PDA

View Full Version : longest trip with the least luggage



daisy
03-30-2011, 02:45 PM
What's the longest time you've traveled with carry on luggage? (preferably Tom Bihn of course)

I'm figuring if you can pack carry on for 5(?) days then wash, the clock resets right?

We're looking to travel in Europe for around 6 weeks Oct/Nov this year.

If we travel Qantas (f/flyer points yay!) - the limit is 19" x 13" x 9" 7kg

ONE piece in economy, two in business.

We'll be staying in hotels, traveling on trains all over, eating in nice restaurants reasonably often. I'm hoping my carryon will be TB which can ride on the Beloved's wheelie when needed.

Last european trip we overpacked ... dragging a wheels-on-short-side suitcase from Lyon station to the canal boat .... not so great.

Lani
03-31-2011, 01:46 PM
As long as a trip doesn't cross into huge changes in season or weather, once you pack up for a week-long trip, you can use the same stuff for weeks on end.

Our "longest trips" are usually only a couple of weeks long due to the number of vacation days we can take, but it's very easy.

If you're staying in hotels, you can find out in advance if any of them have laundry facilities or you can have them launder something for you. You will want to hand wash your underwear and whatnot, but if you take a pair of jeans or something with you that you want washed, you can just splurge and have them clean it for you maybe once a week or so. Trust me, you don't want to be sink-washing jeans. You can always just go without jeans, but some people really love wearing them, including on travels.

Your real challenge is going to be meeting the weight restriction, to be honest. Many European airlines have more stringent size restrictions, but it's the WEIGHT limit that makes it really hard.

I posted a pretty lengthy article about my experience going ultralight for a Europe trip a few years ago (http://www.travelite.org/?p=90), and it's all about weighing your stuff.

One option we didn't try but that we probably would on our next weight-restricted trip: Look at getting yourself a ScottEVest (http://www.scottevest.com/). They make them for both men and women, and in a variety of models. You can basically use all of the jacket pockets to stuff them with whatever you want, to lighten up your load. Stuff like cell phone, Kindle/iPad... as well as AC adapter... just stuff them all in your jacket. That will probably take a good couple of pounds out of your carry-on.

When we flew on Virgin Atlantic, the lady at the counter took one look at our bags and never even asked us to check their weight.

flitcraft
04-03-2011, 10:41 AM
Lani, I agree that there's no difference between packing for a week and packing for months, so long as you are planning for consistent weather and activities. (Obviously, if your plans include a week of business meetings followed by a month of mountain hiking, it's more of a challenge...) My Tristar is my go-to bag for long trips (supplemented with an Imago or large cafe bag as my personal-item which turns into my daybag-briefcase once on the ground). If I'm planning to travel on a 'one means one' airline like RyanAir or EasyJet, I substitute a Packing Cube shoulder bag for the Imago and tuck it into the Tristar. I've traveled for six weeks that way, sinkwashing as I go.

If my trip is shorter--say five days or less, then it's Western Flyer time, unless the trip is in the winter, in which case the need for bulkier items like gloves, scarf, and heavier clothing push me towards the Tristar. I did once take an 8 day winter trip to New Zealand with just the Western Flyer and a large cafe bag, but honestly, I had to maximize every inch of space to do it, and if Air New Zealand wasn't so stingy with baggage weight limits, I'd have preferred the more convenient packing possibilities of the Tristar.

And, by the way, your Travelite blog is terrific! I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about lightening their travel load, especially women!

sevendog
04-04-2011, 08:43 AM
I agree with the previous posts, especially regarding weather and activities. I did 19 days out of an Aeronaut, but I wasn't doing much other than visiting friends and going to nice restaurants once in a while. I also left out my workout clothes and shoes because the tiny village I was staying in had no workout facilities and I'm too wimpy to run outdoors in Jan/Feb in the U.K.!

Also, winter weather meant some bulkier, heavier clothes. If I had traveled during the summer, I think I could have packed more items, and therefore accommodated more variety in activities, or put in my workout gear.

My packing list for this trip is in the packing list section on this forum if you want to have an idea of what the Aeronaut will hold.

Lani
04-05-2011, 01:59 PM
Lani, I agree that there's no difference between packing for a week and packing for months, so long as you are planning for consistent weather and activities. (Obviously, if your plans include a week of business meetings followed by a month of mountain hiking, it's more of a challenge...) My Tristar is my go-to bag for long trips (supplemented with an Imago or large cafe bag as my personal-item which turns into my daybag-briefcase once on the ground). If I'm planning to travel on a 'one means one' airline like RyanAir or EasyJet, I substitute a Packing Cube shoulder bag for the Imago and tuck it into the Tristar. I've traveled for six weeks that way, sinkwashing as I go.

Wow, I really like your method. Well, I kind of do something similar, using the Packing Cube shoulder bag as my purse, but I don't have an Imago. Now that I have an iPad, though, the Packing Cube shoulder bag is no longer my #1 option. I have a cover for the iPad and I'm really not worried about banging it up, but it's a very snug fit and I can't fit near as much in the shoulder bag. What I would love is a "double-wide" Packing Cube shoulder bag, or a deeper version that's in-between that, and the TS/WF Packing Cube backpack (think "long enough to slide an iPad into vertically).

I did just buy a Dyneema Co-Pilot in steel (right after they announced the one in red! Can't decide if I want to trade colors yet since I know for sure hubby isn't going to want to carry "a red purse"); got a weeklong cruise to Alaska next month for which I'll probably be taking the Co-Pilot and well... haven't decided whether it'll be the Western Flyer or the Tri-Star. A lot will depend on...

Shoes. Whether you need to carry a spare pair of shoes will often determine which bag you wind up packing. Do I want to wear my running shoes on the plane? Do I want to forego that altogether? I haven't decided.


And, by the way, your Travelite blog is terrific! I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about lightening their travel load, especially women!

Thank you for your kind words, flitcraft. I've been posting about traveling light since the '90s, with varying degrees of activity on my website over the years--it depends a lot on how busy I am. I finally switched over to a blog format because I just couldn't maintain a full site anymore, although I wish I had more time even for that. I figure at least this way people could just add the site to a newsfeed reader so they can just take a gander when I make a new post.

daisy
04-06-2011, 05:45 PM
As long as a trip doesn't cross into huge changes in season or weather, once you pack up for a week-long trip, you can use the same stuff for weeks on end.

Our "longest trips" are usually only a couple of weeks long due to the number of vacation days we can take, but it's very easy.

...
Your real challenge is going to be meeting the weight restriction, to be honest. Many European airlines have more stringent size restrictions, but it's the WEIGHT limit that makes it really hard.




We're lucky to work for ourselves so can take an extended trip. Haven't done it for years due mainly to having dogs we weren't willing to kennel for such a long time. Sadly the dogs have gone to god so now we can travel.. (have to explain to the fostered dog lying behind my chair that he IS NOT STAYING)


Lani, I agree that there's no difference between packing for a week and packing for months, so long as you are planning for consistent weather and activities. (Obviously, if your plans include a week of business meetings followed by a month of mountain hiking, it's more of a challenge...) My Tristar is my go-to bag for long trips (supplemented with an Imago or large cafe bag as my personal-item which turns into my daybag-briefcase once on the ground). If I'm planning to travel on a 'one means one' airline like RyanAir or EasyJet, I substitute a Packing Cube shoulder bag for the Imago and tuck it into the Tristar. I've traveled for six weeks that way, sinkwashing as I go.



mainly urban tourism followed by a conference for the beloved while I amuse myself solo for a few days. NO hiking :-)
We'll be as far north as Brussels and as far south as Madrid. I need to research weather.




I agree with the previous posts, especially regarding weather and activities. I did 19 days out of an Aeronaut, but I wasn't doing much other than visiting friends and going to nice restaurants once in a while. I also left out my workout clothes and shoes because the tiny village I was staying in had no workout facilities and I'm too wimpy to run outdoors in Jan/Feb in the U.K.!

Also, winter weather meant some bulkier, heavier clothes. If I had traveled during the summer, I think I could have packed more items, and therefore accommodated more variety in activities, or put in my workout gear.

My packing list for this trip is in the packing list section on this forum if you want to have an idea of what the Aeronaut will hold.

Useful list! (http://forums.tombihn.com/showpost.php?p=18853&postcount=15) - my weight limit will probably be 7kg also, although I can have two pieces if we go business class (been saving those flyer points for years).

The aeronaut is too big for economy on Qantas but probably ok for business.

Looking at the packed(stuffed) TriStar at Jefmac's blog (http://restlesstech.com/?p=257) I'm thinking the rumoured smaller aeronaut would be the go..

helder_jb
04-07-2011, 05:37 AM
Last year I did 18 days in Europe with a Western Flyer (I had a 6kg weight limit).
Here's my packing list, if you're interested: http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?p=18657#post18657

I have just ordered a Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack for me to take along when I need one. It weights 70g and shrinks to a very small size, so I can put it inside my travel bag and use it once in my destination.

cpau
05-01-2011, 06:36 AM
Anything over about five days is all the same. And dealing with different climates is done by keeping two things in mind:
1. layer, layer, layer
2. wear biggest, bulkiest, heaviest clothes on plane then take them off (well, not ALL of them, but you know what I mean)

I've done four weeks, twice, to Europe in summer with just hand luggage. First time was with a slightly overweight (10kg) MEI Voyageur, second time was with a cheap, smaller bag I got from a tourist store here in Melbourne (20 x 10.5 x 9.5) at 7kg. A picture of it is here: bag and friend (http://www.flerdle.net/wallaby/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/europe09luggage1.jpg)

To be honest the Voyageur could have been a LOT heavier (it's the same size as the aeronaut) and was never really that full.

I'm a short woman and had invested in light but smart travel clothes, so that helps.

The aeronaut is not too big for Qantas for economy, either domestically or internationally, unless you make it too heavy. It's a 45" bag, and their limit is 45" **.

Good luck, and have fun!

edited to add: ** wondering, where did you get 19x14x9 from? Clicking Here (http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/carry-on-baggage/global/en), it gives the information that I just said.

peregrina
05-05-2011, 09:53 AM
I haven't read all the replies yet, but I have spent a month in Europe with my Aeronaut and hardly did much washing. It was spring/summer so most of the clothes didn't take much room...

Here's a link (http://www.peregrinatrix.com/2008/05/18/packing-the-aeronaut/)to what I took and how I packed.

I haven't checked luggage in... probably 10 years? Before I discovered TB I used a set of small roller and a bag that fit on top and did 3 weeks with that no problem. Again, I didn't wear half of what I took with me on that trip. I am known to be able to fit a lot in a very tight space.

The only time I checked luggage in all those years was when my husband and I *moved* to Spain for a year and even then, we checked only 1 bag: a 60l backpack (not one each, but one for the two of us in adition to 2 sets of carry on bags).

peregrina
05-05-2011, 09:57 AM
On the issue of the Aeronaut being too big - I felt a bit unsure before ordering the aeronaut if it was going to meet the limits on many airlines. I think it was 1 inch bigger than the main airline I travel set as its carry-on size. But I have to say the aeronaut is one amazing bag. It looks smaller than it is, and even when well packed it never looks bulging. Also, it fits the overhead bins of even the smallest planes since it you can usually squeeze it in...

Fat Crip
05-06-2011, 05:27 PM
On the issue of the Aeronaut being too big - I felt a bit unsure before ordering the aeronaut if it was going to meet the limits on many airlines. I think it was 1 inch bigger than the main airline I travel set as its carry-on size. But I have to say the aeronaut is one amazing bag. It looks smaller than it is, and even when well packed it never looks bulging. Also, it fits the overhead bins of even the smallest planes since it you can usually squeeze it in...

The thing is to check the limits and then pack accordingly. I.e. For EasyJet, just fill it up with whatever you can squeeze in (big volume limit and no weight restriction); for RyanAir, remember that they only allow 20cm thickness rather than the more standard 25cm, so make sure you don't pack it too fat; and for FlyBe remember that their allowance is shorter at 45cm rather than 55. The Aeronaut will fit in all of their testers so long as its not too full. But, usually you can't fill it full to bursting anyway because of the weight limits.

One other tip for RyanAir. The shoulder straps add a cm or more to the thickness of the bag so undo them and pull them out and out of the way before you try to squeeze it in to the tester. If they feel you're having to struggle to get it in they will make you check it!

ChrisG
06-10-2011, 02:27 PM
Not me personally, but my brother-in-law is currently on a 24-day around-the-world trip with a single carry-on bag. Left Florida for a week or so in Europe then on to China (both work trips), and currently in Hawaii enjoying a few days off. Then he's off from there to the same wedding I'm going to next week in South Dakota, before flying back home to Florida.

Just
06-30-2011, 07:42 PM
A few years ago I did a 6-week, 3-country trip in the summer with the Western Flyer and Checkpoint Flyer. I still overpacked. By a lot. Gonna try to make up for it on my next travels in the fall: Longest trip will be 3 weeks and at least 3 different cities. Western Flyer only, <15 pounds. Ditching the laptop, for one. Wish me luck!

Peruvian
08-29-2011, 07:27 PM
My wife, two boys and myself just came back from a 5-week East Coast exploration (From Toronto, Canada to NYC to Boston, all the way down to Miami, FL and then back to D.C.) with nothing but 1 carry-on and 1 personal item (bag) each. The biggest problem for my wife and I was that we had 1 week worth of business meetings, thus packing a suit, shirts (3) and shoes for the occasion threw us off. We literally did the "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" gig...but did washing from time to time at hotels' laundry rooms. The name of the game here is utilizing packing cubes to the max (we have the Eagle Creek Pack-it System for each one of us, including the kids) along with pouches of all sizes (I DO use the Tom Bihn pouches here) for chargers, cables, rechargeable batteries, etc. I (and my wife) also travel with an iPad each, so for me, what allowed me to carry everything very close to me, and then turn it into a day bag when touring around, was the Co-Pilot...what an awesome bag!

I will not lie. Thinking about packing for a month or more is VERY intimidating, but when you start packing using everything I mentioned (cubes + pouches), it becomes much easier. Not too mention that once you are on your trip, you will realize it was NOTHING to get anxious about, and that you could've done with absolutely much less than what you had packed.

Have a great trip and we'd love to see some pics when you are back!

flitcraft
08-31-2011, 06:35 AM
I am currently in China on a three week trip using my Tristar and Imago as my only bags. I have to say that I have found one serious challenge is combining professional clothing (I'm presenting papers at four conferences) with casual clothing for my off-days. Also, paper is heavy. Really heavy. My clothing (in Tom Bihn packing cubes) weighs only 2 and a half kilos total, but the books and papers I have to carry have added so much to the weight that I had the check the Tristar between Beijing and Hong Kong (Air China's carryon limit is 5 kilos!!) But so far so good. I plan to send some of the paper home by postal packet, so the last leg of the trip should go well.

Sink washing is not a problem, as long as you pick you wardrobe with that possibility in mind. I just washed my professional travel blazer in the sink of my hotel room tonight, and I expect it will be dry and ready to go within 24 hours. Carry-on only minimalist packing is remarkably freeing. I am sneaking off to Macao for two days in the middle of my trip--I would find it unpleasantly awkward if I were weighed down with heavy luggage. Thank heavens for my Tristar!

Walker
08-31-2011, 03:23 PM
In 1998, a friend & I modified Rick Steve's 21-day best of Europe tour to travel from Frankfurt to Nice, swinging through Freiburg-Stuttgart-Colmar, the Cinque Terre and Sienna, in addition to all the major stops on the Rick Steves tour. We spent 28 days, travelling by train & a few bus trips in Europe.

I brought a Tom Bihn brain bag & Rick Steves' civita backpack as a day bag/purse - both were 3/4 full at most. My friend had a 22-inch rollerboard that was bulging & weighed a ton & her huge messenger bag. We both carried our bags on board the plane.

The immigration officer in Rikjavik held me a long time and their custom officials literally went through every item in my bags. It was difficult for them to believe that I was touristing through Europe for almost a month with my less-than-full brain bag and civita backpack.

I had same experience going through Canada's immigration/customs 2x with just my backpack (not TB) a purse. Both times to visit family over the christmas holidays for a week or so.

Opps! Posted more than the topic.

gmanedit
08-31-2011, 04:54 PM
The immigration officer in Rikjavik held me a long time and their custom officials literally went through every item in my bags. It was difficult for them to believe that I was touristing through Europe for almost a month with my less-than-full brain bag and civita backpack.

I had same experience going through Canada's immigration/customs 2x with just my backpack (not TB) a purse. Both times to visit family over the christmas holidays for a week or so.

What were they looking for? To prove what hypothesis? Especially for a weeklong trip.

Maria
08-31-2011, 05:14 PM
Customs officers - they think if we pack light, therefore we must be carrying something really small and therefore really dangerous! Compared to those that over-pack and lug an insane amount of "carry-on" luggage. Those folks couldn't possibly hide anything in all that baggage!

Wonder if you told them - "I shipped everything ahead via Fed Ex well in advance" - would that ease their minds? :)

Walker
08-31-2011, 05:50 PM
Who knows, Gmanedit & Maria. They can look through my luggage all they want. A good thing my bags were not packed full - shoving my stuff back into the bags was easy. As for their question, "these are all you have for your trip?" - I just answered, "yes."

I have been picked for full search at the airport also. So I either look suspicious or a pushover :(

I don't want to take this thread off topic. My apologies.

Walker
08-31-2011, 05:55 PM
Who knows, Gmanedit & Maria. They can look through my luggage all they want. A good thing my bags were not packed full - shoving my stuff back into the bags was easy. As for their question, "these are all you have for your trip?" - I just answered, "yes."

I have been picked for full search at the airport also. So I either look suspicious or a pushover :(

I don't want to take this thread off topic. My apologies.

flitcraft
09-18-2011, 11:28 AM
Back from China, I thought I'd report on my two day trip to Macau. To summarize: I was on a three week professionally oriented trip to China and Hong Kong, and had a gap in my work schedule for a two night trip to Macau. My luggage consisted of a Tristar and an Imago as my 'personal item.' The plan was to simply tote both along on the fast ferry to Macau. But, since I was coming back to the same Hong Kong hotel, I started thinking about whether I could go with just the Imago for two days. And so I did!

Here's what I packed: My Toshiba 13 inch computer in its neoprene sleeve, two short sleeved polyester tops, an XL Ichiro mesh shirt (for pajamas), knit shorts, an extra bra and two undies, and a skeletal toiletry baggie (toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, sunscreen). In the back pocket was the xerox of Lonely Planet's Macao chapter and a Macau map. In the zippered pocket was my Big Skinny passport wallet with passport, credit cards, and money. One inner pocket held my point and shoot camera, one my mini ziplock of meds. The clothing were done in a bundle pack format, in front of the computer.

Ta da! It was very do-able, as it turned out, though a tight fit. Good thing the buckle strap is adjustable! Once I got to Macau, the Imago was emptied and turned into my day pack for my camera, wallet, tourist materials, and a bottle of water. Overkill as a day pack, but it worked.

I could have gone without the knit shorts (they were an emergency back-up for my capris, which I ended up sinkwashing the first night) and I could have gone with just one extra top and one pair of undies, since I ended up sinkwashing once anyway. But given temperatures in the nineties and humidity not far from that, it was nice to know I always had clean, dry clothing to change into! (The Ichiro shirt is non-negotiable for me, but those less wedded to sleep shirts or Japanese outfielders could probably dispense with that, too.) And of course, the computer took up way too much room. I would not have brought it at all but for residual nervousness about leaving it in the Tristar in a hotel luggage area. (What if they put a heavy bag on top of the Tristar???)

So, Imago as a short-trip bag? Who knew...