Does Size Matter???? Luggage Question

Old Feb 16th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Does Size Matter???? Luggage Question

When travelling to Italy in a couple of months, my husband and I are spending 6 days in Rome, 2 in Florence, 5 in Tuscany (we are renting a car in Florence and driving to Tuscany), and 2 in Venice.

The question is, from all of you "seasoned travellers", is it best to take the smallest suitcase possible or should we take a larger one with less in it, to leave room for a little Italian shopping??

Our luggage is relatively light-weight but I am wondering if we should consider buying another medium-sized piece and leaving the larger suitcase home.

Any tips?
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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I find it's best to take the smallest you can but pack a collapsible nylon duffel bag for the return trip home. You can stuff it with dirty clothes and put your purchases in your suitcase. We have two 22" expandables that we carry and make sure we can take what we need without expanding it on the way over. With the duffel bag for backup we've always had enough room for any goodies we buy along the way.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Each person has (1) rolling 21-24" suitcase plus a nylon duffle bag folded up in the bottom of it. On the way home dirty clothes into duffle bag and purchases into suitcase and/or carry-on tote on the plane.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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I hear an echo. Sorry didn't read the post above me. What Betty said!
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 05:13 PM
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You could take a much smaller bag if you occasionally did some laundry. Do all folks from the US tour around Europe with an ever-increasing amount of dirty clothes?
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 05:36 PM
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Okay, so what do you think of this plan? We take the 24.5" suitcase (my huband can carry that), I take the 19" suitcase, each take a small tote and leave the honking 28" home...

I am just a chronic overpacker. I haved pictured getting over there and regretting not taking that extra pair of shoes! I imagine that it is much worse having to carry a gigantic suitcase along the streets of Italy.



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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Annecdotal evidence suggests that we mostly don't wear that extra pair of shoes! Rather, we arrive home to find that half of what we took did not get worn!

Two years ago, my family packed for three weeks and (insanely) seven locations in France and Spain with only carry-on luggage. It is a blessing to have smaller bags, regardless of the mode of transportation. I think you'll be happy with the smaller bags you have chosen.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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We also go with the 22" rollaboard each, with a duffle bag tucked in one of our suitcases. Of course, I always have my day bag, as well. We typically don't check baggage to Europe and find this method works well. I prefer to have to buy something along the way, rather than bring things that I will never use/wear. I have definitely learned to travel light over the years.
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 06:35 PM
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Little Bella, after having several 2 months trips in Italy over the decades I can say that packing for a week will work just fine if you color coordinate your clothes and take a maximum of 3 pair of shoes (one which you will be wearing of course). You can have some laundry done by doing it yourself in your hotel room if the material is the type that will dry quickly. If not take the dirty clothes to a laundry/cleaners. Although I do not care for the laundry/cleaners in Italy you will at least have clean clothes. Wear or take on the plane any coat/jacket you will need.

A joke (like the the one about no person on their deathbed saying "I wish I had spent more time at the office") is no person every says during their trip "I wish I had brought more stuff with me". Too true!

If, for some reason, there is something you absolutely have to have you can buy it in Italy.

When travelling, less is more, honest. You do not want to feel like a packmule, LOL. Have a wonderful and beautiful time in Italy!!
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 07:14 PM
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Good Thread. I too am rethinking my packing. I went and bought a 22" pretty light weight roll on from Target. It's obviously not a high end brand, but it has phenomenal storage, side pockets, plastic pouches for toiletries that snap inside, big rubbery wheels that seem solid. I think it's a good one. I'm bringing that with a small duffle carry-on. The carry on will have things I don't want in my suitcase, like books, camera, snacks, and maybe my toiletries so they don't spill. I think it will be tricky, but I'm gonna make it work if it kills me. I also had 3 of those compressor bags so I should be good
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Old Feb 16th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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I posted this here before ... read what I wrote about suitcases and packing light: http://www.flummel.com/ee/index.php/...g_is_all_math/
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Girth is more important to me than size, so I own a 22" that is expandable.

(I couldn't resist. ;-) )
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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OK..I'm sorry this isn't going to be the usual "sugar coated" response favored by so many around here BUT to quote you:

"We take the 24.5" suitcase (my huband can carry that)" explains why you will ALWAYS BE a "chronic overpacker" unfortunately.

My advice...put everything you plan to take on the bed; discard half of it. Load it into the suitcase and YOU carry it up and down a flight of stairs.

Yes, take half the clothes and twice the laundry soap.
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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I definitely would leave the 28" at home. If you are worried about shoes take 3 pair (as LoveItaly suggests, 1 on your feet, 2 in your suitcase). If you can't make the 19" work for you get another 22-24", same as your husband.

Both people deal with their own luggage (as Intrepid suggests). I agree that husbands' toting contributes 100% to overpacking wives. I have always said a female who take one trip solo will be immediately cured of this problem.
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Old Feb 17th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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I agree with suze on the last point. I usually do travel solo, and being only 5'1", lugging a heavy suitcase up and down train station stairs and such gets old REALLY fast.

I take my 22" expandable (not expanded at beginning of trip) and a medium sized backpack on all my journeys, and they're usually about the same length of time as yours or longer. And I'm usually hefting books and research notebooks with me; if I didn't have those, I could make do with a smaller carryon than my backpack.

I have been known to put a light canvas bag folded up in my suitcase for souvenirs, if I think I'm going to be buying a lot.
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