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carry on luggage for UK trip a good idea?

carry on luggage for UK trip a good idea?

Mar 19th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,455
carry on luggage for UK trip a good idea?

Traditionally I have been good at packing light. My upcoming trip to England and Scotland will involve planes, trains, automobiles, and ferries. I'm wondering about maybe downsizing my suitcase from a 22" which probably expands just a little too much to meet strict carry on criteria to a 20" that I can either carry on or check. Have you any advice regarding carry on vs. checking bags, packing super light, or a particular brand of suitcase you have found that's extra good?
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:04 AM
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ira is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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I have 2 different bags I use when I travel. #1 is a 22" which, when not-overstuffed fits onto every airplane cabin ex the small jets. I've had to gate check that bag on the small planes numerous times.

#2 is a smaller 20" rolling duffel bag which always fits and I've never had to gate check. You should know that UK rules allow just 1 carryon. That's 1 period. Not a 22" + a small backpack or purse.

My experience is that my luggage always grows when I travel, especially as I pick up souveniers. When I bring either suitcase I always stuff a small 18" duffel bag into the outside pocket. I figure I can always whip that out and make a small carryon with just the necessities should I need to check the bigger bag, or if I need an overflow bag .

Given the 1 carryone rule, I expect that you should plan to check your bags on intra-UK flights.

As for brands, I've had expensive suitcases from travel store or dept. store, and cheap ones from TJMaxx or Marshalls. Many of the brands like Samsonite have such a broad range of quality just the name may not tell you much. Either way the bags I've purchased seem to have a similar life span. If you're not planning to travel 10+ times a year a bag from TJMaxx is just fine, in my experience.

Check for quality of zippers, wheels, and handles - those are the things that break first.
J62 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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I swear by my Briggs + Riley luggage because of the durability but it is expensive.

I have had similar experiences to J62's in terms of checking vs. carry-on; it certainly depends on the size of the overhead bins.

My question for anyone who is going to be gone for more than a few days in a carry-on only is how are you going to handle the laundry?
Dukey is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Thank you so much for your replies. It would indeed take some good planning to not let the laundry situation get out of hand. I'm thinking that three pairs of trousers and six to seven tops would get me through the first week and by then perhaps I can seek out a washing machine and dryer (perhaps in Fort William?) to get me through the second week. Getting that much (wearing some of it, of course) plus a light jacket and a change of shoes into a carry on might be ambitious!
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:47 AM
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You can do it. My family and I are now light packers. We were not always so. We each take a carryon size, wheeled case and a small backpack or day bag. We usually check the wheeled luggage. We have done this many times now and we always plan for laundry day or days. We also use compression bags for bulky jackets and other clothing. On our last trip to Scotland in Melrose we needed to do laundry and there was none. We thought that a public laundry was available. Our B&B helped us. Our laundry was done at the local hospital. I research where laundries are available in the towns we stay. Traveling light makes everything much easier.
d1carter is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Isn't the deal now that you can only have ONE carryon coming back? That means that even your purse or any other minor items have to go into that one small suitcase along with everything else.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Just my opinion, but my bags have gotten lighter (and my time in customs has grown shorter) since I started using the mail. I send home souvenirs and once even sent home an extra pair of shoes I’d packed but wasn’t using. It wasn’t “cheap” but it certainly wasn’t prohibitive. Unfortunately we’ve also experienced problems with some souvenirs magically “disappearing” before we pick them up on the other side…another topic which has drawn some fire on this site is packing older pairs of socks and underwear and simply discarding them rather than packing around dirty laundry waiting to find somewhere to wash them…
DiAblo is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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"That means that even your purse or any other minor items have to go into that one small suitcase along with everything else."

Yes - but some of the small extras can be in your jacket pockets. I don't over do it and look like Inspector gadget. But a paperback, small camera, even a small cosmetic bag (no liquids) will go in my coat pockets through the scanner. And the quart baggie of liquids comes out of the suitcase. My handbag is unstructured/squishible so it goes in the suitcase - just through security. Then I take out the handbag and empty out the coat pockets and put that stuff and the quart zip-lok in my purs for the flight.

Just returned from the UK last month w/ one carry on and it was fine. Mine is a 21 inch roller bag.
janisj is online now  
Mar 20th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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I have had something removed from my checked bag each time I've travelled the last three times (Homeland Security, you know...LOL) - once several souvenirs that I had purchased for friends in Hawaii. So I end up having to carry everything of ANY value anyway. It will be difficult not to check anything - but I may try it! I'm also a big believer in mailing or discarding things when possible.
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 02:40 PM
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I travel a lot and just carry a medium backpack filled with old clothes and worn underwear, etc. and I throw this all away piece by piece as I travel and return home with a backpack filled with just souvenirs, no clothes. I have found that I need only one pair of nicer pants in the backpack when I leave home (wearing black jeans on the plane) and just a few cotton shirts, one slightly dressy, one solid tee. This fits all needs. Black jeans are even good at the opera and nice restaurants. I can wear clothes repeatedly, washing in the sink with shampoo and drying on a hanger or on the towel bar or radiator, and since I'm on vacation and don't know anyone, I can dress however I want and who cares? I never check luggage anymore and like to travel light. I topped myself last month: I mailed a box to my first UK stop (a farm) with all my stuff, including a bottle of my local wine for the lovely hosts who said they wouldn't mind holding a parcel for me), so I left home with nothing (just passport, etc in pocket) and returned home with same. Threw everything away. Cost, $40 for box, then $15 to mail home souvenirs. Try this, you'll marvel at all the people in the airports and train stations shlepping tons of crap and you'll just breeze through without a care in the world.
oldbuckhorn is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:31 PM
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Hmmm, maybe your look is more appealing than its description, but I'm not taking worn out underpants and tattered house clothes on my wonderful trips.

Although I will do my best next time to take only the small shoulder duffle. It's a very good-looking leather-trimmed number that has yet to see overseas service because I haven't been able to edit crisply enough. And of course that's because my selected outfits are not absolutely perfect. So now I just have to execute the plan. And it turns out that the Toiletry Rules that were despised so much originally are really a blessing in disguse, because the little baggie with (almost) everything in it is adequate.

So: Small carryon with padded shoulder strap containing only a few exquisite costumes and either don't buy "souvenirs" or mail them home.
Fidel is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:52 PM
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I have been traveling carry-on (when leaving) on two-week adventures for the last ten years. I check on returning home. I probably could do it for longer trips, simply haven't tried. I use a small expanding wheeled bag. My travel wardrobe includes 3 pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, 2 shirts/blouses, 3 short sleeve T-shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 5 pairs each underwear and sox, 1 nightgown, 2 bras, 1 coat, 1 purse, 1 "wallet-on-a-string", 1 tote bag, 1 camera, 1 book, 1 journal, 1 toiletry bag (non-liquid/gels) 1 "3-1-1" bag of liqid/gel toiletries, alarm clock, batteries, accessory pack of scissors, tape, moleskin, band-aids, meds, spot remover wipes, tissues, 1 plastic hanger,small plastic bag of soap powder. For cool weather destinations I add a pashmina and gloves. If needed, I will include a skirt and 1 pair of dressy shoes. Remove the items I'm wearing (coat, pants, sweater, shirt, underwear, sox, shoes, purse and everything else fits easily with room to spare but stuff doesn't rattle around. For the trip home I expand the bag if necessary to accomodate newly acquired treasures. The tote bag handles the treasures too precious to trust to luggage handlers. Washing out sox and underwear as needed is easy. I have never felt the need to launder a shirt or pants (except the time I spilled tomato juice in my lap). I have enough to hang and air between wearings. Spot cleaning wipes and plain water handle serious food mishandlings. My travel clothes are selected to coordinate but not be boring (not all black/beige). The shirts/sweaters layer if necessary for warmth. I do select lightweight, forgiving fabrics, actually not very many synthetics. They may dry quickly but are much harder to get a mystery stain to disappear. They also hold odors. I have never felt that I was missing something vital nor have I been inappropriately dressed. I have presented this packing list to travel groups and received thanks for its thoroughness and reasonability.
lukehead is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:03 AM
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Some GREAT suggestions here! I'm taking notes...

Since we are traveling to England and Scotland in June, hopefully the weather will be warm for the most part and I can get by with just packing a light jacket (or wearing it). Warm weather clothes sure take up less room. Are capris considered tacky in the UK? Should I stick to full length trousers? (Capris are still going strong here.)
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:07 AM
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About wearing that worn or tattered underwear -- what would your mother think? Didn't she ever warn you about getting in an accident and being taken to the hospital in worn underwear? GASP. That's what I call living on the wild side.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I recommend spending a fortune on disposable underwear. Just toss them when you're done and free up some of that pesky underwear space in your luggage. *This was actually suggested to me once...
nma is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:16 AM
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I like Eddie Bauer luggage quite a bit...it's good quality for a good price. Samsonite is another good brand. I don't spend a great deal on luggage. When I bought my most recent set of luggage I picked something I liked the looks of and then just rolled it around the store for a bit, tested out all the handles and zippers and then made the purchase. So far this luggage has made it through many tips

I very rarely check bags when I travel. I take a small roller and a very small duffle and those work just fine for me. I also take a small fold up bag to carry any extra purchases on with me. In that case I check one of the aforementioned bags on the way home.

I never feel like I'm missing anything by packing light. I like to look nice when I travel and it's never been a problem. My trick is to bring pieces of clothing that are interchangable (i.e. a lot of black!). Shoes are the one thing I recommend splurging on so you can get comfy but attractive shoes. Shoes can make or break a trip imo! You can buy almost anything you need or have forgotten in the UK (at a hefty price though). Have an amazing trip!
laustic is offline  

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