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Domestic Belguim train travel, can I bring a larger suitcase?

Domestic Belguim train travel, can I bring a larger suitcase?

May 20th, 2015, 06:53 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2014
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Domestic Belguim train travel, can I bring a larger suitcase?

It'll be me and my girlfriend. Does anyone have experience with this?

The website isn't 100% clear:

http://www.belgianrail.be/en/station...-on-board.aspx

We will have less than 3 items per person but will have one bag in total that is a checked baggage size (wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane).

Would this be allowed on the train or can you pay to check bags on these trains?

Thank you!
thename1000 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 07:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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It's a train!

You walk up to it and board it with all your bags, nobody stops you, nobody weighs or measures anything, you can take anything you like of any size and weight, within reason.

This is a total non-issue, so no worries!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 07:08 PM
  #3  
 
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I had carry-ons only on the Belgian trains I was on, but I don't recall anyone checking how many pieces of luggage you had. I'm fairly sure you can either stow the bags at the end of the train or hoist it overhead to a rack over the seats.

If you can together carry your stuff between the two of you, I wouldn't worry about this at all, really, Give yourself a little extra time at the train station - arrive before the scheduled departure time in case the train arrives early and you can try to claim good seats together, if the train is crowded. Belgian trains aren't reserved, so if the train is full, there's some chance you might have to stand.

You could also consider paying a little more for first class. It's probably not necessary, but the first class cars would likely be a lot less crowded. I remember taking a train mid-week from Bruges to Antwerp, and I was probably the only one in the first class car. (On the prior Sunday the train from Brussels to Bruges was full in second class, hence my choice to try first class, but mid-week it was a waste of money.)
Andrew is online now  
May 20th, 2015, 07:09 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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It'll be me and my girlfriend. Does anyone have experience with this?


Fortunately for you, no.
IMDonehere is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 07:31 PM
  #5  
 
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Do you mean you are sharing a suitcase?

Better, IMHO, to each have a smaller one. Under unique circumstances, I have shared a suitcase a couple of times, and hate it. Never again. It is not as convenient as it might seem.

You could probably each have one 21-24" and one decent size tote, so only two bags each. Two bags are also easier to manage than three.
Sassafrass is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 08:01 PM
  #6  
 
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You can essentially take as much as you can carry - but . . . WHY three pieces each? And including a large suitcase. That is a lot of stuff.

A couple of weeks ago I was on three Belgian trains (plus the Eurostar to Brussels) and the luggage racks/space at the end of the cars were full on all of them. You can sometimes squeeze smaller bags into the spaces between the seat backs.
janisj is online now  
May 20th, 2015, 08:05 PM
  #7  
 
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Please don't tell us that your girlfriend needs six pairs of shoes.
kerouac is online now  
May 20th, 2015, 09:14 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the responses guys! So the answer is that yes, it shouldn't be a problem?

By the way, I'm saying that we each need that much baggage because it's a ~25 trip in multiple countries.
thename1000 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 09:14 PM
  #9  
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25 day trip *
thename1000 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 09:17 PM
  #10  
 
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You don't need any more luggage for a 25 day trip than for a five day trip if you pack sensibly. I'm getting ready to leave on a four month trip, and I'll be taking a 22 inch rolling case and a day pack.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 09:50 PM
  #11  
 
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You can take as big a suitcase as you want. The limiting factors will be what the airline will allow before charging oversize/overweight fees and how much weight you want to drag/carry around.
sparkchaser is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 10:21 PM
  #12  
 
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Can you bring a larger suitcase?

Yes.

Should you bring a larger suitcase?

Maybe. I wouldn't, but I'm a small woman travelling solo.

Why do you want to bring a larger suitcase? Like thursdaysd says, you "don't need any more luggage for a 25 day trip than for a five day trip if you pack sensibly".

Is this your first big trip? On my first big solo trip I packed too much and had to send things home by post. On my second big solo trip I actually left a few things in hotel rooms since they weren't worth the cost of sending them home. I've learned, but it took some time.

You say that you will have "less than 3 items per person". Ok. That's good. Keeping track of more than that could be difficult. But... Is that a wheeled suitcase and a backpack each? Or two wheeled suitcases each? Or a wheeled suitcase and a non-wheeled dufflebag each? Or a backpack each and a single big wheeled suitcase for both of you, with a total of three items together?

Remember that you will need to lift the suitcase at least a few steps up to get it on the train. No one else is going to do it for you.

And if you stay in a budget hotel the room is likely to be small. I've been in some hotel rooms where there wasn't room to open a big suitcase unless you put it on the bed. That can be a bit nasty if the suitcase is wet or dirty.
anyegr is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 10:36 PM
  #13  
 
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>> By the way, I'm saying that we each need that much baggage because it's a ~25 trip in multiple countries.<<

I take just a 21 inch rollaboard and a handbag whether I'm traveling for 6 days, 25 days, or 3 months. The more traveling around you are doing the harder it is to lug masses of luggage. If you were only going to one city and staying put for a week or 10 days -- knock yourself out and take the kitchen sink if you want. You'd only have to schlepp it twice to/from one hotel and no trains.

Now - Not everyone wants/needs to travel w/ just a carry on like I do, but almost no one needs more than a 24 inch (checked) bag and a small personal item.
janisj is online now  
May 21st, 2015, 02:39 AM
  #14  
 
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You will really be sorry if you take a large suitcase--REALLY.
Everyone pack lighter--mix and match--you don't need that much "stuff".
Gretchen is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 02:48 AM
  #15  
 
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There's no limit on the size of case you can take on a train but do bear in mind the following. There are overhead luggage racks that can usually fit a budget airlines carry on. This will mean you can keep your luggage with you if you have a small enough case or bag. On long distance trains there are usually larger luggage racks at the end of each car, but there is rarely enough space in these for everyone, so I would not advise you to take something enormous that you might end up having to leave in the aisle (you'll get told off for that) or pressed against your legs or taking up its own seat or whatever. On a commuter train with less luggage racking it would be impossible to stow something of this size and you will most probably end up having to stand in the doorway with it.

At some point you will be having to lift your case - quite possibly overhead. Even if not, you may encounter stairs, broken down escalators and so on. Pare down as much as you can to make your life as easy as possible.
RM67 is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 03:25 AM
  #16  
 
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Please ... can anyone take as much luggage as he wants?

@thename1000
I'm from Belgium and, yes, you can take as much luggage on the train as you wish. It is possible that you will have to leave your large suitcase on the platform (where you get on the train), unless there aren't many travellers. Do try to avoid peak hour trains, though, because most of the time these are really over-crowded.
MyriamC is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 03:35 AM
  #17  
 
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I will refrain from commeting that some might be quite smelly at the end of their trip if they refrain from commenting about the amount of luggage one needs/wants.
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On the train subject : no limit. I'm also from Belgium.
Only problem I've ever had was when I took a foldable bike and didn't fold it (train was empty). Controller found mandatory to reprimand me and forced me to fold the bike.
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Welcome to Belgium, spend a good time...
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Ah, I also shared a suitcase with my fiancée at the time.
Now we are married and use even more luggage than before...
pariswat is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 04:30 AM
  #18  
 
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No need to be smelly. Plan on doing laundry a couple of times during the trip.
If we are both checking bags, we each pack one outfit in a zip lock bag and put it in the other's suitcase, in case one is lost or delayed. We also put one outft in our caryon for the same rason.
Sassafrass is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 04:44 AM
  #19  
 
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25 trips in multiple countries - if so by rail look at the Eurailpasses - if under 26 you can get a Youthpass - then in Belgium and most other countries you can just hop any train anytime - and yes you can bring the kitchen sink on if you can carry it and find room - janis says above that storage space for bags was tight but that was in 2nd class I would think - yes you may want to pay a bit more and go first class where there is usually much more room to stow luggage as there are many fewer folks typically riding in the same size train car.

For lots of great info on European trains and passes - check out Man in Seat 61 who posts above - his commercial site - www.seat61.com as well as these informative IMO sites - www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
PalenQ is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 06:39 AM
  #20  
 
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You can bring as much and as large luggage as you want.

However, the trains are often busy and if you have a ton of luggage it will be a major PIA for you to haul it up the steps, down the aisle and find places to store it - since many spots may already be taken by other passengers.

If traveling by train it's much better to have 2 easily handled pieces - one smallish wheelie and one tote or day bag. And it's much easier to deal with 2 smallish wheelies than one giant body bag shared by two people.
nytraveler is offline  

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