, if you really felt that way you wouldn't be wasting people's time asking for advice.

Here's one solution: lay out everything you want to take and then divide that into two halves and LEAVE one of the halves at home.

Another: pack everything you want to take into the suitcase. Carry the suitcase (no, don;t go running for "hubby" or "boy/girlfriend" this yourself) for 50 to 100 yards...still think you need five pairs of shoes?
Another: get over any hidden clothing agendas such as "I'll impress them all by wearing three different outfits every day" or leave them for the next high school reunion.
Finally: ignore all of those who are trying to be helpful, ditch your friend in Europe and rent a car just for your luggage.

Have a great trip.
May 11th, 2004, 06:18 AM
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If one rents "a car just for (one's) luggage" does it drive itself?
m_kingdom2 is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 06:31 AM
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If your small carry-on on wheels is 20-22", use that. If it is smaller and you want to get something a bit bigger, do not go any larger than 22". You can get everything you will need for a trip to Europe into a 22" bag.
mamc is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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We have done this same trip to Europe with four sharing a car on several occasions. Four small suitcases (20-22") along with a SMALL overnight or backpack each, fills a trunk to the max. Anything more would have to go on top of the car! You will either have to rent two cars or cut down on your luggage. There is absolutely no need to take so much stuff. Do as the others have suggested and lay everything out, then cut out about half. Have fun packing and enjoy your trip!
blh is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for advice. We've been to Europe several times and I find that the bulky stuff (shoes-2 prs; toiletries, hairdryer etc.) takes up a lot of room.
But we've also never had to share a trunk. The ironic thing is, we will just have to use the trunk for luggage on the way to and from the airport. Maybe I can hold one of the suitcases on my lap
bashful is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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I think that there are some flat-out wrong answers given here by people who have never done what you seek to do. I have done it more than once.

One key is that the "second bag" ought to wad up and fit in your pocket when empty - - in other words; no structure whatsoever, totally squashable into the odd left-over spaces your trunk will have. A small-medium nylon duffel, weighing about eight OUNCES when empty will serve you well, and can still hold 10-20 pounds of soft items (i.e., clothes). Your first bag ought not weight more than eight POUNDS when empty - - for example, a standard nylon 22 inch "rollaboard".

With a "standard size" four door sedan, you should be able to fit in this much luggage times four people; if the four equates to two couples, then it is sometimes desirable that one person overstuff his/hers with the partner's excess stuff, so that he/she (the one with the LESS full duffel) can keep it with him/her IN the car (passenger compartment), for access to maps, whatever.

A "full size" car is even more roomy. We had a Renault VelSatis on my last four person/one car trip and never had trouble with that.

Don't be "bashful" about asking your car rental company to be as specific as possible about the kinds of cars available at the class of car rental you have reserved. You should be able to get details on the size of the representative cars from various internet sources.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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The Brookstone store has a Lightwieght and very powerful blowdryer that folds up into next to nothing.
mcgeezer is offline  
May 11th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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Bashful, your first post says you'll "mostly be staying in 1 or 2 places" and later you say "we will just have to use the trunk for luggage on the way to and from the airport". If this is literally true and you won't be driving between hotels, you can take as much as you want and simply take a taxi to and from the airport with the excess luggage. If you've all got multiple bags, you can share the cost of the cab and it shouldn't be too much.

That said, I agree with those who say you will be fine with a 22" roller and a tote, but if you really want to shlep it all, go for it.
shellio is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 03:48 AM
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Just spotted this and had a thought ... is there stuff you can share?

When I travel with friends we often agree that I'll bring the hairdryer, someone else will bring the first aid kit, someone else will bring the guide book. That way you automatically cut down on the amount of luggage you bring.

(Also, in most decent European hotels, there'll be a hairdryer in the room. Of course if you are staying in low-budget hotels, that might not apply)

-- Viola
violagirl is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 04:10 AM
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Here's a great thread about packing light:
Jocelyn_P is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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We travel a lot w/2 kids,we take 1 wheeled carry on each,no checked luggage.We pack them full and take 8 smasonite plastic luggage packs that reduce the packed volume of dirty clothes by 1/3rd.that allows room for things we may purchase. we will have laundry done if needed.This works very well for the warm weather travelling th
mgmargate is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Sorry: I cut off the end: works well for warm weather destinations,and we are checked into our hotel while others are still at the airport waiting for their bags.
mgmargate is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 12:14 PM
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I personally travel in a 22-24" roller suitcase for up to 3 weeks in Europe. I wouldn't want to carry more and would never consider taking anything "really BIG". Too much hassle (IMO). If you buy new consider softsided pieces (like a duffle bag) which may be more versatile for fitting into a car trunk.

Since you specifically mentioned the bulk of toiletries... A good trick is to WAY downsize them! Collect small travel bottles and take just enough for the length of your trip. You can bring along an amazing amount of different products in one small cosmetic bag, if you don't toss in all your full size stuff.
suze is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Get a station wagon. Even our Opel SW had plenty of room for our two 26" suitcases, carry-on bag, various "things" we acquired on our trip to Germany. If you juggle the suitcases around to get the best fit, 4 regular size suitcases would probably be OK. But I don't think you would do well with the 4 regular size suitcases AND 4 carryons.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:52 AM
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Most people travel with rolling, hard-framed suitcases. You might want to try duffels that squish. They are not as easy to carry but are easier to fit in a trunk. And sharing where you can is a good idea. When Mom and Sister and I went, I repacked all our stuff and got 5 big bags into 3 smaller, but I have the gift.
Shanna is offline  

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