need suggestions on luggage for France?


Jun 24th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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need suggestions on luggage for France?

Planning on 5 weeks in France. We'll be house sitting with access to a washing machine, but will take side trips for a week at a time. What's the best kind of luggage to buy? We'll probably be doing everything fairly casual. No fancy suits or evening gowns, lots of light clothing. What's the opinion on roller duffels versus standard roller style suitcases? Any recommendations for something light? What about brand names?
What size would you suggest? I'm thinking 21" but my husband is thinking 24". Thanks
annetti is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 03:14 PM
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I'd suggest looking at what's available on; that will give you a good idea of the various possibilities. We just bought a 26" that is nicely subdivided, and it has an expanding feature just in case.
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Jun 24th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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I'd take a couple of 33" expanding cases. This will allow for a decent amount of clothing for a few weeks, however, you will have to do some washing. 21" is fine for a few nights, certainly not 5 weeks, even if you are doing ultra casual.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 04:13 PM
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Take two 24 inch bags and just coordinate your wardrobe so you don't need a lot of clothes. Having a washer is definitely a plus--and allows for fewer clothes. As Rick Steves says, "No one ever went to Europe and said they wished they had taken more luggage."

As for brand names, the most expensive is not always a good buy. Tumi, Eagle Creek, American Tourister, etc...all good. Look for double zippers with large teeth, wheels that turn easily, handle that locks and is comfortable to pull, or wide comfortable shoulder straps if you go for a duffel. We did a month in Europe with two duffels (no wheels) as we used trains, and lifting and toting those wheeled bags is a pain--literally. If you're using trains, porters are rare, although sometimes you can snag a luggage cart (but don't count on it). If you're driving, it doesn't matter what you take.
happytourist is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 04:42 PM
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3 days or 5 weeks, I would take the same luggage: one 22 inch "rollaboard" and a small-medium duffel bag. I'd also take a very large canvas duffel (empty).

For detailed advice, see

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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A 22" case for 5 weeks? How on earth can you fit at least six pairs of casual trousers, a few skirts, fifteen or so T/Polo shirts/tops, maybe a few shirts, and eight or so pairs of soft shoes into one of those, or even two for that matter? The above is what one would need for a two week casual holiday, let alone a five week stay. So what if you have lots of luggage? You're there for five weeks so you can leave the cases in the house and only have to lug them along once.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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Follow mKingdom's advice and get ready to pay overage fees.
22" rollaboard that expands to 24" for your souvenirs.
Kirkland brand of Costco has a beauty of a bag--well made--for $89. Flight attendant daughter just replaced hers with it.
You can wash--don't pack your whole closet.
Gretchen is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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What do you use for 5 weeks at home, casual only? That's what you'll want for your trip. Then, eliminate what you could do without. So now you need less. Then eliminate things you might just buy while you're there. Then pack what's left, wtih one week's stuff in a small bag, and the rest in a big bag. Now you are set for both the whole trip and the weeklong side trip.
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Jun 24th, 2004, 07:48 PM
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Would somebody call Rick Steves and let him know that I am the one who just returned from Europe and IS saying I wish I'd taken more luggage!

I just did a 6 week stay in France with one rollaboard, a carry-on tote and a large purse. Wish I'd have taken a larger rolling case and checked it thru as well as a carry-on that would have stacked nicely on top of the bigger case for rolling upon leaving the airport.

On the way back home, I put all my souvenirs in my rollaboard, purchased a very large rolling duffle and checked it along with my tote.

I decided this is my last trip trying to squeeze it all so I don't have to check. Damn the torpedoes, I am bringing what I need and will be comfortable with, and I will just spring for lots of taxis! If I need to scrimp on that, I just need to stay home.
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Jun 24th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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I'm with you, crepes!
I packed a big suitcase (that was expandable in case I needed more room on the way home, a sports duffle that fit on top with heavy stuff (like shoes) and things I didn't need as much (including...gasp!...a picnic blanket) and my backpack. I could handle it all with one hand if needed, but am soooo glad I packed the larger suitcase. I was the one who manhandled it on the train and up the stairs at one small inn, but otherwise was glad to tip to have airport and hotel folks to help me out. I'm improving on cutting down on what I pack, but will NEVER be able to travel a la Rick Steves. In fact, I thought of him often on the trip when I pulled out something (like a sparkly sweater set) for a special night out in Paris.
gracieb is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Let me suggest Victorinox - the Swiss Army brand luggage. Unbelievably well made and designed. It's fairly expensive but worth it. We actually got a great deal on line at REI-Outlet for less than have price. We have a 26" & 22" both on rollers with ergonic handles, a backpack and shoulder bag. This has worked very well for us on numerous trips. Plus with it's unique styling, I can spot it immediately at baggage claim.

Also I'm fanactical about using ziploc bags - don't get me started.

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Jun 25th, 2004, 08:58 AM
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Posts: 1,755 favorite- travel pro (their platinum line)..compact..DONT pack too much! you are lucky ie all casual (Ive sometimes had a trip which has been both big city business chic followed by a week in the country in the spring when temps ranged from 45-75 f.)..color coordinate make sure each piece has at least 3 different can wash things out...I pack light not because i dont want to check stuff (in fact I always check a 21" on a longhaul) but rather because i dont need too much., i dont want the hassle of carrying large heavy bags...look at the different sizes of the travelpro platinum line and choose but really less is more.
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Jun 25th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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I don't think luggage brands matter that much, I just buy cheap stuff based on it being the right size and features and how it looks/feels in the store. I've had cheap suitcases for 10 years that are still pretty decent. My newest set--when I, too, decided I had not taken enough and was traveling too light which was causing me problems on my trips and wasted time shopping for stuff I could have brought (so much for Rick Steves)--was a 25" plus matching carryon I got at Target which is really nice. I was having to check my old 21-22" anyway as a lot of airlines weren't allowing it onboard anymore when it was packed really full (due to size, particularly foreign carriers) and they only allow one carryon now, which is my tote bag.

I don't care for duffel bags except as small carryons and don't see the point of the large rolling ones over a different shaped suitcase. I think regular rectangular bags are organized better and are easier to find things (and to pull along as duffels are lower).

I think the problem for this trip is that you will be there a long time, in which case I'd recommend about a 25" like I take for longer trips. However, you also want bags for short trips of a week or so, when I wouldn't take a bag that large and wouldn't want it locally. However, if those short trips are by car, it may not matter so much and I'd take a 24-25" probably.
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