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Grand Circle Travel questions regarding luggage

Grand Circle Travel questions regarding luggage

Aug 24th, 2003, 11:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 178
Grand Circle Travel questions regarding luggage

We are going to Eastern Europe with Grand Circle Travel the end of Sept for 23 days. We ( all three ladies - about 50) have all traveled in Europe independently several to many times but we decided to do this tour since none of us were famliar with Eastern Europe and we thought - without our husbands - it would be nice to have someone to help us with the luggage so we weren't lugging it on and off trains. Anyway - we just found out we are limited to one piece of luggage and a small carry-on. We all love to shop and bring back treasures we find on our trips so we were planning on taking an empty suitcase in the big one to carry our purchases home in. Grand Circle says we can only have one piece of luggage because of the space on the bus. A friend who has traveled with several other tours --not Grand Circle - tells me that when they travel with groups - even though they say only one large suitcase - most people have another bag also. Can anyone that has traveled with groups tell us if we'll be able to have 2 bags ( and the carry-on). Also - how many people are usually in the group? And finally , what age are most people? Thanks for any help from those of you who have experience with Grand Circle or other groups. Sorry for the long question.
cheriegal is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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The reason they limit you to 1-pc of luggage (besides carryon, which you are responsible for) is that the tipping for bellmen at hotels is included in the tour price.

I've only been on one tour and had the same restrictions. Though I had an extra bag for souvenirs, I was responsible for taking this to the hotel room and back down - luckily at the end of trip, I tipped the bellman and he took to the bus, but it was my responsibilty, thereafter.

Also, your bus driver knows how many pieces of luggage he has to put on and take off the bus daily and if people are adding pieces throughout the trip - gets confusing.

Do what I do is "buy flat" - I stay away from bulky, round or oversized items - that cannot fit into a softside folding bag that fits in my major piece of luggage before trip and that I can carry on my own after having spent all my money.

As far as the number of people on your tour, GCT should be able to give you an idea a few days prior departure, though don't count on a correct number.

The trials & tribulations of a tour!
Aug 24th, 2003, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
I always thought that the only reason women got married was to have someone schlep the luggage.
ira is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 142
Good afternoon,cheriegal
1.Since for the most part your luggage will be handles by porters and etc. would look at a maximim side suitcase and do not pack ful, allowing for your
additiional purchases.
2.pack a peice of soft luggage witin your suitcase and when it starts to get
items, arrange for the additional case
as an accomodation thru the guide, am
sure this can be done, start early before the 2nd case becomes difficult to handle.
3. Consider in all instances that you could have to carry all luggage at one
point in time. We did many years in
Rome arrive at the airport for our departure home with four bags and after
checking in were told by the airline
that the baggage handlers were on strike
and we had to handle our own luggage.
which we did, to the plane and when ready to place on the plane the strike..
was ended.. A girl with an 70 year old mother made this baggage handling by the
addition of four more bags. and that was the time before wheels on suitcases..Gratuities for addition services will open most doors.
Richard ofLAgrange Park, Il.
dickv is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Hi cheriegal,

I was told by a travel agent who booked my one escorted tour that you can pay extra for an extra bag. Check with Grand Circle for their policy. If you pack an empty bag in your suitcase that you fill with purchases during your trip you might ask the driver to stow it in the bus luggage hold and give him a tip with the extra bag. If he doesn't have to move it off the bus each night he might not mind the extra bag.

I have a friend who travels with Grand Circle every year who says the lower age range on their tours is about 55.

adrienne is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 07:40 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
My favorite souvenir is jewelry--my hisband never asks how are you going to get it home?

Make sure you don't bring more luggage than you can handle yourself. Imagine what would happen if every person on the tour did what you want to do.
abram is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 11:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 178
Thanks so much for all the suggestions.
I don't mind tipping or paying extra for an added bag - I don't even mind shipping my purchases home but from what I've read a lot of places don't or won't do that for you. I love to collect pottery/ceramics and they do fill up space quickly. I forgot to mention that Grand Circle says the limit is due to space on the motorcoach. Again, thanks for the help.
cheriegal is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 161
This summer we traveled with GCT and were allowed 1 bag per person. There were 44 people on the tour. Can you imagine what would happen if most of 44 passengers were to bring an extra suitcase ?! I'd suggest you pack light and leave space for souvenirs. Also look for stores that ship home.
Have a good trip !
jenny is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 253
Sounds like you are perhaps taking the same trip I took last fall with Grand Circle. Yes, the problem is on that trip in particular, traveling by bus between for instance Switzerland, Austria and Italy, you spent a day or two on the bus and say if there are 45 people I was lucky last year, only 26 of us) if each has a large bag, that does pretty well fill the well underneath the bus. However true, most folks do bring an additional bag within a bag so on the way home can use that extra one for purchases (OR SWELLING)????tHEN AS MENTKIONED, THERE IS USUALLY ENOUGH ROOM ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT FOR IT, HOWEVER YOU MAY HAVE TO HANDLE THE EXTRA ONE YOURSELF, PRIOR TO CHECKING IT AT THE AIRPORT. Oops, forgot to lower the capitals, sorry. I hope you have as wonderful trip as I did last year it and it was the most scenic one I ever took with Grand Circle, having taken easily more than a dozen with them. You will have a great time. Halfpint
halfpint is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 02:16 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 178
Thanks for all the suggestions.
cheriegal is offline  

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