How much luggage?????

Old Aug 30th, 2014, 12:09 PM
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We have 22" bags that expand to 24". Pack in 22". Bring home 24" Usually check either way. Carryon backpack or such.
Pack light. You will be SO much better off.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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I agree with those that say pack as light as you can and take mix/match colors.

For our last trip of 3+ months we took two 24 or 25" checked bags (one for each of us), my camera gear backpack and a carry on. My husband also had a scuba gear bag which he checked. We were able to leave this bag at our hotel in Bangkok until he needed it around 2 months later. Thank goodness for that hotel!

For a 2 week trip maybe your husband and you can get everything into one 25" checked bag and a carry on. This may not work if you're planning to do a lot of shopping-bringing things home with you. If you're going to shop, maybe an additional carry on just for that??

When you are going and how many places and where in Italy you're going to can make a difference in how you pack. If one place is hiking in the mountains like CT and another is a beach/resort area like Amalfi Coast then you have to take clothes suitable for your activities in each of those places.

Bottom line is to try to pack as light as you can as it will be easier for you if you're traveling from place to place. You don't want to be lugging around lots of heavy luggage.

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 12:34 PM
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After several "lost luggage" episodes we now travel with a 21" roller board, carry-on each plus a large tote purse for me and a tote which we call a gadget bag for my husband.

We decided to do this several years ago after a trip to France when we got our checked bag at our home 3 weeks after we returned. On that trip we were very glad that we packed good carry-ons and then realized that we did not need all that stuff.

Shoes are the most important. I wear my walking shoes and take a pair of flats in my bag that look nice but are also good for walking at night. Forget heels IMO. Most likely you'll be walking on cobblestoned streets. Europe has gotten quite casual, unless you stay & dine at 5 star hotels.

Black goes anywhere, especially at night. Take a color combination that can mix & match. Along with some nice costume jewelry & scarves to change things up. Also dark jeans & a cute top or jacket go anywhere, even for dinner most places.

MDH wears a sport coat on the plain that he wears for dinner. Depends what time of year. We usually travel to Europe in Sept. so I take a black, sort of hip length jacket on the plane. A hood if it rains can be removed--add a pretty scarf and it looks quite dressy for dinner if needed. Some years I've needed it, some years I didn't need it at all.

I also pack a 6x8 flat pocket that opens up into a large duffel bag. Coming home we put the dirty clothes in it and check it(who cares coming home) and we put our purchases in our carry-ons.

We had several bags misplaced before the 3 week fiasco and spent too much time trying to track them down. Now it's carry-on only for us. We were just in London & Paris for 10 days in June, carry-on only.

I do hope I've helped some. Trust me, the more you travel, the less you will take.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Pack as though you will carry on.
And then you can always check if you want.
Always rethink shoes
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Tourists and their luggage are such a great topic to have a laugh with.

First, lets face it, most people pack too much stuff. It is no doubt the commonest mistake that tourists make.

So asking 'what do most people take' should really only get you one answer. Too much stuff in too much luggage. Since no one here can answer that question for you, we might as well have some fun.

Re being able to lift your luggage over your head or shoulder high, ask yourself what you will do if you can't and you encounter a situation like this one:

Even those who pack 'heavy' rather than light and insist on 10 pair of shoes (why is it men never have this problem) will usually draw the line at some point. This tourist proves the rule may be a general rule but not 100%.

Some people escew wheels as being for wimps. But some still can't get the idea of 'lightweight' right.

For some, in the end, the question of how much luggage to take or not take and what to pack or not pack becomes something you really have to slap yourself in the head for having agonized over in the first place. Sometimes the gods step in and prove yet again that, 'man plans and the gods laugh.'
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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But as a confused Californian you really have bigger things to worry about than luggage anyway. Check some of this group of videos on Geography and what young Californians know about the world. Hilarious.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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And they vote!
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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If you cannot carry your luggage up stairs then you have too much
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 05:13 PM
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One thing that really has not been discussed that much is the age, strength and mobility of the traveler. We are fit 50s and able to handle our luggage with no trouble. But we have seen (and sometimes helped) elderly singles or couples - often with mobility issues - who had way more luggage than they could even begin to cope with - esp on a train. (One couple had 2 gigantic 30" body bags, 2 carry-on size rollies plus one purse and a gigantic camera bag. Even with us helping they barely got off the train before it left again.) Those stairs up can be an issue for many people(not for us - but we drive mostly anyway).

I don't know if these people had misconceptions of their own abilities, assumed train stations would have porters (practically none do) or hoped they would meet kind strangers who would haul their luggage around for them.

So the compromise is what you really need to take versus how much you are willing/able to haul around.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 05:14 PM
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Rick Steves has a great line about this: "No one ever came back from Europe and said they wished they had taken more luggage." We've gone for a month with a Eurail pass with just a duffel each and never felt that we needed more clothes.

My husband takes a Tumi duffel that has lasted for years. I use a 21" rollerbag and his duffel fits easily on top of it for carrying. I carry a tote with a shoulder strap or wear a backpack, depending on how much walking we'll do getting to the hotel, train station, etc. Basic black or navy with colorful tops, two pairs of shoes (wear the clunky walkers and pack the dressy ones), a rain poncho and a light jacket will carry you through. Just take some of those small Tide packets so you can do laundry in your room. I have an elastic clothesline that I sometimes pack; also inflatable hangers are useful for hanging up wet clothes such as nighties.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 02:21 AM
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I don't know about that When I went to Scotland a few years ago, and was promised a heatwave - well, let's just say it wasn't. I wished I'd taken a few more warm jumpers and pairs of trousers (admittedly instead of some of the nice summer dresses I did take and couldn't wear.)
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 02:39 AM
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I never travel light and it is very liberating. Pack what I want or need, check it in, pick it up on the other side, put into a rental car or taxi or bus or whatever. No decanting of liquids/creams, no visits to the laundry (public laundries - gross), no washing stuff in hotel sinks (gross) no shortage of clothing nor wearing the same dirty clothes day in day out (have seen Americans wear exactly the same clothes day in day out on vacation in the Caribbean, maybe they had a bulk supply of the exact same t shirts and shorts so could have been clean, I do hope that was the case), no fighting on the aircraft for space in the overhead, just shovel it all into a suitcase and get on with life. My checked luggage has been delayed 3-4 times in the past 20 years.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 05:06 AM
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There's no one answer to this questions. Everyone has their own way of travelling. For 2 weeks in Italy I would check a suitcase; I like to have my nicest clothes and several pairs of shoes when I'm on holiday, especially for Italy.
But it all depends; a city requires smarter clothes than a beach. Do you plan to eat in Michelin-starred restaurant or will it be pizza every evening? Do you stay in one place, travel around a lot by train or bus, rent a car for your entire trip? This all makes a difference in how much to take. If you travel on flights within Europe, some airlines only allow 1 bag as carry-on; that includes your purse, camera, laptop etc. Some have a weight limit of 6 kilo for carry-on luggage.

Impossible to say what would be best for you.
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Old Sep 1st, 2014, 06:06 PM
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my idea of vacation is NOT washing things out in a sink. finding a laundry can be an all day experience so best to find somewhere that does it for you. I am going for 3 weeks & I am packing a 24 inch and then have a backpack to carry on the plane with books, etc. tht I can use when I tour around teh various areas as well. It is not the clothes that take up so much room it is all the other stuff that I consider essential, blow dryer, shoes (yes 4 pair for 3 weeks-walking sandal, dress shoes, workout shoes and flats.) curling iron, maps, books, umbrellas, back rests for plane, first aid kit, sewing kit, etc. I know hotels have blow dryers but I have been "burner" before on that issue so always bring a small blow dryer. for 3 weeks, the small 3 oz containers just do not make it for me either. I prefer to NOT use hotel shampoos, but prefer my own brand so have to pack that as well. Did a trial packing today and scored - got it all in the 24" and under weight too.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 06:48 AM
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I would be curious to know what 'under weight' means to you Shar. I suspect you just mean under the airline's weight limit, not under a weight limit that you are comfortable carrying.

My usual bag when I travel weighs 2.6lbs./1200 grams what does your 24" weigh? When packed for a week or 6 months, it weighs 11 lbs./5kg. total. What was your trial packing weight total?

It is not the size of a bag that matters, it is the weight that matters. I always check my bag because I choose to carry things that are not allowed with carry-on. At the same time, I want my bag to be as light as possible since the lighter it is, the more comfortable my travels will be. There is no disputing that.

I agree with Tulips there is no one answer. If you fly to a destination, take a taxi to a hotel and unpack for 2 weeks, weight is obviously not a major factor. If on the other hand you will be moving around, getting on and off buses, trains, planes, rickshaws or whatever, then being able to easily lift and carry your bag becomes a very big factor. But even in the first case, lighter is easier, however little a factor you consider it, it is still easier.

It's fine to say, 'I don't want to wash stuff', but for what period of time? Try carrying enough to not have to wash stuff for 3 months. How would you suggest those who travel for an extended period of time (a month or more) deal with having clean clothes? Since at some point washing becomes a necessity, some people choose to start out with that as a given. If you choose to do that, then you do not need to take clothes for more than 3 days. You just wash stuff, the same as you brush your teeth every night.

What you decide is essential for you to take is up to you. But I would suggest that what you determine is essential will change depending on how you will travel and for how long.

There is no one answer that suits every situation. For the OP and their more than likely typical tourist trip to Italy for 2 weeks, just about any bag will do unless they wish to go carry-on only. But whatever bag they choose, it isn't likely to be suitable for all travel unless it is small and lightweight in itself and when fully packed is under 15 lbs. (typical carry-on limit)

So you can pack as you do Shar and limit your travel to what you pack suits, (short trips with little or no need to lift and carry your bag anywhere)or someone else cna pack as they do to not let their bag limit their trips. (trip of any length with a bag light enough to lift and carry for hours at a time)

Don't you think it is funny that those who travel for longer always end up carrying less than those who travel for shorter trips? Seems contrary, doesn't it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Has the OP said how she is traveling? I pack differently if I am only taking one flight, staying in one place, and using a rental car--versus when I take multiple flights (some on small planes) and move around by bus and train. Will you be in hotels, and have time to wait for laundry service, or will you rent an apartment with a washer? One should always be able to handle their own luggage.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:14 AM
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<Jean said> I agree with janisj about luggage on trains, and I'd add that the hardest thing for me is hauling the luggage up the 3-4 steep, somewhat narrow stairs from the station platform to the floor of the train carriage. Even with two people working together, this can be tough if the luggage is large and/or heavy.>

My one girlfriend has to have a big bag and we all have to help her on and off trains when there was three or four steps and a gap. Going up and down platforms killed her knees but she insist she needs all those dam clothes and shoes so I get to the point of it is your big arse bag, carry and lift it yourself. I pack light for a reason. My back and knees. Going to Boston next week and we are doing public transportation so she better be prepared. I have no mercy for people on planes trying to lift their heavy bags into the overhead bin. You packed it, you lift it. Don't be giving that man or me the helpless look. Lift your bag at home and make sure you can lift it over your head before taking it on board. I told my husband that she always has to pack clothes for day and evening and I wear it all day. Another friend is driving and parking so she will have three...I would never go to Europe with her.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:51 AM
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I'm just glad that Odin and Shar have represented a different point of view!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 07:57 AM
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I think this has turned into a "one up" on the last poster!! LOL
I doubt that Shar can go overweight in a 24" bag!! And if she can do all that in 24", I call that being a good packer.
And it IS all about what you can handle, 'cause there aren't any skycaps/porters in the places we have been in Europe. And we've had to help "overpackers" on tours we have been on handle there 29" bag.
DH's shoes are always the back breaker for us.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 08:28 AM
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My sister and I were in Munich and for some reason wanted to change to a different (and smaller) room in our pension. This was pre-packing light days for me.

We each had a larger and a smaller suitcase. The proprietor of the pension said we had too much luggage for the smaller room.

We were driving, so there was no worry about going up train steps, etc., but we learned our lesson.
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