Saturday, October 11, 2014

How I Pack...And New Luggage

      I have learned over the years to pack light whenever possible. In part, because it’s no fun to drag tons of luggage, and also because the airlines have lost my luggage too many times. One time I flew to Pisa, Italy and my luggage got stuck in Paris, France. I didn’t see it for FOUR days! I was even more upset when they lost it again on the flight home. Let's just say I had a not so nice conversation with the airline. 
     Now, if I’m only going on a casual trip for just a few days, I usually just take a carry-on bag and a purse. This works well for me.
     It also works if I’m going on a trip to Europe, if I’m staying in the same place for the entire trip. If that’s the case, I usually rent a short-term apartment with a washing machine, which means I don’t need to bring many clothes. The only problem is that I tend to do a lot of shopping in Europe, so I need to buy a cheap piece of luggage to get everything home. This isn’t a big deal because I can always find something decent for about 20-25 euro, and on most international flights the first checked bag is free. It’s a lot cheaper than shipping charges and it gets home at the same I do. Afterward, I can donate the cheap luggage to the Salvation Army.
     The only time I plan to check luggage is if I’m going on a trip where I need formal clothing or a long trip where I’ll be in a hotel (or cruise) without a washing machine. In the last few months I purchased a few new luggage items for this purpose. I have plenty of pieces, but I really wanted to try the 4-wheeled luggage. I’ve been watching people glide effortlessly through the airports with this luggage. They are standing straight and don’t seem to be carrying any of the weight of their luggage. What a GREAT idea! I need to get in on this!
     I did some research and finally purchased two pieces of TravelPro Crew 9. I bought a 25” Spinner and a Rolling Tote. They are lightweight, have ergonomic handles, and are one of the very few brands to have replacement wheels. There is a newer Crew 10 model, but I chose the Crew 9 because I saw few differences, I liked the suit carrier better on the Crew 9, and it came with a nice discount because it’s no longer the new model.
     I’m looking forward to using the Rolling Tote. It’s a little smaller than a regular carry-on, so I doubt I’ll be asked to have it gate-checked, but it seems to be very roomy. The top has zipper/snap hinges, so I don’t have to completely open it unless necessary. The top has a padded compartment for my iPad mini and the outside has two zipped compartments. One for easy access to any paper documents and/or magazines and the other for reading glasses, pens, snacks, or any other kind of small carry-on item that tends to get lost just when you need it most. It also fits right on top of the larger piece, so I'll really only be rolling one piece of luggage. Sounds like a WINNER to me!
     These are my rules for packing and my newest luggage pieces. I certainly don’t know everything, and I’m always looking for great ideas. How do you pack and what do you pack it in? I’d love to hear about it.

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