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Train travel between Ventimiglia & Vernazza - Luggage

Train travel between Ventimiglia & Vernazza - Luggage

Feb 9th, 2014, 06:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 20
Train travel between Ventimiglia & Vernazza - Luggage

Hi all,

We are planning to take the long train journey between Ventimiglia and Vernazza in early June this year. As we will be travelling for 3 weeks, we will have suitcases with us.

What are your experiences of travelling on a long regional train with suitcases? Is there luggage storage, do you have to keep it with you, how safe is it to leave luggage away from you and so on.

Much appreciate hearing about any of your experiences.

rilelja is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 07:24 AM
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The crucial info not included in the post is how big are the suitcases?

This route requires at least two trains. These are milk run trains making many stops even the IC trains. Whether it is safe to leave luggage away from you is a probability question. Someone else posting it was ok does not mean you are ok.

I saw a lot of people just keeping steamer trunks with them in corridors and move them around to let people go by.

Are you really traveling with "suitcases" from the bygone days and not with wheeled luggage? For experienced travelers, the length of trip in this range does not change the size of luggage. An inexperienced traveler might carry twice the luggage for one week trip than an experienced traveler on a two month trip.

There are many other issues if you are traveling with (large) suitcases.

Getting on/off trains would be a hassle. Getting to your accommodation in Vernazza from the station would also be a hassle. Depending on a accommodation, you also need to hoist your luggage up stairs to your room from where you check-in.
greg is online now  
Feb 9th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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What greg said. I take the same size luggage for a multi-month trip as I would for a one week trip - one carry-on size bag (wheeled these days) and a day bag. I can lift both of them. I do laundry.... I use the bathroom sink, but there are laundromats in Europe.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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I don't care for most of the IC trains as you are in compartments (each compartment holds 6 people). Your luggage has to go overhead on racks unless you leave it in the hall.

Both IC and regional trains stop frequently so you do need to keep an eye on your things (especially at stops). When you have so many stops in touristy areas, things could easily be taken if left at the ends of cars where you can't see them.

You also need to know that regional trains are scheduled for 1 minute stops at many stations. IC trains may have a couple of minutes more (1-4 minutes). This means you have to be ready at the door to jump off or on with your luggage. You can't be sitting in your seat/compartment when you arrive at your stop or you will miss it. The train won't wait on you.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 9th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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Old regional trains can look like this (might not have the fancy headrests and sometimes vinyl seats) so you could stick a small case under the seat.


IC trains that have compartments look like this:


There are a few open IC trains, but maybe not on this route.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 9th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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BTW, why Ventimiglia?
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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All of the above are correct.

Pack less, never let your 'suitcase' out of your sight.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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Thanks guys.

We're buying new luggage for the trip as our current luggage is a bit worse for wear so just exploring options.

We've been considering packing light e.g. backpack with wheels like you mentioned thursdaysd.
Any recommendations for ideal brands/sizes etc?

We're travelling from Nice - Ventimiglia - Vernazzza. Long trip so ideally want to be comfortable and not worried about luggage.

Thanks for the pictures kybourbon.

rilelja is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 10:54 AM
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Backpack OR wheels, not backpack AND wheels - too much additional weight for when it's a backpack.

I traveled for ten years with an Eagle Creek convertible backpack. This is the current version for women: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/rincon-vita-65l/d/1003_c_116 - there's a similar one for men. Ideally you try before you buy (REI is good for this), and make SURE the hip belt is taking most of the weight.

I'm currently traveling with an older version of this: http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...entId=8&id=527

The RS site has useful info on packing light. My packing list is in three parts here: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/...take-part-one/ - links at the top of the page.

Are you just changing trains in Ventimiglia, because I didn't find anything interesting there except the Botanical Gardens. For more info on European trains see seat61.com.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 11:44 AM
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Most IC trains are no longer made up of compartments. I don't know about that particular line, but I travel fairly often by train, including on IC trains, and I haven't been on a compartment train in quite a while.

Anyway, almost all the trains on this route are regional trains, where there are no reserved seats. Usually the overhead rack is large enough for a medium-sized suitcase, but you'd have to be able to lift it over your head. If the train isn't crowded, you may be able to stuff it into the space next to your seat, but that would prevent another person from sitting there, and you'd have to give it up if the train fills up.

You'll have to change trains at least once on this trip, and the changes will take place at stations with stairs down to an underpass and up again to the track where the next train departs. I would try to haul your full suitcases around for an hour of so at a mall, including up and down the stairs (not the escalator). Then go home and consider whether you really need all that stuff.

I travel for up to three weeks with a small suitcase (carry-on size, although I usually check it) and either a large purse, a daypack, or a duffle bag. I also don't wash clothing, other than socks or underwear, while traveling. I just plan a wardrobe with separates, where everything matches everything else, and I plan to wear each piece multiple times.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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Trains have room for moderate size luggage - yes, with wheels - anything except a backpack/day bag should have wheels. If it's larger than 24" you are taking too much and should cut back.

We have been able to put larger bags under seats and smaller bags overhead - but we go first class if we have luggage (versus just a day trip).

And do remember you need to be able to get on or off the train - often with 3 steep, narrow steps with your luggage - in a minute. There is no time to get from the seat to the door. You must be waiting at the door when the train pulls in. And if you can;t pick it up and carry it a block or up/down a flight of stairs - it's too heavy.

If you have a lot of large luggage you are better off renting a car - and then paying hotel staff to deal with your luggage.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 01:43 PM
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>>>backpack with wheels<<<

Backpacks that have wheels don't hold much (the wheels/frame take up space inside).

I rarely encounter open style IC trains, but most will be regionals on this route anyway. Do not count on comfort or amenities with either IC or regionals. IC might have someone come through selling cold drinks, but that's about it.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 9th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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You keep saying it's a long trip but in miles or kilometers, it isn't, Ventimiglia and Vernazza are both in Liguria.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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Looks like the moral of the story is to pack light!
Will now be narrowing down my list of what to take.

Thanks all!
rilelja is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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There are perhaps different ways to trim down the load. There are so called "packing lists", "take this, don't take that" recommendation. I think such lists would have to be created for each individual to meet particular needs. For those who are observant about learning from each trip would eventually develop an effective customized packing strategy.

Rick Steves, along others, have recommendations. www.youtube.com/watch?v=58HdRSTAFec.

What is needed is to figure out the combination of items that meets your particular need. Some years ago, I traveled with another couple. We traveled three weeks while they traveled two. And yet they carried twice the luggage, but did not think about bring a few critical items I needed to supply to them. So the amount of luggage does not correlate to preparedness.

Your own inertia is your biggest enemy. If you done this several times, you will gain a better understanding of how you use your items and ultimately leverage your future purchases to ask similar critical questions for even non travel related items.

Top of the trim list are "what-if" items. What happens if I don't have them? Can I buy them abroad when what-if turns must-have? Do I really need them? Is there something else I am already carrying that I could use instead? Many people do this with jackets and shoes.

Next on the list are "one time only" items especially if they are bulky or heavy. RS mentions one of them. Here, the item is needed, but does it have to be that particular item? Can something else you are taking anyway substitute well enough? Can you take something else that meets "one time only" need, while eliminating something else on the packing list?

Next tier gets harder. Here I look at different packing scenarios based on expected definite activities and some possible activities as well as weather forecasts. This is a bet, a probability game. Some people assume one specific scenario and pack accordingly, while others assume all scenarios equally and get bloated. I would like to keep options - at least one acceptable, but not necessarily the best, way to deal with all likely outcomes without loaded with "what-if" and "one use only" items.
greg is online now  
Feb 10th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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I think the biggest packing mistake most people make is to assume they need a casual wardrobe and a dressy wardrobe. When a woman is packing, her eye lights on a nice jacket, and she thinks, "This will be nice for dressing up a bit". Then she realizes she would need a dressier skirt with that jacket, and that none of the shoes she's packed would go well with it, and that the purse would just stand out like a sore thumb.Before you know it half of the suitcase is devoted to supporting that jacket, which she probably will never wear anyway.

I've fallen into this trap myself once or twice, but now I discipline myself. If I'm not going to a dinner at the embassy, I bring one type of wardrobe, which is a less casual than tshirts and jeans, and less formal than skirts and heels. In winter, it's usually slacks and sweaters, in summer, capris and cotton tops. And always good walking shoes or sandals.

I don't bring any hair care products or appliances; I get a good easy-care cut before the trip. I don't bring any more cosmetics than would fit into a coin purse, plus a small tube of hand-and-face cream.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 09:50 AM
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Yes, pack light rilelja. To me the question is still what do you mean when you say, " We're buying new luggage for the trip".

That word 'luggage' brings a picture to mind that is not in keeping with 'travelling light'. I think your initial question re the train and what to do with your 'luggage' on the train has been answered. Keep your bag with you at all times.

Where this needs to go now is in looking at what to buy and what to pack. Here are some basic guidelines to consider.

'Lightweight' means different things to different people. For me, lightweight means 15lbs. including the weight of the bag/pack itself. For others, 25 lbs. is lightweight. For some, anything under 50 lbs. is lightweight, don't go there.

Before buying a bag, first lay out everything you feel you NEED to take. Then look at each item and determine if there is a lighter weight alternative. You don't need to give up NEEDS to travel lightweight. What you need to do is find the lightest possible example of each item.

So for example, you can buy a t-shirt that weighs 6 oz. or one that weighs 4 oz. That applies to pretty much any item you can think of. Saving a few ounces on each item adds up to several pounds very quickly. Decide on a weight target and work at getting down to that target by finding the lightest weight example of each item.

What you need to take for 3 weeks is no different than for 3 days, 3 months or 3 years, assuming no major climate changes (ie. winter travel). I manage 3 seasons packing in under 7kg/15 lbs.

A common mistake tourists make is to think they have to pack enough to last the entire time of their trip. If you consider what that would mean if you travelled for 3 months, it obviously is not possible. What you do is you WASH things. Travelling for 3 weeks is no different. It takes 5-10 minutes at night to wash out socks, underwear, t-shirt, shorts, etc. and let them dry overnight.

There are washing products available that make this easy. Camp soap (originally produced for campers) needs only a few drops in a sink of hot water to wash your clothes. It can also be used to wash your body, your hair, your dishes, etc. This is all you need: http://www.rei.com/product/407166/ca...-campsuds-2-oz

There is a well known saying that goes like this. One to wear, one to wash, one to spare. You do not need 21 pair of underwear or socks for 3 weeks. You need THREE pair. The picture 'luggage' brings to mind is the 21 rather than the 3 being packed.

Once you have decided on everything you feel you need to take, THEN is the time to consider what to put it in. Most people, do it backwards. They buy a bag and then see what they can fit into it. Cart.....horse.

The next step is to put everything into a plastic garbage bag and use string, tape, whatever to compress it into a fairly tight space. Measure that space to see how big a bag you will need. Length x width x height = Volume in cubic inches or litres.

Now you are ready to go and look at what to buy. Forget 22", 24", etc. What you want to know is what is the Volume of the bag. Many people can travel indefinitely with a 30-35 Litre bag. Some need a 40-45L bag. Some THINK they need a 60-70L bag, don't go there.

What kind of bag to get depends on HOW you will travel. Someone who goes from the airport to a taxi to a hotel and stays there for 2 weeks does not need the same kind of bag as someone who goes from the airport onto a bus/train to a city centre and then walks half a mile to a hotel for a few days before moving on to somewhere else again.

The first traveller, will be quite happy with a wheeled bag such as the second one thursdaysd linked to from Rick Steves. The second traveller, would be better served by the first one linked from Eagle Creek. Both however are in my opinion too big and will inevitably result in carrying too much weight. Not so important for the first traveller but very important for the second traveller who may indeed carry it on his/her back for several hours at a time.

Here is what I consider an ideal travel pack for a 'lightweight' traveller to consider. http://www.rei.com/product/837012/os...46-travel-pack

Or even better, this one. http://www.rei.com/product/837010/os...40-travel-pack
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,357
The Eagle Creek bag I linked is almost exactly the same size as the Osprey recommended by dulcius. The 65L designation includes the matching day pack. I have no opinion on which is better, except that my Eagle Creek has survived several years of travel, not always in the best conditions.
thursdaysd is offline  

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