small plane luggage question

Old May 1st, 2014, 02:54 PM
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small plane luggage question

after booking a tour of south africa with 4 short plane flights in country i now am being told by the tour company that we cant have any luggage with wheels or collapsable handles on these flights. has anyone heard of this and if so any ideas how to deal with this as we plan to go to europe after the tour and really need wheeled bags for the trains.looking for ideas to solve this problem thanks
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Old May 1st, 2014, 05:05 PM
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You're more likely to get answers if you post this on the Africa board. Backpacks work fine for trains as well as small planes... Actually better for trains since stations usually have stairs.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 06:45 PM
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>>as we plan to go to europe after the tour and really need wheeled bags for the trains.even in Europe.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 05:02 AM
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We have flown in small aircraft many times in Africa and Asia and many will suggest/insist on passengers taking soft bags only as luggage space on these small aircraft is limited and it is to pack in soft sided bags without frames or handles.

Maybe you could store your you main bags with the tour operator? I am with janisj in that no one really needs wheeled bags unless they are physically unable to lift a normal bag. Ever thought of travelling light? We have being doing it for years now and just take a 40 litre Carryon bag ( no wheels or handles). Even on a six month trip to a cold climate we still managed fine and it weighed in at under 10 kg ( less by the time we got back). For a warm climate it would weigh considerably less.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 08:45 AM
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I agree with the above. It is normal for small planes to have such limits/regulations.

I also agree that wheels are not needed in Europe or anywhere else for that matter. That speaks more to your 'norms' than anything else. Perhaps you should tell us just how big a wheeled bag you intend to use in Europe and how much it will weigh.

If you cannot travel light as crellston suggests then you have a problem for which there is no EASY answer. There may be no easy 'ideas to solve this problem.' Or at least no EASY answer that is acceptable to you. You will in fact have to plan as if it were two separate trips.

There is a SIMPLE answer of course. That is to take a soft sided bag with no wheels that you are comfortable carrying in your hand, on your shoulder or on your back. People do it every day. Simple but not necessarily easy for any given individual to do. Crellston obviously can do it, can you?
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Old May 5th, 2014, 10:35 AM
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We bought the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-on specifically for our flying safari. It is possibly the most lightweight bag available that also has backpack straps, and it's built like a tank. After Africa, this became my favorite bag for European train travels as well. If you happen to travel with Eagle Creek packing cubes and envelopes, they fit perfectly. Recommended it to a co-worker, and he bought one for each member of the family before they took a train trip across Switzerland and Italy. After they came back he said they all loved their bags, which were available in enough colors that they each got a different color. Sorry - I'm raving but I truly deeply madly love this well-thought-out piece of luggage.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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I used the eBags convertible weekender (VERY similar to the bag spcfa is talking about) in Africa and on many trips and I love it. spcfa is raving about that type of bag for a good reason, it's a beautiful mix of different styles that work well for many different situations.

If you truly NEED wheels for Europe (you probably don't but to each their own), can you buy a small luggage cart (basically the fold up dolly) either in Europe or take one with you and ask your tour provider to store it (if you start and stop in the same place)? I think they're about $25-30 at Target or the like and they fold up about the size of a fat 3 ring binder. That would work for wheeling your bags if you really feel they must be wheeled, but it would take up very little space in the planes and vehicles. It's easier to deal with soft sided bags and a separate folding luggage cart as the cart can be tossed on top, on a side or just randomly out of the way. Ask your tour provider if that would work.

As for the need of wheels, do also remember how light the bags will be. You're not looking at carrying 40 pounds around. If you don't have wheels then the bag itself drops from weighing 7-10 pounds to about 2-3 pounds, or even a lot less depending on what bag you get. A basic duffle bag may weigh less than a pound while a bag like spcfa and I have may weigh closer to 2-3 pounds because of the nicely padded straps (I've always found that well worth the extra pound). I think we were asked to pack about 20 pounds or less for Africa. It sounds like very little but it's actually a lot more stuff than you'd think. Do a quick preliminary packing and see how much what you *need* to take actually weighs. Add a couple of the *strongly want* items and then weigh the lot (a laundry basket works nicely for this game). You might be surprised how little it weighs if you're careful about how much you actually need to pack.
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