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Suitcase or backpack

Traveler_2007

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
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Joined: December 22nd, 2006

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2007
It's hard to give advice without knowing your preferences but here is a site I used and it works like a charm.

http://www.onebag.com/

Over the last year and a half, the only time I checked a bag was right after the London incidents. Traveling light is a big advantage and avoiding the check in is even better. It is unlikely you will be able to pack enough gadgets for a year no matter what size suitcase you have so you might as well travel light and purchase things as you go. If you want souvenirs, just send them back home by mail, keep the luggage light and avoid any hassles through customs.
In my opinion, a backpack is a must. Unless you are in an airport it's usually pretty rough to carry a suitcase. Vienna is a pretty civilized place but looking for my hotel while lugging around my huge roll on Samsonite was a pain. No issues when in Cusco carrying my backpack up and down the highly inclined streets.
Enjoy your trip

OzGronk

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2007
Each year we spend 4 weeks in Europe and have, over the past 10 years, developed the perfect setup.

We started out with backpacks but found them awkward, difficult to pack neatly, and with too many straps and things that got caught on conveyors etc and back breaking.

Because we travel by train and bus, where we have to carry bags from one line, down the stairs, through the tunnel, up the stairs to another line to change trains or get to the bus station and because we always stay in hotels that usually don't have lifts, we travel with a cabin bin sized wheely bag each plus a small day-pack each. These wheely bags follow us along the cobblestones up to the hotels without any trouble at all.

We reckon if we cannot easilly lift our bags from the floor into the overhead airline bins or train luggage rack, then they are too heavy to lug around for weeks.

Pack just the bare minimum...after all you are on a holiday not appearing on TV, and it is so easy to wash out the undies or polo shirt in the hotel washbasin and dry them overnight, so you only need one or two changes. And if you really need an item of clothing that you left out because the weather is freezing/boiling, then buy it there..... what a great souvenir of your trip!

ricjen

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  • Added on: January 21st, 2008
This may sound strange but I came up with a luggage solution on my rtw trip that worked great for me. I had an Eagle Creek travel pack--the 4.2 lb. model that came with a duffle bag that cinches in all the straps. Then I attached it to a luggage rack with bungie cords. I could put on the pack when I needed to and hand-carry the cart (up and down train stairs).

It was easy to roll for blocks and over cobblestones because the wheels were big. When it became awkward to use--the filty streets of Varanassi--I left it behind. That was 10 months into the trip and by then I was more travel smart and had lightened the load and carried the pack for another six months. I turned 60 on my trip.

The travelpack was good because it zipped open all around, making it easy to enter and you could lock the zipper, unlike top-loading packs.

ricjen

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  • Added on: January 21st, 2008
Just read OzGronk. Same idea on a smaller scale. Where do you get these wheely things and how big are they? I need a new cart and want a lightweight, yet strong one. Ideas?

Jeanie99

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Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: April 18th, 2008
Hi everyone, well we are 11 month into our RTW trip, I have a suitcase with 4 wheels and the lads have rucksacks. We are all in our 60s so are not super fit like the young ones so when we arrive by train, plane, coach,ferry, into a city we take transport to the hotel (always book in advance), taxi, tuk tuk what ever is available. Don't walk for any length of time with the luggage so it's not been a problem for any of us. Now if we needed to walk some distance then the lads would have a problem. I think we all have taken too much stuff with us. I have a complete chemist with everything to combat all ills known to man. Because we have visited some colder climates we have had to take different types of cloths. I've thrown things away along the way and we have all bought additional things. Not had any problem with the weight for flying which we thought we might have. There's been a few places where we would have turned down the heat if it had been possible but it's been a great trip and we have had the time of our lives. We are in Vietnam now with China next then Hong Kong and home on the 4th June. Check out our website www.Getjealous.com/trio

MsLibrarian

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Joined: September 8th, 2008

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  • Added on: September 11th, 2008
I was just going to ask this same question!

When I went to England I used my backpack and found it to be convenient, but it was harder to pack and....being a ...umm..larger sized woman...it looked horrid on me. But it did feel secure and it packed away easy in the hostel lockers.

This time I'm thinking of taking my suitcase. It's a medium sized one (not the super-duper ones) and when I took it to London the last time I went I got everything I needed it in it and with plenty of room left. But it was a pain in the ass on the tube and any place with stairs. I also couldn't store it under the bed at teh hostel. NOt like I leave anything of value in it anyway, but my clothes mean something to me Wink

I'm going for a month to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. What should I take?

Grannygold

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  • Added on: September 11th, 2008
OzGronk got it: best for me is a carryon wheelie (I'm still using the cheap one with fairly large wheels I got at a Portuguese Feria), and a light daypack (with book, journal, and camera) I can use everywhere I go. On planes, the bag goes overhead and the daypack under the seat in front of me. I also wear a hidden money belt with a waterproof bag for ATM card, passport, and emergency money. Travel LIGHT. I never check anything, never lose anything, and so far (may the travel angel continue to bless me) never had anything stolen, though I did have a nasty run-in with pickpockets in Mexico City who razor-slashed my daypack even as I carried it in front of me with my arms around it. They didn't get what was in it, but I had to buy some duct tape to repair the slashes. In that environment if I'd had a backpack on my back, they'd have cleaned me out.
--------------------------------
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Grannygold/

Jeanie99

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  • Added on: November 27th, 2008
I asked the original question and after travelling for 12 months I can honestly say the suitecase worked well for me. The lads had a struggle with the backpacks when going up stairs and walking for any distance. To be honest they took too much stuff, you should always be able to lift the pack above your head this is a good way of gauging it is not too heavy. My case had four wheels and was brilliant at getting through tight situations like Delhi train station when dozens of men boarded the train before I could get off, I can tell you I can push like a good on especially with this case.
Jean

MsLibrarian

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  • Added on: March 6th, 2009
I"m leaving in less than two months for my 4 weeks in Europe and I'm leaning more towards my wheeled luggage all the time. My pack is good, its comfy...but my luggage has wheels!

I'm staying in hostels except for 1 night and a week with a friend. But there are only 4 hostels in total and included in that is a private room in London that I will share with a friend.

busman7

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Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

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  • Added on: March 30th, 2009
With only 3 weeks left in my 6 mo trip to Mexico, Central America & Cuba travelling mainly by bus my wheely back MEC back pack with detachable day pack that I use as a carry on have served me well & will use them on my RTW in Sept. Bought a bit too much stuff along the way so will have to use the tote I bought here in Antigua as a "purse" to hold the extra on my return flight.
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain


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