8 Day Trip With No Checked Bags - Possible?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by ranman1973, Apr 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. ranman1973

    ranman1973 Silver Member

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    Heading to Europe for 8 days. I'm speaking at a conference so I have to have some nice clothes in addition to my regular bumming around clothes. At a minimum, 1 suit, 2 pairs of shoes, some casual clothes. It's in April and forecast is for cold.

    Think I can do it without any checked bags? I'm a light traveller, but I'm thinking this one will be cutting it close.
     
  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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  3. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    This can absolutely be done. I did six weeks once with a book bag. Now, it didn't involve a suit but I managed to be clean and decent....most of the time ;).
     
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  4. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Do this every time!

    Don't forget that a backpack also counts as your personal item. In addition to work stuff, I usually put in some clothes in my backpack should they force me to check my bag (only happened Intra-Europe on LH). I stuff sleep clothes (for changing on plane) and 1 days worth of regular clothing in there. If ambitious, I will even stuff a pair of shoes in as they are light but can take up a lot of room in a suitcase.
     
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  5. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Easy enough if you do not need anything specialized/bulky.
     
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  6. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Absolutely! I did 12 days last year in the UK and Netherlands with a carry and a laptop bag (sans laptop). I use a Travelpro carry on bag, my favorite bag that I have had for about 5 years. It is a trooper! I log about 70 flights a year and it has held up well. When I travel internationally, my employer does not allow us to take our laptop so I turn my laptop into my personal bag.

    My bag of choice for gaining extra space is a Wenger 17" Patriot rolling case. I just replaced the one I purchased 4 years ago (think 70 flights a year x 4 years) because I love this bag. It is huge, so if that is a consideration, look at another bag. However, this bag includes 5 zippered compartments, 2 of which are perfect for clothes! I use 1 for my personal netbook and iPad, another for my Bose headphones and a book, and the 5th compartment for change, cell phone headset, mini mouse, and my boarding pass. This bag, combined with the Travelpro carry on provided me with more than enough room to make it through a 12 day trip that included 2 suits, 1 sport coat, numerous slacks and dress shirts 1 pair of shoes and my bumming around clothes.

    So my long winded response that sounds more like a commercial for my bag of choice is really just to say, yes, you can definitely do just carry on for an 8 day trip!

    Packing correctly as Sobore says about is also critical. Good luck!
     
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  7. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    At the end of the day it's up to you and your travel style/requirements. Even indefinite travel with carry on only is easy enough with occasional laundering, depending on what you feel compelled to bring.

    If you need/want to bring around a huge bag of electronics, photo gear, scuba stuff, etc. etc. then this would not be as feasible (and if you get a lot of utility out of those items, then by all means bring them). The "happy place" is wherever you make it. I go light a lot of the time, but if I'm going somewhere where I'll get a lot of use out of having e.g. my snorkel/scuba gear with, or a moderate to large amount of photo gear, or ski gear etc. then I'm happy to check a bag to accommodate that.
     
  8. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Suffice to say that even for a business woman packing for BB is a challenge if the trip is more than a few days. That being said, I just looked at the Wenger 17" Patriot as I can no longer lug around my leather briefcase which is usually overstuffed. And I need something with wheels. This looks and sounds great. But a few reviews said it might not fit in overheads (CRJ for ex.) and that potentially it might not fit under seat. What has your experience been?
     
  9. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    BB - you are correct, it is a big bag, or as I said in my post, "It is huge, so if that is a consideration, look at another bag." It will fit under the seat in a CRJ if you have an exit row, but it is a tight fit in the overheads on some of the other regional jets. Luckily for me, I don't fly too many routes where these are used. That said, I wouldn't want to travel without this bag. Domestically, it will hold my 17" laptop, massive charger, iPad, Bose, book, and all sorts of other needless stuff that I lug around with me. Of course as Mattsteg says, the ultimate choice is really up to the individual traveler's preference.
     
  10. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Thanks - all good points. It's between this and the Travelpro Crew 9 rolling tote. Love Travelopro. Last a lifetime (almost)
     
  11. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    I like the idea of going all carry-on and I do it sometimes with a 22" Travelpro rollaboard plus a laptop bag as my "personal item." I've tried multiple wheeled laptop bags, including the Crew 9 rolling tote. For me the problem is that the ones with wheels are all HEAVY even before you put stuff in them. So what, you say -- they have wheels! But it's awkward at best to pull two wheeled bags, so I must piggyback the laptop bag with a strap onto the rollaboard. And then inevitably there is an unavoidable staircase (LGA and LAX are big offenders for this) and I have to get two heavy bags up or down the stairs. That means removing the heavy laptop bag from its piggyback strap (awkward at the top of stairs with people trying to get around me), slinging the laptop bag over a shoulder and carrying the 22" bag by its side handle. That is pushing the outside limits of my lifting ability and it kills my shoulder and neck!

    I have pared down my electronics as much as possible (just a MacBook Air or for really short trips, an iPad) and now I put them in the lightest-weight quality nylon laptop shoulder bag I can find. There's still room for a medium sized handbag, folder of paperwork, misc don't-want-to-be-separated-from stuff (glasses, meds, jewelry) and a few light clothing items (pashmina, extra underwear, etc). Best of all, I can sling the darn thing messenger-bag style across my body and it doesn't give me back or neck pain.

    The weight issue is probably not as big a deal for most men or for women with better-than-average upper body strength, but it bothered me so much that I gave up on wheeled laptop bags.
     
  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    DL MM gift Hartmann has been excellent tool for this. 12 days in SE Asia in Jan. I did fold a collapsible bag into the case on the outbound so that I could purchase shirts and T-shirts in KUL/CNX/TPE etc. and take them home, but they weren't needed for the trip.

    Here's Shark Camp @ EWR on another trip, the brown soft bag is the foldaway and the green backpack and the Hartmann are how I traveled on those other trips.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/communitybuzz/1445907-ewr-term-c-bag-claim-again-early-morning-7-mar.html

    If I hadn't done this on my recent trip via PVG I would have been SOL because of the squeeze between inbound and the next, separate OZ itin.
     
  13. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    You are especially right about the weight issue. I am small, 5'1" maybe. And small framed. So lugging two wheeled things around and up and down staircases (and I do a lot of LGA since I live in east side of manhattan) could be problematic so thanks for pointing that out. But I also hate slinging things over my shoulder. Couldn't move my left shoulder for 1.5 years because of that. No easy solution. And I have many more beautification products which makes my carry on heavy.
    I was hoping to get the travel pro spinner and the tote and put the tote on top is the spinner. Has anyone tried that?
     
  14. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    Well, I don't normally have to put the laptop bag over my shoulder (or cross-body) since it can sit on top of my rollaboard when I'm on a flat surface or just going over a curb. I only need to put it on when I'm faced with stairs... at which point I'm very thankful for the 3-5 pound weight difference compared with the wheeled versions!

    I was not able to get any of my wheeled laptop bags to sit on top of a rollaboard. They were all too heavy/awkward to stay on. Had to piggyback with a strap.

    I was very interested in a lightweight hardsided spinner but after reading up on them, decided against it. Three problems:

    1. The hard sides are not flexible so sometimes they won't fit in overheads properly, while semi-flexible bags like Crew 9 can sometimes be forced into a marginal space without damage.

    2. They scratch easily and start looking ratty quickly. (When I read that owners of these were POLISHING them between trips, I said forget it!)

    3. Spinner wheels stick out (unlike the wheels on regular 2-wheeled bags) so they snap off easily. Seems like they are best for people who don't travel a lot. If someone who is on the road constantly can vouch for a spinner that won't lose its wheels, I'd love to hear about it!
     
  15. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    Only you know what you really need to bring versus what is optional or can be dealt with at destination if necessary.

    I've travelled carry on only for years, including 2, 3 & 4 week trips. Usually only a small carry on at that, and I still find I take too much with me (post trip review means I bring less next time).
     
  16. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    3. Spinner wheels stick out (unlike the wheels on regular 2-wheeled bags) so they snap off easily. Seems like they are best for people who don't travel a lot. If someone who is on the road constantly can vouch for a spinner that won't lose its wheels, I'd love to hear about it!

    I'd love to hear about it too. After spending so much money on these it would be a great disappointment to have it non functional in a few short trips.
     
  17. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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  18. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    This thread really got me thinking. I consider myself quite a light packer, especially for a woman. I did a 42-day round-the-world trip with a 26" bag and one carry-on, and I've since concluded I could have cut that down to a 24" or 25" bag. I can do a 5-day business trip with a 22" or 24" bag. I'm always looking for ways to cut down the weight and amount of luggage I carry.

    So I actually spent several hours yesterday reading OneBag.com, which was recommended in the Lifehacker article linked above, I think. I've heard of the site (which focuses on traveling light - ideally with one carry-on bag weighing 10 kilos!) for years and finally decided I would check it out.

    I concluded that it's not the site for me. How does he travel so light? He hardly takes any clothes! There is no way I could look presentable and appropriate, even on a leisure trip, with 1 dressy jacket, 1 cardigan sweater, 2 pairs of trousers (one of which you are wearing, and neither one jeans - he recommends athletic or zip-off pants, gah!) and 2-4 tops (one of which you are wearing).

    Look, even on leisure trips, anyone who wants to look decent needs a FEW nice clothes. I prefer not to walk through Paris looking like I just came from a workout or shopping at Wal-Mart. The irony is, the writer of OneBag.com quotes David Sedaris: "Comfort has its place, but it seems rude to visit another country dressed as if you've come to mow its lawns." Um, yeah. But that's exactly how you'll look if you follow this guy's advice.

    Plus, it's expensive and time-consuming to do laundry on the road, and I'm not going to hand-wash all my clothes every few days. I once paid several hundred Euros to have a bunch of my travel clothes washed by a hotel (no other option, and it was a very long trip). It's cheaper to take a few more items and wash them less.

    Most puzzlingly, the writer of OneBag.com carries a lot of stuff I would never consider carrying under any circumstances:
    • Compass, solar calculator, alarm clock, maps, guidebooks, phrasebooks, personal address book - Has this guy never heard of a smartphone?
    • Clothesline, drain stopper, woolite packets, inflatable hangers - Like most travelers, I hand-wash the occasional item, but I've never needed any of this stuff. Hotel-supplied shampoo or body wash does just fine for washing out a pair of socks or whatever.
    • Lots of "MacGyver" fix-it stuff like gaffer tape, parachute cord, garbage bags, glue sticks - If you're going backpacking, or to the Moon, sure, take all that crap with you. Everyplace else has stores where you can buy a new one or get it fixed.
    • Sleep sack - Wow. Haven't even HEARD of anyone using one of these since I was a student staying in hostels in the early 1980s.
    • Security pouch - Have never used one and have never had an issue -- and I've traveled to places like Naples and Barcelona that are notorious for pickpockets. Just exercise reasonable caution and don't carry your whole wallet around with you. For that matter, why would you carry all your valuables around on your person? That's what the hotel safe is for.
    Just shows how packing is a totally personal and idiosyncratic thing. If you mostly spend your time in developing countries, sleeping in hostels, maybe OneBag is your site. If you like nice hotels and looking fairly respectable, I'm thinking not so much.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I love zip-off pants (sadly, my favorite pairs are 10+ years old and no longer available and the current generations aren't as good IMO). No one has asked me to mow their lawn so far. I do use those 10+ year-old pants for gardening at home, though, since they are too rickety to take on the road :D


    Agree on the smartphone (old material, perhaps?), but the rest leads me to believe that the author of that website isn't traveling to the same locations that you are traveling to. I don't generally travel with a sleep sack, but I do have one and my wife just recently took it to Ethiopia. Same with a lot of the other items... there are many places where you can't easily buy a new XYZ if you need it.
     
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  20. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    I too try to continually trim things down 'weight' wise and space wise. The plastic bags that you squeeze all the air out of come in very handy BUT be careful as it is so easy to pack a lot into a small bag and it does get heavy.

    OTOH I have never carried garbage bags, or parachute cord. But I do take a few 'power' bars of whatever I like at the time, wash things if I must with hotel shampoo. I usually take those 'bungy' cord things with the handles for working out in the room...that way I might be able to avoid packing sneakers as I usually have at least one pair of heels and comfortable shoes that I wear on the plane. For business trips I will usually stick to pants suits because it is easier to mix and match. If one doesn't pack enough one ends up looking bedrangled. It's the business trips that are a challenge particularly if one is traveling through different climates.
     
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  21. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    3 weeks around the world, included a suit jacket with matching black pants, everything fit in one laptop backpack plus one carry-on duffel that was 8 kilos (in case I got weighed on LH, TG or SQ, even though I was traveling in premium clases, I didn't). Did laundry in Bali (cheap at the hotel) and Berlin.

    I can regularly get 3+ days of clothes/stuff into that laptop backpack. Needless to say I don't check luggage unless I have something I can't bring through TSA (apparently single-malt is a dangerous weapon :rolleyes:).

    The duffel isn't holding up great, so I am going to either go Tom Bihn Aeronaut or Red Oxx Air Boss...
     
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  22. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    Yeah, Mr. free101girl does, too. <sigh> But I've broken him of taking them to major world cities... mostly. :D I did let him take them on a recent trip to the Galapagos, which made him very happy.

    Maybe. More likely he's staying in a different type of accommodations, like B&Bs, hostels and the like. Plus I don't think he's doing the same things I do when I travel. Sure, if I ever decide to go trekking through Cambodia I'll take zip-off pants and a few t-shirts and call it good. But if I'm staying at a 5-star resort in Cambodia, I might want a skirt or two. And I can't eat at a Michelin starred restaurant in sweatpants and a t-shirt I washed out in the sink last night, ya know? ;)

    I'm not saying his site has no utility -- just very little utility for me, or for a lot of travelers, who normally stay in western-style hotels regardless of destination (yeah, I know there are some places where you can't, but surprisingly few) and/or who have to travel for work and look professional.

    Okay. I haven't personally been anywhere where I needed a sleep sack in the last 30 years, but if I go to Ethiopia I'll consider it. :)

    True, you may not be able to buy a new XYZ in some developing nations, but I'll bet in 99% of places you can buy a piece of rope or tape to fix said XYZ, instead of carrying it with you around the world "just in case." Or you'll live without the XYZ.
     
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  23. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    So how does your suit look after being in a laptop backpack? Not being snarky, just wondering if you have some magic packing method I haven't discovered.

    My husband usually likes to take at least a jacket/sport coat and sometimes a suit when we travel. Those are a bear to pack in a carry-on. They always come out looking like he slept in them. He's even tried a horrible polyester travel jacket from TravelSmith and it came out of the bag looking only marginally less rumpled -- plus it was fugly.

    Got tips on this?
     
  24. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I don't put the suit jacket in a laptop backpack. Note that I had a carry-on duffel. Generally I wear the jacket, but if I pack one, sometimes it comes in the original dry cleaning, or...

    http://www.onebag.com/popups/bundle.html
    http://www.1bag1world.com/obow-light-travel-forum/post/878417
     
  25. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Only in the wrong hands!
     

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