Suitcase Dilemma

Mar 27th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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Suitcase Dilemma

My husband and I are going to France and Italy for three weeks in June. We will both take one suitcase. I would like to take a 29" suitcase but my hushband says it is too big and it won't fit on the train. Is this true?
chishy1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Just got back from Rome and Paris.

A 29" suitcase will fit on the train, but you will have a very difficult time geting it on and off the train as the steps can be very narrow.

At the main train station in Rome, we were amused by watching people getting frustrated trying try to deal with their large luggage. They were having a miserable time.

Woody is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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I haven't taken luggage on trains in France or Italy, but when I was in Switzerland I saw bigger bags than that. However, I've heard that carrying 2 smaller bags is more manageable on a train than one large bag.
P_M is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Frankly I think trying to carry two bags is more difficult getting on and off trains than one big one. But we each carry a backpack (smallish ones also used as our carryons on the plane) plus each of us has a big rolling duffel. I like that as the back pack leaves a hand free for getting on and off the train. The weight is more an issue than the size. Our big bags are always left in the compartments at the end of the cars. A bicycle cable type combination lock will secure it to the rack if that makes you feel more comfortable leaving it out of sight.
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Spare your husband a hernia and everyone in earshot a lot of swearing and go with less clothing/shoes and a smaller bag. Especially if he's over 50-55, you don't want to be lugging a 29" monster. I've gone on 3-5 week Euro trips with and without these monstrosities, and the latter were much more enjoyable. Do a search here on packing tips and you'll find ways to pack what you need without killing the porter (husband) so to speak.
JN is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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I think the 29 inch one should be fine. I am saying this having traveled with a duffel bag the size of a small country on the eurostar.

I am planning on going with a 29 inch one as well for my two week trip.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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It also depends on how many train journeys you will be taking. If it's only one or two, then you'll probably be okay struggling with a 29" bag. BUT, if you're getting on and off (and changing trains), and traveling multiple days, dealing with that size will get old pretty darn fast.
travlsolo2 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I need help with this issue as well.

I did once travel with a 29 inch duffel bag and found the experience horrible! I should have used something with wheels. I also found myself running out of space very easily and could only pack about 4 pairs of pants, and 7 shirts and a pair of shoes. I will definately need that much on my trip, unless I plan on getting some dry cleaned, and I am trying to cut down on the drycleaning cost issue.

I am still trying to find a reasonable luggage that can give me the space I need, and still be afforadable and easy to carry.

ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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We have taken several trips in Europe that were on and off of trains. I carry a 23" roller and wear a smallish pack to keep my hand free, and I had some interesting times boarding the trains. The steps up are pretty steep, and you are hoisting the bag plus yourself. I would not have wanted any bigger bag.

I usually carry a medium duffle that starts out folded in my (small) suitcase, but as I make purchases it becomes an additional piece of luggage. It goes over the pull handle of my suitcase. On trains, I find it much easier to deal with these two smaller pieces than one large (heavy) bag.

I have seen many women who had to request help from fellow passengers with their large bags. If you are taking just one train trip, it might be worth it, but if you are traveling to several destinations by train, I'd re-think the packing strategy and go as small as you possibly can.

noe847 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Think small.

Any size suitcase will fit on a train - that's not the issue.

The problem comes when you have to make a tight connection and have to traverse several tracks to do it.

The pedestrian access is either above or below the track level where you alight, so you have to go down one story and up one story to get to the next train.

There may be elevators to traverse the vertical distance, but these are rare in smaller stations.
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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If a trip is over 2 weeks long, we usually take one 26" and one 27" suitcase. We haven't had any particular problems--we don't have to get on and off trains every day; we tend to stay in one place for a few days.

It partly depends on your physical condition as well. Frankly, if the biggest problem on your trip is a couple of minutes struggling to get your suitcase on and off a train, I'd say your trip is going pretty well.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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yes, it will fit but I really would recommend you not take it, unless your husband doesn't mind and truly thought that was the only reason (he may have been trying to be tactful).

I am not a particularly light packer compared to some folks on here, and take quite a few pairs of shoes, CD player, some books, and changes of clothing, but even I do not need a 29 inch suitcase when packing for a trip in summer when clothes are lighter weight. I've been gone that long, also, and for my longer trips I take a 25" rather than 22", and I consider that luxurious. I suggest that as a compromise. I do take a small tote bag with that (for carryon essentials on the plane).
Christina is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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There's also the issue of taking a bulky 50-pound suitcase (or more), hoisting it up the steps, lifting it into the racks, and not banging yourself up, banging someone else up, smashing your foot, straining your back, etc. while being pushed onwards by a crush of in-a-hurry people. I think I'd consider getting first-class train tickets if taking such a heavy, large suitcase.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Why make the trip a chore instead of a pleasure? Unless you are to attend some formal events or business ones there is no reason to empty the closet! Just for fun, log the clothing that you wear at home for three weeks. Do you change clothes three times a day? Next load the 29" bag..Take it with you everywhere you go for a week. Check the aircrew. They use a small wheeled case with a small bag on top! Safety...most train pickpocketing occurs at the railcar entrance. While struggling with bags, two bandits come from in the car and one from out. They try to pass. You are the meat in the sandwich! Options, ship ahead. Buy abroad.
GSteed is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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Dang, WillTravel, if someone is that much of a clumsy doofus they shouldn't have any luggage!
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Some people will be fine with 25 pounds of luggage, but not with 50 pounds. Just as some people would be fine with 50, but not with 100.
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Is the 29" suitcase on wheels?
suze is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Airlines are really cracking on oversize and OVERWEIGHT bags.

I'd love to be able to take some super sized suitcases and carry everything I MIGHT need, but I've finally weened myself from that dependence. Now, I just need to convince my wife.
JackOneill is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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My thought it is will FIT on the train but will be a bit difficult to get it ON the train (you normally have to step up high, up narrow and steep steps, down a narrow aisleway.

Also one that big you would need to leave at the rack at the end of the car, as it wouldn't fit overhead for sure, and unlikely fit behind you seat either.
suze is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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Incidentally, we normally put our two big suitcases on the train, by one of us getting up in the train, the other on the ground. The lower one hands up one suitcase then the other. Getting off we reverse. This works better than trying to manage going up the narrow and steep steps with the suitcase.

No one should ever buy anything larger than a carry on size bag unless it has wheels, in my opinion!

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