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kmw
01-07-2018, 11:13 AM
I'm not quite sure which sub-forum this belongs under, so I'm going with "Organization Strategies," but please let me know if I should move it elsewhere.

For any couples (romantic or platonic) that regularly travel together, a couple of questions about your bag strategy:


a. Do you mix your belongings when packing or keep them person-specific?

My spouse and I originally kept our belongings separate when packing because it made sense organizationally, and that's how every packing effort still generally begins. But over the decades, we've evolved to mixing and matching to reach the end result, namely for two reasons:

1. space efficiency and weight balance (e.g, my clothes weigh more than his, but his shoes weigh more than mine)
2. so if one bag ever got harmed or lost, we'd at least both win/lose in that situation, rather than one of us suffering alone


b. When you pack, do you generally gather your belongings together in one larger bag or in two smaller ones?

This is one where I'm on the fence. When the spouse and I last traveled for 3 weeks, we each carried individual carry-ons (Synapses), plus shared one rolling suitcase between the two of us. (The roller was the max-size possible within carry-on limits.) But everyone we encountered thought this strange and kept asking where our second suitcase was. (When we met up with a friend to travel together as a trio, we continued to mix and match, so we had 3 carry-ons plus two rolling suitcases.)

But which got me wondering: Whether you're talking about rolling suitcases or Aeronauts, do you find it makes more sense as a pair to share one larger main suitcase between you or break stuff into two smaller ones?


(As background: my spouse and I are not ultralight packers and don't have specific travel clothes (just regular street clothes), but when we travel, we do aim to pare down to the essentials, eliminate redundancy, and balance what must be carried vs what can be bought along the way.)

Traveltech
01-07-2018, 11:51 AM
Perfect questions to mull over on a freezing cold day in New England...

1. when we remember, or if we’ve got a complicated flight schedule, we cross pack the basics.

2. On this matter we disagree. If we’re checking bags, I prefer to use one spinner for both of us. But every time I get it out and start organizing, he decides that we might as well check two bags. Though I understand his logic, this results in extra bags to store or transport at our destination.

As background for us: I enjoy the challenge of light packing and spend a lot of time planning and pre-packing before each trip. He does not. Ha!

melminimalist
01-07-2018, 12:31 PM
Background first, we have been together for 6 years, I am an Ultraminimalist packer/traveler, he is a typical traveler. We have traveled overseas, but mostly in the US. We definitely pack seperate, even before I became a minimalist four years ago I would only travel with a small carry-on roller and a backpack and he has always checked a roller bag and used a runners backpack. Since I went minimalist I travel only with a Synapse 25. He still packs a checked roller and a runners backpack. We don't share mostly because our packing styles differ, I plan out a few days ahead and do a "test" pack to make sure I like how everything is working, he packs the night before. Even as a minimalist I am usually more prepared, but am willing to pick up things I may need/forgot. He tends to get upset about forgotten items, so I don't say anything about his packing a lot of extra items. That being said I do wish he paid more attention to what he actually uses while we travel, I think he would be better prepared. I am not perfect, by any means. It just shows that we compliment each other! But I would never share a pack space, his style of stuff everywhere spread out in the hotel/Airbnb would drive me nuts. I think I definitely would have control issues. The funny thing is he is super anal about organisation at home and I am the laid-back whatever one, we switch when we travel!

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G42
01-07-2018, 12:32 PM
I travel by myself but just a thought... sometimes the airlines force check the larger carryons first vs just the later boarding groups... an A30 or small roller may squeak on if you're in the later boarding groups (no idea of your status)...

So if, as you mentioned you sometimes do, you each carry a small mix & max roller/whatever and divvy up the load, you'll be more liable to ensure that you each have at least an outfit/bare essentials in case one is checked & lost... of course, that presupposes that you divvy up the clothes to ensure that vs all the undies together, etc.

It probably depends on where you're going and how much of a hardship it would be to be stuck somewhere with only what you have in the bag under your seat and/or one small overhead...
I've been stuck overnight in my fair share of airports. It's not tragic by any stretch, but it's no fun either... and having a small bit of stuff (toiletries, snacks, warm clothes, book/kindle, etc) made it much more tolerable. In every case that I've been stuck, we arrived so late that the airport shops were all closed so you couldn't buy anything and it wasn't a big enough weather event for the airport to roll out cots, food, etc., YMMV.

lizalou
01-07-2018, 01:57 PM
If we need a suitcase we tend to share a carry on size one (even if it needs to be checked due to weight), but if we can we only take our own smaller backpacks. The only recent exception was a 3 week trip to Europe in winter with a wedding that required bridesmaids clothes, shoes, makeup, and suit and shoes for him. Then we each had a small carry on size suitcase with our own clothes and smaller backpacks as our personal items. That was an unusual trip though!

backpack
01-07-2018, 02:47 PM
Our packing style differ greatly, I am a minimalist precise packer (which means, I use Packing Cubes and other TB accessories to house each type of clothing, electronics, hobby items...) in my carry on and personal item.

I have used the same strategy for EDC items, with great result.

He is more of a "place stuff in the bag until I think I have everything I need" kind of person.

sturbridge
01-07-2018, 03:24 PM
My spouse and I have completely different styles. I'm more minimalist, think things through (what will we be doing, how will I need to dress for that) and only bring a minimum of multi use stuff, some of which I plan to re-wear. He brings at least 2 outfits per day, and won't ever do any laundry during a trip. I pack my A30, he usually uses a bigger roller bag. I have everything neatly packed in cubes, he just shoves it all in there and spends a bunch of time ironing when we arrive. Given the differences in approaches, our luggage is totally separate.

DeBru
01-07-2018, 03:29 PM
Our packing style differ greatly, I am a minimalist precise packer (which means, I use Packing Cubes and other TB accessories to house each type of clothing, electronics, hobby items...) in my carry on and personal item.

I have used the same strategy for EDC items, with great result.

He is more of a "place stuff in the bag until I think I have everything I need" kind of person.

That describes my husband and myself. We have shared the BB on more than once, and each each time I swear it will be the last!

He loves to have a garment bag and stuff things in “his half” of the BB. Last trip, on the way home he shoved all of his stuff on top of mine, resulting in one empty section and one horribly bloated, so much so that it couldn’t be zipped. He tossed it into the trunk of the car before I noticed the hot mess. I almost screamed when we got home and stuff was spilling out of the back of the car as soon as we opened the hatch. The bag was fine though! No stress or wear from being stuffed. The BB really does swallow everything. If only I could get him to use a packing cube or 2.

I think going forward we will only share a checked bag. The health of my marriage *may* depend on having more TB bags... ;)

3rdCoastHighlander
01-07-2018, 04:00 PM
My wife and I are organized packers when we travel. If we need to check a piece of luggage, the only thing we really do is carry a change of clothes for each other just in case luggage is lost. Most of the time, we don't check any luggage.

capncat
01-07-2018, 04:14 PM
we keep things separate / person-specific, generally. I’m a very particular / lighter packer, whereas my other half is of the “throw everything you own in the suitcase 10 minutes before we need to leave for the airport” variety (though still manages to fit everything in a carry-on sized roller, somehow).

we typically each take a main carry on (for me, an aeronaut, for them, a lightweight ll bean rolling duffle / suitcase hybrid thing) and a personal item, each with the barest essentials (change of clothes / meds / toothbrush and whatnot), so nobody really would suffer too hard if a bag check was forced and the bag were subsequently lost.

the one thing we’ll sometimes pool between us is liquid toiletries, sunblock and toothpaste mostly.

bouncing
01-07-2018, 04:42 PM
Separate. We have differences of opinion when it comes to how one should park. She's gas, I'm liquid. I'm liquid -- I try to compress and if there's some room at the top, all the better. She's gas -- she will seek to fill all available space and if more space somehow becomes available, she'll fill that too.

There have been times we divide a suitcase for a short trip when it makes sense, but not usually. When that's the case, we use packing cubes to keep things organized.

Maybe it's because I'm an introvert or I'm just persnickety, but I want everything to be "just so." It's hard to do that when you share luggage.

Kaadk
01-07-2018, 05:38 PM
We've done the share thing, and the not share thing, all depends on the circumstances of the trip. For instance, back when the kids were smaller (i.e. diaper bags, strollers, etc. in tow) then we tended to share one large, maximum checkable roller bag. On the last trip on a plane with the kids, we each had 1 duffle (checked). Carry on I had my Pilot (with plethora of family electronics, books for the kids), she had her purse. But that was a trip to Disney where they only time we had to deal with luggage was getting on the plane. Disney took care of the bag retrieval through delivery to room. Same on departure, checked the bags right at the resort, didn't see them again until getting off the plane at home.

As far as what goes in the bags, I tend to bring the bare essentials, she packs complete outfits (folded together) for her and does the same with the kids. Her folding them together makes them neater when packed in the bags then my mix and match stuffing, but I bring less stuff overall, so my bag is generally has left over space (which then gets filled with what she couldn't fit in hers/theirs). It sometimes exasperates me, but then I remember that I travel for a living weekly, and she/they have been on less than a dozen flights, so if they want to be all excited and overpacky about our vacations, so be it. They're happy, I'm happy. :)

backpack
01-07-2018, 06:36 PM
That describes my husband and myself. We have shared the BB on more than once, and each each time I swear it will be the last!

He loves to have a garment bag and stuff things in “his half” of the BB. Last trip, on the way home he shoved all of his stuff on top of mine, resulting in one empty section and one horribly bloated, so much so that it couldn’t be zipped. He tossed it into the trunk of the car before I noticed the hot mess. I almost screamed when we got home and stuff was spilling out of the back of the car as soon as we opened the hatch. The bag was fine though! No stress or wear from being stuffed. The BB really does swallow everything. If only I could get him to use a packing cube or 2.

I think going forward we will only share a checked bag. The health of my marriage *may* depend on having more TB bags... ;)


I got Yeomans to help with our move, the ones in drab colors, will be used as luggage for my husband from now, on.

Advantages:

1. TB strength and workmanship in a lower price point than the Aeronautes.

2. Can be checked without much worries, if the content consist of easy to replace stuff.

3. Many sizes.

4. Suitable for trips with many modes of transportation.

5. Suitable as EDC (small sizes), many activities, high customization with TB accessories.

In short, the Yeomans are the ideal bags for either indulging in precise marsupial packing or throw stuff in the bag after the activity, or while getting ready for an outing/road trip/spontaneous fun.

I use either the Aeronaute or Tristar as exclusively mine, as I am plus size, and my outfits have been accumulated over the years, for optimal comfort and the ability to be dressed up and down.

On my last trip, I made a couple of mistake, too many tops, not enough of the right pants, I didn't let it bother me because it was just about relaxing, not doing stuff.

BWeaves
01-07-2018, 07:51 PM
I do all the packing, so I just cross polinate everything into where it fits the best. I do like to spread out both our clothing across bags in case one bag gets lost. I'm pretty minimilist, and I force him to take less. Last trip he made me bring extra shoes for him, and then he never wore them. I'm not letting him live that down.

That said, I do use packing cubes and folders, and I pack his clothes in different cubes and folders than mine, so he can find his stuff. I used to have all the cubes match, but I realized that it's actually better when they don't match. "Honey, your pants are in the blue one. Your undies are in the red one." etc. etc.

Usually I try to pack everything in one max carryon (a D36) and then carry a Pilot. However, since airlines have different size rules and different number of bags allowed, I will pack in whatever bags get around whatever rules that particular airline has.

Amy
01-08-2018, 04:45 AM
My husband and I always pack our own bags and never mix our stuff. We are both very particular about what goes in our bags and we have very different packing styles. I have tried to get my husband on board with packing cubes, but he prefers all his clothes loose, which makes me twitch when I see it. He also carries his jacket and cap loose, balanced on the top of his bag, even when he isnít planning to put them on, and I am convinced one of them will go missing in transit, so I will often shove them inside the bag when he isnít looking.

One of my biggest coups has been to get him to carry a side effect (his ďpurseĒ) with all his pocket stuff in it (glasses, wallet, phone, meds, keys). Before that, he would empty all his loose pocket contents into a tray at security, which gave me hives. I had always tried to get him to consolidate all his loose valuables into a bag PRIOR to security, but he never would.

Yeah, I am fully aware of my overbearing control issues when it comes to packing. [emoji849]




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kmw
01-08-2018, 08:17 AM
Fascinating stuff! Funny how many mixed duos of differing packing philosophies there are out there. I absolutely agree, though, that maintaining the state of one's mental and couple health trumps packing efficiency!

You all bring up some good points. I'm no doubt a lot more concerned about bag loss than most because I'm not easy to fit clothing-wise, so in a pinch I can't easily walk into any old store and walk out newly clothed. I always have at least one spare set of shirt/underwear/socks in my carry-on for that reason.

I'm still conflicted on the one large bag/two smaller bags issue though. If we're talking Aeronauts, then two A30s vs one A45 is certainly more equitable burden-wise. With rollers, though, Į\_(ツ)_/Į . G42 brings up a good point about force-checked bags, and you figure smaller would be less likely to get checked that way. But we also have limited storage space at home and hate to own more things than we need -- ETA: and as Traveltech mentions, more bags used is more bags to keep track of while traveling -- so it's a constantly shifting argument in my head. I very much appreciate all your perspectives.



One of my biggest coups has been to get him to carry a side effect (his “purse”) with all his pocket stuff in it (glasses, wallet, phone, meds, keys). Before that, he would empty all his loose pocket contents into a tray at security, which gave me hives. I had always tried to get him to consolidate all his loose valuables into a bag PRIOR to security, but he never would.

HAHA, same here. We work together well when it comes to efficient, minimized bag packing, but his loose pocket stuff is a frustration every time we fly. I've learned to carry a baggie for him to throw all his pocket stuff into while we're in the security line, which then gets thrown into my carry-on or POL to get through security, which then gets handed back to him post-security. But NEVER can I get him to bag the stuff before we leave the house, while we're en route to the airport, before we get into the security line, or even when we first get into the security line or process through it. Every single time, it's the same mad-scramble while approaching the end of the line. I don't know what that's about. :)

carrot
01-08-2018, 08:40 AM
HAHA, same here. We work together well when it comes to efficient, minimized bag packing, but his loose pocket stuff is a frustration every time we fly. I've learned to carry a baggie for him to throw all his pocket stuff into while we're in the security line, which then gets thrown into my carry-on or POL to get through security, which then gets handed back to him post-security. But NEVER can I get him to bag the stuff before we leave the house, while we're en route to the airport, before we get into the security line, or even when we first get into the security line or process through it. Every single time, it's the same mad-scramble while approaching the end of the line. I don't know what that's about. :)

No matter how good I get at travel I still do the same song and dance at the security line. I now carry a TB Travel Tray which keeps all those things together, which keeps pocket things from getting lost or misplaced!

kathryn
01-08-2018, 09:25 AM
I don't travel a lot as part of a duo, but I am way too much of a control freak to mix my stuff together with a travel partner. I think the last time I did it was as a child when my sister and I routinely shared a suitcase. :)

That said, I have seen it work well for other people. When traveling around Lithuania with my cousin and his wife, they shared a largish backpack that he carried. His wife had her own PLO with necessities in it. When we got to where we were staying, they just completely unpacked right away, and separated their items out in the wardrobe.

A work colleague shared a large check-in roller bag with her husband when they went on their honeymoon. I and another colleague convinced her that they needed packing cubes to save their sanity, and she ended up using/liking them (and coming back a convert, even when traveling alone).

My best friend (former FA, so she knows her way around packing) routinely shares a suitcase with both her husband and daughter, but... like the Tupperware cupboard in their kitchen, she's the only one allowed to load and unload it! LOL

brandonhines
01-08-2018, 09:54 AM
No matter how good I get at travel I still do the same song and dance at the security line. I now carry a TB Travel Tray which keeps all those things together, which keeps pocket things from getting lost or misplaced!

That's a great idea!

Kelly S
01-08-2018, 10:09 AM
We're a family of three. When our son was young and we had to pack all.the.things we packed two large rolling suitcases one for each of the adults, with half of the baby stuff in each, and gifts for relatives. And OMG was traveling a chore and no fun at all.

Next trip we're taking two carry on sized spinners, one for my husband, one for my kids clothes, and an s25 for me. Also a side effect or travel cubelet as my everyday handbag.
I suspect that I'll probably put my packing cube of clothes in my son's suitcase so we can put the suitcases in the overhead and keep the s25 for the things we'll want/need during the flight (California to England is a looong flight).

This setup should ideally allow us to have one person carry all the bags if we need to. Our kid is only 4 and sometimes he still needs to be carried if he's too tired, but he also thinks wheeling his bag around is great fun, so hopefully he can schlep his own stuff a bit. (It also has the benefit of slowing him down so he doesn't run all over the airport.)

Edited to add: Sometimes we'll shift things around in bags to comply with weight restrictions or to make getting through TSA with a small child and a lot of electronics easier. (One parent helps the kid, the other keeps an eye on the computer/ipad/phone etc.

Rae
01-09-2018, 08:11 PM
We share a main bag and each have our own personal item. I pack the main bag, we each pack our personal item. Last time was Disneyland for 5 days in an Aeronaut 3, a slim backpack for him and a Fjallraven Kaken mini for me.


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Jaffa
01-14-2018, 01:26 PM
The only items I have shared when travelling with an other, was certain toiletries..shared toothpaste, shower gel and we picked up extras from hotels. We packed our own Carry on’s, I like packing cubes, but he liked to use packing organisers, that were waterproof and squeezed all the air out. Works fine, as I choose clothes that don’t crease and don’t need ironing.

Jaffa

nukediver
01-15-2018, 05:28 AM
Mrs. Nuke and I usually pack 1 outfit each (along with unmentionables) in a small packing cube then stick that in the other person's bag, regardless of whether we're checking them. If it's a longer trip we'll often pack half our clothes in the other person's bag. We're heading to Fort Lauderdale in a few weeks and will be using 22" rollers to carry on (I have United Priority Access so there's usually lots of overhead space). As I get older, I'm less likely to carry my A45, unless it's a car trip. We'll each carry a S19 for EDC/beach bag/general all-around carry. Mrs. Nuke is a notorious overpacker, which is why we're using 2 rollers. We're also taking gym stuff, and some gifts, hence the need for some more space.

Rigger007
01-16-2018, 03:51 PM
We pack dual A45s, with some sort of personal items like a LCB or my wife will shove her MCB into a SSB for the plane. We never check bags. I like the idea of splitting the gear between bags in case of something bad happening though.

We both wish we could get down to an A30 each + personal item, but it's nice to have some room in the A45 for other stuff. It's easy to over pack though. Our first trip to Europe we shipped almost 7kg home after a couple days.

Ditmo
01-19-2018, 02:18 AM
Love this question. Iím the carry-on-only packer, my husband has traditionally been a maximalist bag-checker (he likes going through security with nothing but whatís in his pockets plus a book to read in his hand).

These days we travel with 2 kids under 5 y.o., and The way we do it is this: I hand him 2 packing cubes and let him go to town. The kids and I each have our own sets of color-coordinated cubes, and when theyíre all packed, I strategize on the final carry.

Over Christmas this year we spent a week in LA, and we did it with one big checked bag, an A45 I carried on my back with a DLBC over the shoulder (I had to bring my laptop for work). Husband carried a crib in a case that had backpack straps, and the diaper bag over his shoulder. My and the kidsí clothes were in the A45. My husbandís clothes, bulky kid gear and Christmas presents went into the checked bag.

Previously we did a 3-day trip on the Clipper (similar to airplane travel in terms of luggage handling) with an A45 and A30. We each carried our own stuff plus one kidís.

tl;dr We each control our own worlds within packing cubes, but then I master-plan the carry strategy.


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