larger duffle instead of smaller pieces?

Old Nov 15th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Haven't read all, but enough to know that some, at least,agree with me. FOLLY FOLLY. Everyone handles their own bag--plus all of them have wheels. There are nice wheeled duffles we have used that have a separate bottom compartment even, if that is what is wanted.
AND pack light, and leave room for collecting souvenirs.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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This has become a: 'beat up on hubby,' or a 'hubby is stupid' thread, so I would like to respond from a male perspective.
First off, let me congratulate hubby on his purchase of that High Sierra A/T Backpack, especially if he got it at their $89 Sale price. Eight pounds is a lot better than some 20" or 22" rolling bags I have seen.

I like to have extra space (i.e., a large bag) so I can buy stuff to bring home. And, if your trip goes down as planned I will bet you that you or Daughter will be asking hubby if he has space for something you want to buy.

Here's what one reviewer had to say:
"I bought this bag to take on my 3 week Europe trip and I was extremely happy with my purchase! A great bag, fits so much in it and very easy to haul on and off trains, planes and taxi cabs. Only thing that I wish it had was an over-the-should strap! Overall, a fabulous bag that was able to withstand traveling across 6 countries and I still use it for weekend traveling now! Great buy!"

That review was submitted by Ashley from Philadelphia, PA
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 01:19 AM
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Well how about youre husband takes his new bag, and you and your daughter both take your own hold luggage?
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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I am of the opinion - you carry what you want to take. Wife and I travel to Europe every summer for about 5 to 8 weeks. Our motto is: If it does not fit in the backpack then it does not go. I carry one backpack and the laptop computer bag with necessary accessories (converters, camera batteries, chargers, etc.). My wife carries a backpack and her "purse". It can carry a days food and drink selections, scarf, maps, etc. Backpacks weigh 16-18 pounds and computer bag weights about 10. Wife's purse weights in at about 5-8 pounds. While shopping in Paris last summer, my wife found some great deals and bought 47 pounds of new clothes. I bought a duffel bag on wheels to bring it home. Boy, was that a pain to maneuver. To heavy to lift up and every time I hit a bad part of the sidewalk, it wanted to fall off to the side. The first and last time it was on the plane, they ripped a wheel off and tore the sides open. It was really cumbersome and unwieldy. Next time, we will use two suitcases instead, if we buy as much.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 06:55 AM
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I travel a lot in Europe and take a soft sided 23"suitcase on wheels that only weighs 4 1/2 lbs empty and also a small backpack on wheels for the airport & plane and to carry breakable buys home. I also pack a small backpack (like a purse) for daytime so my hands are free. Same for hubby; suits us well for over 3 weeks.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 07:24 AM
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If your luggage is lost on the way over all three of you will be SOL. I like a rolling duffel(much lighter than regular luggage, but depends on brand), but I wouldn't be willing to share. When I'm traveling with other people we split our clothes between the suitcases in case someone's luggage goes astray they will at least have clothes for a few days. Each of you can handle a rather large duffel as they don't weigh much and can be squished into areas on trains where regular soft-side luggage can't.

I don't like the rolling backpacks. I borrowed my sister's for my last trip and really regretted it. The wheel apparatus takes up too much space so it doesn't hold as much and you can't easily roll the backpack and a rolling suitcase. Next trip I will take a regular backpack.

Some duffels are prone to flip over while others aren't. That's where it's important to wheel it around the store before buying. My sister bought Victorinox which has a single bar handle and it just kept flipping. DS's luggage looked like this, but I've tried other styles in the store that flip.

My cheap (about $30)duffels (KMart/Walmart) don't have that problem. You do want to check wheel construction as very cheap design will break.

DD just informed me yesterday her duffel (30") was wearing out and she needs a new one. She's used it for about 10 years, including loading it to 70 lbs (mostly text books)when going to Spain for six months. I think we paid $27 for it new. she is only 5'1" and can easily manage a loaded 30" duffel (although often it's only half full) alone (she took two 30" to Spain) because of their light weight.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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I had to laugh when I read this thread. My DH also insisted on a large "family" bag and for years, when the kids were little, I conceded.

Every time we wanted to buy something he would respond "and how are we going to get that home?"

That got a little old so now I carry my own carry-on bag (light b/c I have a shoulder injury) and roll up a very lightweight duffle in my carry-on. Then I check that duffle on the return trip!
I do need help getting the carry-on in the overhead bin but that would be true even if it were light as feather because of my shoulder mobility.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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I can't imagine wanting to have to sift through 2 other people's effects in order to get mine out of a bag. And think of it... with 3 people having to root around in one bag for their belongings... what a mess. After a couple of days nobody will be able to find anything!

Have your husband read this thread to realize what a bad idea he has. Print it out if necessary. You have received valuable advice from multiple people who are experienced European travellers. One should heed such experience.

No matter what he does be sure to pack separate bags for yourself and daughter... the extra space in his big duffle can be for souvenirs!


BTW be sure to have travel insurance that covers chiropractor visits... your husband's back is going to need help!
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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There is no need to go for the 19" (which is what you will need to flights in europe - they have smaller standards than US airlines).

But, each of you could take a 23" or 24" wheelie - easy to handle - and have plenty of room for what you need for a trip. You do not take 3 weeks worth of clothes - you take 10 days worth of clothes and have things cleaned or washed as you go.

I did a 3 week combo business/vacation trip with a 26" bag - but a stable wheeled suitcase, not a duffel which squirms all over the place - because I needed both work and real life wardrobes and my carry-on was necessarily computer plus toiletries and personal items.

But - I didn't do any train. It was airport to hotel to rental car to hotel to airport. That way I never touched the luggage - either the driver or the hotel bell staff dealt with it - including putting it in the trunk of a car. I would never have taken it on a train - and in Venice the "driver" put it in and took it out of the water taxi. (I would never try to step across the water from a swaying dock to a swaying vaporetto carrying anything bigger than a large shoulder bag.)
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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This has been a most amusing thread to read! Please, do report back to us on the final outcome (did you take you own bags, as well as the duffle?), how it all went, and a bit about your trip, too! Thanks.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Paris, your comment about needing a chiropropractor made me chuckle although it was not exactly amusing at the time.

During the trip that I mentioned when my husband took a large duffle bag his back did go out! He first complained about his back when we were in Verona. By the time we got to Venice (and yes we did use the water taxi after putting the car into the garage to get to the hotel) he was really in pain. One of the young male employees at the hotel walked me to a pharmacy, that was fun actually, and we got him an electric pad and some kind of medicine. Anyway many days later when were were in a different region of Italy a good friend called his doctor who came to our friend's house and checked out my husband. No cost. He was given a prescription for some painpills. Surprisingly no charge at the pharmacy. The pills did their job! But as I said previously my husband never again used that duffel bag.

I have spent two months several times with just a good selection for a week. If you have a week worth of clothes it doesn't matter how long your trip is for. Or ten days worth if also working as nytraveler has experienced.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 02:41 PM
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First of all beeswing - have a wonderful trip - and try and relax about the luggage and bag issue!

We traveled a similar route last year with our young adult daughter - and the first thing that sprang to mind when I read your post was her standing arms folded frowning at the first bridge we encountered in Venice! (We had just flown in from Hong Kong so she was a little tired.)
However- she was only like this for a few seconds when a generous gentleman carried her bag up and over the bridge - and this happened a few more times as well!
Needless to say - she is tall and slim and a slight build, blonde and wears great gear so I guess that's why he didn't come back for my bag! I should add that she is perfectly capable of lifting and carrying it.
Also - we all managed with a 22inch rolling case each - although we don't do carry on from Australia - and in dozens of trips with up to five of our family together we have never had any baggage delays or losses.

One thing we do these days is spread a few 'essential' clothing items around the bags - just in case our turn for missing bags happens!

And - a visit to a laundry can be quite entertaining - our last visit in Venice saw my husband and I put the clothes in the wash - sit in the April sunshine with coffee and cake - then put them in the dryer - and return to the same cafe for campari and nibbles whilst watching the local children play and enjoying the domestic scenery,

Happy planning and travels.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Thanks...I appreciate the kind comments.

Where was the laundry in Venice? We'll probably be needing one...whatever luggage we end up taking.

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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Hi beeswing - I will need to go through the bags and find the laundry bag - it was part of a chain of laundries in Italy - will get back to you.
It was in a non tourist area - and we really enjoyed the down time just watching and relaxing.

Enjoy your planning...
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Rick Steves list local laundries and laundromats in his guide books.
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Old Nov 15th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Thanks, HappyTrvlr. That's good to know.

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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 02:21 AM
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I am going to be really disappointed if we don't hear the outcome of this discussion!
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