What size luggage?

Old May 21st, 2011, 02:55 PM
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"Honestly, anything under 70 pounds is more than manageable for me. "

Really! 70 lbs is manageable for you. I feel like a wimp.

Yikes! 70 lbs is a lot to lift over my head. One wrong little twist and I could be down for the count (or the better part of my vacation).
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Old May 21st, 2011, 03:33 PM
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you've already gotten so many replies, but I'll add that a few years ago we traveled on trains with larger suitcases and right after that bought rolling 22 inch bags. You can always attach a tote bag. There are laundromats wherever you go.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 05:36 PM
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I take a 22" suitcase no matter how long I travel. I don't do "outfits." Instead I color-coordinate my clothes. I mostly take black pants and a black jacket and then tops to match. I wear my walking shoes and bring one pair of dressier shoes.

I sometimes wash things out in the sink, but occasionally I find a laundromat if the trip is long.

I usually check my luggage, because I don't want to have to ask anyone else to heft my suitcase into the overhead compartment and because I bring a little bag as a carry-on for a book, my needlework, etc.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Ha well! I am probably stronger than most ladies with my petite stature because I do yoga : ) but- the last time I traveled in Europe, I was young and naive, and brought my huge 30 something inch suitcase to London, thinking since I was just going to one city, so I'd just check it and the only lugging of luggage I would have to do would be to and from the airport. While that was true, I failed to realize that taking the train to (and from) Gatwick to (and from) the city and then the London Tube and THEN down the streets of London to my destination would involve numerous stairs and lifting of luggage. I was such a sore sight gazing helplessly up some stairs with my suitcase that some gentleman swept up my luggage and took it right up for me. I vowed to never be in that position again! I am sure I could do 30 lbs comfortably, but a 50 lb suitcase will not happen again! I'd really never heard of some of the packing tips suggested on this forum, so this has really helped! Thanks again!
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 05:25 PM
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The link mentioned above (see below) is amazing. I'm gonna try it! Thanks!
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/201...6-pack-ss.html
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 07:16 PM
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4 of us are going to Europe in 5 weeks and this is helping me get over my nervousness about only taking carry-ons. I hope I can hang tight on this resolution to avoid a larger suitcase!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:28 PM
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kwren,
If you write down all the clothes you are taking and then combine them into outfits I think you will be surprised at how many outfits you actually are bringing. I got 25-30 different combinations with just a carry on. This might ease your nervousness some more. Stay strong!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:54 PM
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I personally prefer two smaller bags to one big one. Easier for me to handle, if at least one has rollers.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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Butrfly,
I often take personal trips in conjunction with my international business travel. I have learned over the years how to carry a 22" plus backpack. Once I scale down to 19-20', then I sometimes have trouble. Only once did I take the big bag.

My personal improvement is in the choice of dress/business clothes and the number. My floor length dress+coverup for the last trip was knit with skimpy sandals, so the outfit took no space and the sandals were filled with socks, etc.

I find my European colleagues often wear the same outfit to work 2 or 3 days in a row, so I feel comfortable repeating often. For 5-day work week I try to take 1 skirt, 1 slacks (or 2 slacks if winter/rain), 1-2 jackets, and 3 tops and just mix/match and alternate. I often take a knit suit as well instead of a structured one that takes more space. I especially like to take either slacks or skirt that can be combined with a more formal jacket and then a more casual sweater so I wear to dinner, etc. even during pleasure portion. One pair of dress shoes for all the work outfits.

I only take a true winter coat/jacket if going to Norway or similar in winter. If you are going in spring/fall, then I agree with the layering idea of wearing some combination of shirt/sweaters with weatherproof/windproof jacket. Less bulk and more versatile than a lined or padded jacket.

I did take one trip with specialty clothes some years ago in winter that I did take a larger suitcase with formal outfits, hat, business clothes, casual clothes, down jacket, boots, etc. for 10 days in middle of German winter. I still froze in Berlin, so I think if I had to do it all over again I could now even do that trip as well or better in a 22" at least. It was a nightmare getting on packed pre-Christmas trains where the luggage racks were full and people were falling over my bag while I had to stand.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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I find my European colleagues often wear the same outfit to work 2 or 3 days in a row, so I feel comfortable repeating often>>

I know Kay, - what sluts we are. In fact, i may wear the same suit but a different t-shirt and scarf to ring the changes. or the suit trousers with a smart overshirt instead of the jacket.

don't americans do the same?
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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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Hi, annhig. For whatever reasons, I think most Americans, at least women, would rather die than wear the same suit two days or more in a row. Not saying it makes sense, but it's the way it is. Perhaps because IME we have greater access to decent discount clothing than most Europeans. I can go to T.J. Maxx or Marshalls or a place like that and buy a bunch of outfits for $100 or less. I think Europeans focus more on having a small wardrobe of high-quality staple pieces, which they accessorize to achieve different looks. NOT the standard American approach, IMO, though it makes a lot more sense to me
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:37 PM
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annhig: StCirq has just about nailed it. Many American women have walk in closets larger than the bedrooms in some of the places I lived in England. Our house tend to have many times the storgae space for clothes/accessories

Instead of one good $500/£300 suit and various blouses -- they'll have seven $100-$150/£60-£90 suits and wear a different one every day. (and the gals who can afford $500 suits -- will have several of them.)
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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StCirq and janisj are correct, annhig.

I see nothing wrong with having a small number of suits and just changing out the shirt and underclothes (although a few of my colleagues in Spain wear the same shirt several days in a row--not something I would do unless washing each evening--and maybe they are). Clothing prices are so low in the US that it is tempting to buy more and have more variety. But, no need to take it all along in the suitcase.

I once knew an attorney whose work wardrobe consisted of 5 suits. Each week he cycled through the 5 suits, so could air out and have some variety, and still dress quickly with prearranged outfits. He taught a course for a university one night a week. At the end of the term, some of the students commented that they felt sorry for him that he only owned one suit and tie (they saw him the same day each week).
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Old May 27th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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interesting thread. I think that in the UK we are somewhere between the US and "europe" - not so many clothes as the US and not as good quality as the europeans!

I do in fact have several suits for work, of varying weights. so if we have a warm spell, as we did about a month ago, I really only have one "suit" as such. but over the years i have collected a number of pairs of trousers that match the jacket [it's black linen which makes that easier than might appear] i I just ring the changes with the trousers and different tops, wearing the jacket when i want/need to look particularly smart. and then of course if you need to look smart AND be comfortable, there is the footwear problem.

unfortunately, not all of our court buildings have air/con, and those that have are controlled from about 150 miles away, so if they are warm, we freeze and vv.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 05:31 PM
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In reference to your comment about having to store your luggage at the train station while sightseeing: It is WAY easier to find an empty storage locker for a smaller, carry-on size piece of luggage, than a larger suitcase. The larger storage lockers are few, and they always seem to be full!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 06:37 PM
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We are back to our original plans. Carry on suitcase and backpack! Thanks for the advice!
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:19 PM
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Another endorsement for that NYT article -- I rolled everything last trip and couldn't believe how much I could fit in the bag packing that way. I

I also do carry on only, 21-22" bag, packing an extra fold-out bag for purchases so I could possibly check on the way back if need be.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Last year I spent three weeks in Europe. I brought two bags. One was a honker of a bag. It was way way too big but not a worry since it stayed put in the same place for the whole 3 weeks) and I had transport to and from the airport for arrival and departure. I also brought a 21 inch with the intent that would serve me on a couple of 4 & 5 day side trips to two other European countries.

For the side trips I booked flights on two different European carriers. Neither of them allowed the 21 inch in to the cabin. The second carrier, Ryan Air, in addition to requiring that I check my bag at the gangway door and pay 75 euros on the spot - also required that I check my computer case/tote. To keep the cost from escalating to 150 euros I somehow managed to stuff it into the carryon.

When I purchased the 21 inch bag in the US, I was told it was the proper size for inter country travel by three different sales people. The problem was the wheels - I had the 4 wheel model with the wheels on the outside. Not good. Those wheels added height but not extra space. As tight as it was packing the 21 inch I can't imagine losing another 1 or 2 inches in luggage space. I returned the 21" and now have a 20" bag with 2 wheels but it still looks to me as if it won't fit RyanAir's standards. What size are the carryons in Europe?
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Old May 17th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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Apparently each of the European short haul airlines (Ryanair, Easy Jet, etc.) have slightly different standards. Ryanair is supposed to be the most stringent. You can find their requirements on their websites. If you pay in advance online to check this bag, you will pay less than at the gate, or so I understand. The original bag you have is fine for flying on intercontinental (USA to Europe) airlines, but the European budget airlines have small carry-on compartments and also make their money by charging extra for everything. I am flying on Vueling from Venice to Barcelona. Their size restriction is 55x40x20 cm including handles and wheels (around 22" x 16" x 8") but actually a little less, more like 7.8". Next time just pay to check the bag online. American based baggage sellers in my experience have been unfamiliar with European requirements.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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This is an older thread. Upthread people talked about difficulty with getting on and off trains. I did make the mistake in 2009 of bringing way too much luggage for a 7-week Italy trip--to the point that I left a bag behind and also mailed home some clothes from the Florence post office (they did arrive a month later, as promised but cost about $100).

I did manage on the trains by simply asking a strong young person (usually a guy but several times young women offered to help), and nobody turned me down. I had been worried because there are no longer porters in Italian train stations, but this worked out fine.
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