Luggage ; Does size matter?

Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Great input. Thank you very much. OK - I'm down to two pairs of shoes and Sandra to 3 pairs with the promise we will go shopping for another pair in Paris (if needed). The extra pair can travel home in the folding duffle (what a great idea to provide room for the souvenirs!)
24" and 26" seem to be about right assuming we will be Ok on the train.
The ROLLING totes were because of the connection at Heathrow - same terminal but must have been a different county. Wow. Must have been a half hour fast walk.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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robjame, I am the fan of the small rolling tote. We had to run for what seemed like miles when our plane from Berlin to Amsterdam was late. It's a very large place! I thought I would have a heart attack! I suggest you put everything you want to carry on the plane in a shoulder bag and see how it feels slung over your shoulder. You sound like a big guy and it might work for you. From what you said before it sounds like it will end up being pretty heavy.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 05:14 PM
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Glad to hear you're taking smaller bags and less stuff. Shoes are heavy.

If you're taking the train, you should be able to lift your heaviest suitcase over your head. There's not always room at the end of the car or between seats, but there's usually space in the overhead racks. Even if you're traveling in first class. Stuff happens, especially in Italy.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 05:51 PM
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I always am the most challenged actually hoisting the suitcase onto the train car from the platform while trying to get on myself. Probably says something about my (lack of) coordination.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 05:10 PM
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I have traveled for 3 weeks in China with Carry On bags only. I bring a wheeled bag that fits in the overhead compartment and another small carry on bag that fits over the handle of the rolling bag so I don't have to carry anything on my shoulder. The wheeled bag is expandable so if I buy souveneirs to take home, I expand the zippers and check the carry on bag and bring the small bag with my valuables on the plane. I always travel with only one color scheme so all clothes, shoes, and accesories are mix and match. Usually darker colors (except for tropical climates) so stains don't show. I always bring enough underwear for each day of travel, and each outfit must be worn 2-3 times on the road, and go with at least 2 other pieces or it does not get packed. Knits are great because they don't wrinkle, stretch for comfort and you don't have to worry about losing buttons or breaking zippers, although I do carry a sewing kit, stain remover and detergent for emergency cleaning. I wear my heaviest shoes on the plane, usually sneakers/boots/walking shoes, and pack one pair of flat comfortable dressier shoes, and sometimes sandals/flip flops that can double as slippers in the hotel room. Ourfits are dressed up with scarves, jewerly etc. Toiletries are the small sample sizes, that get tossed as the trip progresses. See drugstores or cosmetic counters for smaller sizes of products. I try everything on before I leave to make sure it fits and has no stains/repairs necessary, and pack my suitcase. If it does not fit I take something out. Train travel is quite crowded and frequently there is no extra room for luggage. I had to sit on my carry on bag (standing room only) on a 4 hour train trip from Munich to Berlin. Be careful of theive on trains, and make sure you can carry everything up and down steps, lift overhead to put on baggage racks. Train porters are not readily available and you have to be able to lift all your luggage yourself. I would bring dressier clothes to France, in darker colors as Europeans dress more formally. Generally no jeans or shorts, nice skirts, dressier slacks, but separates are fine. Don't need a suit, although I found when I travel to France if I dress better I get better service. Finally bring a phrase book and learn some French phrases. This is greatly appreciated and you will get much better service.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 06:12 AM
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My husband and I (both large people) spent three weeks in Europe with only carry-on luggage. We did no wash in the sinks and used a laundromat once a week. We did eat out at some posh places several times a week.

I carried a large, lightweight purse for documents etc. and a suitcase in which were all our underwear, shoes and foldable clothes. He carried a garment bag and his camera case.

We each wore our walking shoes and took one pair of evening shoes. We each had one suit - mine with both pants and a skirt. We each packed two dress shirts, two casual shirts and seven days worth of underwear as well as swimsuits.

The biggest differences I see between our packing and that of robjames are the number of shoes and the reluctence to wear a shirt twice in one week.

We traveled by plane and car also and were well pleased that we didn't have to lug large pieces about nor try to pack them in a small auto.

IMHO if you take all that you're planning on taking you'll find your belongings a burden after a while.

Have a great time (And remember to wipe your feet on the doormats)
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 08:47 AM
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I think four 29" suitcases for what I'm assuming is a party of two will be really hard to manage...
I suggest a 26" expandable for each of you and the maximum (expandable 22" usually) carryon for the plane plus your perso item...make that purse a really beeg one...Check with your airline to see what their maximum luggage dimensions are and what type of aircraft is scheduled for your trip so that you'll know whether your carryon might need to be gatechecked, for example, on any leg of your journey,and keep your med's, glasses,etc., in your perso item that never leaves your side...
Color coordinate your trip wardrobe..I suggest one or two compatible neutrals and your favorite color..I often use black,beige, and green or red..Scarves & ties can add some pizazz to your outfit...Make sure you can mix and match so that you get maximum use out of everything in that bag...Take old underwear and throw it away as you go along...If you stay in a place with laundry equipment, make sure someone teaches you all about the famous French lave-linges...You will see they have lots of cycles and like to go thru all ten of them! Often there'll be no dryer because of the expense of utility to run it...So, I'm with you on taking at least a week's worth of clothes..That way you will not be caught with an emergency need to launder...There is usually a day in any trip like this when you need a 'break' from touring and that is usually a good day for laundry..I also agree that you need at least three pairs of shoes...Two walking shoes so that one pair 'rests' every other day and dries out..I take a pair of the usual Reebok-type lace shoe and also a pair of Mary Janes or wedge heels like espadrilles...IT's good for your feet and legs..You're going to be using your feet for a lot of walking...Take that dress pair so you can go happily to any luxe resto you trip across on your way thru this eater's paradise called France..A Travelsmith black dress or a neutral suit and a blazer/dress slacks for gents would work in any resto I think...'Wear' the blazer on the plane and that will save you some room in the suitcase..Flipflops are a good idea as they make great 'slippers'...
Layer your clothing because spring in France is very unpredictable..You could have really cold weather or a raging heat wave...So, short sleeved tees and long-sleeved tees..a lightweight raincoat ( again, carry on plane)with zipout lining...believe it or not, warm gloves/hat..I bought a beret from a souvie stand in Paris once to block the cold damp wind from my ears...a warm scarf..All these can be used in varying degrees to meet the weather du jour..Twin sweater sets work really well...
You'll find the rer, metro, and busses are NOT configured for long distance travellers' luggage...The TGV overhead racks will imo only hold a carryon if that...
One general rule is that everyone needs to be able to carry their own luggage because train boarding times can be short!...You might check to see if you could travel first class on the TGV to afford you a little more room...Tickets purchased in advance and called for at the station before departure can often be a real deal...
Weigh your bags before you leave for the airport...I have a 29 or 30" bag or two and I can tell you that fully packed...even with just cottons for Southern California...can quickly add up to 50 pounds...I would definitely get a rollaboard on that 21-22 expandable carryon...I have had about $500 of physical therapy for injury to rotator cuff managing heavy carryon's on my shoulders..You don't want that..My Tumi 21" duffle rollaboard is the best suitcase I've ever owned..There's something about the bearings and the balance that is engineered into that bag that takes the weight off ME...It cost a couple of hundred at a Saks Off Fifth outlet but it's been worth every penny...I like the idea of an expandable duffle for 'take-home' presents and souvies..I also use any purses I might pack as packing envelopes..ditto the shoes...stuff them with your sox and underwear as 'shoetrees'...Bon Voyage..
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