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Brandon Mar 22nd, 2002 10:39 AM

How big is your suitcase?
We are going to Italy for two weeks in early May. I am trying to take as little luggage as possible, but my wife always overpacks.<BR><BR>What is the smalles piece of luggage that you ever traveled with?<BR><BR>Brandon.

janis Mar 22nd, 2002 10:42 AM

I have severla pices of luggage - but only ever use two of them:<BR><BR>A 19 inch travelpro rollaboard for trips of around two weeks or less<BR><BR>A 21 inch Rollaboard for longer trips

Ellen Mar 22nd, 2002 10:43 AM

Brandon, check out the recent threads on doing laundry. There's no need to take more than 3 or 4 of anything. I travel with 2 pairs of black pants, one of what I sleep in, and 3 or 4 of everything else. I never ever travel with more than a carryon. The basic philosophy for packing should be not "Is there any chance I might need this?" but rather "Can I get along without this?" The only real essentials are passport, tickets, medicine, glasses. Everything else, you can get over there if you decide you need it.

Thyra Mar 22nd, 2002 11:02 AM

I always carry everything in one carryon rolling back pack.<BR>I go to airline websites in advance to find out what the dimensions are: Currently I am taking a 22X13X9 inch. I have learned that the benefits of packing light far outweigh having to shop overseas.<BR>

Janice Mar 22nd, 2002 11:07 AM

I have almost exactly the same bag as Thyra - a rolling backpack which I rarely have to carry, but love those backpack straps when you're on cobblestones, or in ankle-deep water! I just came back from 8 days in Paris with 12 pieces of clothing: 6 sweaters, 2 pants, 2 skirts, 2 dresses. Toss in some tights, some underwear, a pair of shoes and my teeny little toiletries kit, and I'm good to go! I cannot imagine a trip so long and/or complicated that I would need a bigger bag.

JJ Mar 22nd, 2002 11:07 AM

I use the 22-incher plus an over-the-shoulder carry-on (check the 22"). However, my stuffing habits have kind of worn down the roll-aboard. Does anyone know the title for the most recent thread on the best luggage? I've done a couple of searches and come up with stupid stuff. I'm looking for something both lightweight and durable -- will pay for metal zippers and good wheels. Don't need all that silly hardware they include like suit-covers, etc.

finally learned Mar 22nd, 2002 11:12 AM

After many trips where I overpacked my husband finally talked me into taking a 22 inch suitcase last year and I must admit he was right . Packing light made our lives so much easier. I was surprised how much I could leave home and never miss.

Janice Mar 22nd, 2002 11:18 AM

Dear JJ,<BR>I'm a HUGE fan of Eagle Creek. My backpack cost a lot, but I've taken it on 30+ trips, beaten the daylights out of it, and it's still in great shape, and doesn't look worn at all. I sort of think you get what you pay forr!

Sue Mar 22nd, 2002 11:46 AM

Did Italy in 10 days with one wheeled arline-regulation carry-on bag and my husband had a wheeled duffel bag. Anal I know, obsessive-compulsive yes, but I mapped out my wardrobe in a spreadsheet and packed exactly what I planned and I still had a few things I didn't wear. The trick is to wear the heaviest bulkiest stuff, like jeans, on the plane and pack the rest.

Yuppie Mar 22nd, 2002 11:56 AM

I use the same old Travelpro I had 10 years ago, one size larger than the carry-on that has served me well. I pack as little clothing as possible (it's always more than you need), so I'll have plenty of room for my pillow (!) and things I buy on the trip.<BR>My husband, on the other hand, is a "kitchen sink" packer. Like he's really going to need the fishing line and snake bite kit in London. I used to complain about it, but found it's a complete waste of energy. They do what they have to do.<BR>Resigned.

elvira Mar 22nd, 2002 12:00 PM

3-day trip to Paris, I got everything into an overnight bag. For two weeks, a 21-22" rollaboard and small totebag...<BR><BR>There is no magic way to get the contents from a 36" hardsided suitcase into a 22" rollaboard. Period. To pack light, you have to rethink everything...downsizing your shampoo to a sample bottle doesn't help if you intend to take 4 pairs of shoes, 8 outfits, 6 personal care appliances and your accordion. The minute you say "but I **HAVE** to take...", you've got to decide whether it replaces things in the 22" rollaboard, or will it mean taking a larger suitcase.

Rex Mar 22nd, 2002 12:05 PM

This is one of my cardinal rules of luggage for Europe travel.<BR><BR>Your largest piece of luggage should not exceed eight pounds (empty).<BR><BR>Your second piece of luggage (and I actually DO recommend always having two pieces - - easier to walk "balanced") should not eceed eight OUNCES (empty) - - translation: a small-medium light weight nylon duffel bag - - which often is still quite capable of carrying 20+ pounds of stuff.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

Danna Mar 22nd, 2002 12:11 PM

Brandon... we take very little, but in 2 bags... if your wife overpacks, make sure she packs then walks 4+ blocks with her proposed luggage. Last time we packed light but with one bag... the hubby will not do that again!... guess what I got for Christmas LOL Have a great time.

Nutella Mar 22nd, 2002 12:22 PM

Okay, I'm brave enough to admit it LOL, I bring a 30" suitcase and a carry-on tote. I don't pack much, the 30" is empty enough that I can even fit the carry-on inside. I just like having room for my purchases, and the 30" with it's wheels and handle is easier to maneuver than if I brought an extra duffle bag. And what about getting on and off trains, you ask? Hey, that's what helpful, handsome Italian men are for!

Dick Mar 22nd, 2002 12:29 PM

I bring the biggest one I can find, because you know what they say about the size of a man's suitcase...

ryan Mar 22nd, 2002 12:29 PM

I usually carry a steamer trunk so that I can take items from the breakfast buffet and enjoy them at home for weeks after. The bread also makes great presents!

KT Mar 22nd, 2002 12:30 PM

Elvira, I had to laugh about the accordion. My sometime travelling companion packs her recorder (the wind instrument, not a cassette recorder) and some music when she travels. On the other hand, she's the two-pairs-of-pants-and-two-sets-of-underwear type of packer, so it's not a problem.<BR><BR>To answer the original question, for a three-week trip I usually take a carry-on-sized convertible backpack or rollaboard and a smallish mostly empty duffel for later acquisitions. And I still feel like I've overpacked.

wendy Mar 22nd, 2002 12:30 PM

I wear my bulkiest clothing /shoes on the plane, pack one small/medium size bag with one other pair of shoes, clothing and toiletries, and then place that inside another rolling bag the same size. That way, I go over with ONE bag, but let the airlines help me get my TWO bags home (the extra always appears after having made purchases)...

scigirl Mar 22nd, 2002 12:43 PM

I pack a 14" carry-on rolling suitcase. It is tiny! I have a backpack/suitcase thing which I HATE because 1) too large 2) too heavy - the backpack contraption just adds unneeded weight. I pack light and small enough that I can carry my tiny suitcase if for some reason I'm not able to roll it. <BR><BR>My husband has a 22" suitcase because his shoes are too big too fit in a smaller suitcase. I've packed everything I need for trips of several weeks length (summer and winter) in my tiny bag. I also take a LeSport Sac nylon bag to carry any purchases I might make while traveling and to use as a carry-on tote (books, magazines, etc.). <BR><BR>I find that having a tiny suitcase forces me to choose what I pack very carefully. The suitcase is expandable in case I really go overboard with shopping. However, I'll mail purchases home before I'll carry them around with me. I only expand the suitcase if I am at the end of my trip. I have travel bottles for shampoo, soap, etc. take minimal cosmetics (in tiny cases), never ever carry a hair dryer (whatever the hotel provides will do), take only one extra pair of shoes, etc.

sss Mar 22nd, 2002 01:01 PM

It's not the size of the suitcase that matters, it's how you pack it.

top Mar 22nd, 2002 03:17 PM

to the top. overhead. can you lift it?<BR>

Dayle Mar 22nd, 2002 04:18 PM

I use a 21" roller/backpack, plus small tote to carry on. The tote carries essential toiletries, water bottle (can't stand to wait hours for flight attendants), book, camera. On the way back it can carry 2 bottles of wine!<BR><BR>The best packing tip: If you're traveling with at least 2 people, pack half & half. Meaning some of your stuff in the suitcase, some of theirs. Then if a bag is lost, you both have things to wear while the lost bag catches up to you. Hopefully....

ja Mar 22nd, 2002 04:23 PM

I'm very proud of myself - I've gone from a 32-inch rigid monstrosity to a soft-sided 24-inch rolling pullman and a carry-on a little smaller than the average laptop bag. Whenyou consider I was raised by a woman who would pack Two huge suitcases and a 22-inch carry-on for a two-week trip to Las Vegas, I think I've come a long way. A lot of my newfound wisdom/cleverness comes from my frequenting this excellent travel site!<BR>ja

Thrya Mar 22nd, 2002 04:27 PM

Sue, <BR><BR>You are my new hero!! You did wardrobe spreadsheets... Why didn't I think of that???? I am obsessed when it comes to downsizing luggage, every trip I bring less and less...

jw Mar 23rd, 2002 06:05 AM

Hi. I travel with a carry-on that measures about 14" x 20". C'est tu. Come to think of it, is that still considered carry-on? J.

topper Mar 23rd, 2002 06:57 PM


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