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Which bag(s) should I travel with on.....

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    Which bag(s) should I travel with on.....

    ....a tour bus? I know absolutely nothing about vacationing on a tour bus, but I decided recently that my way of celebrating my retirement (not any time soon, mind you) would be to choose a bus tour to somewhere I have always wanted to visit. As an older person (a wee bit older by the time I am able to retire), and one who has trouble bearing too much weight, I intend to try one or two-bagging the trip, which will probably be a week or two in length. By two bags, I mean my EDC plus the bag for my clothes, etc. I really hate the idea of tossing luggage into the bus storage area, but I have no clue how much space there is around a person's seat inside the tour bus.
    I may even decide to scrounge up enough money to take an overseas tour of some sort. Not sure how that will work out for me, but the day for that decision is a long way off. Any insights or helpful hints? FYI, I am kinda on the short side (5'4" and shrinking) and I have arthritis in my spine, which will take its toll on me someday.
    Obviously I love to dream and plan ahead, so there is plenty of time to make decisions
    Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!

    Maybe a Yeoman Duffel for clothes. They're relatively inexpensive and the ballistic fabric is tough as anything and wouldn't mind a trip in steerage/storage. Then a light day bag for your on-bus needs.

    That sounds fun, by the way! I make the bus trip from Boston to Portland Maine every year or so, and it's extremely pleasant. They line I take has a no talking on cellphone rule. It's so civilized. I often find busses have more pleasant scenery than trains, too. Trains have their own interesting scenery, but mostly industrial and backyards.


      Rocks, good to know about the Yeoman. I've been looking at ALL the bags we have to choose from, and every time I think I've narrowed it down to three different bags, I read someone's comments on another bag, and off I go again It's a good thing I'm in no hurry!
      I've been thinking about taking a bus tour for some time, but I just don't have the money to do such a thing, so I decided not long ago that a bus tour (or one overseas with the tour group) could actually be my retirement celebration gift to myself. This will leave me plenty of time to save up for the trip(s). Also, I am planning to include some awesome Bihn bags in that retirement package
      Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!


        My experience in buses is in the non-tour transportation kind, so I don't feel qualified to answer your question. While the answers you get should be helpful, my suggestion is to check out https://www.onebag.com/ before you do anything else.

        Mr. Dyment recommends that selecting a bag or suitcase is best done after you determine what you need to put in it. In this way, you determine the capacity of the bag you actually need.

        While you might not be aspiring to attempt one bag travel, the expert advice Mr. Dyment shares is extensive. From travel tips to laundry options to bag selection, his website covers packing for travel very thoroughly.

        Frank at One Bag, One World - News, Reviews and Community for Light Travelers also has a fabulous travel website. He is a respected regular here at the Tom Bihn forums, so you probably already know him. His bag reviews are excellent!

        Good luck! elisa


          Yes, I'd love to one-bag it. Of course, I don't count my EDC I have been using my Sidekick as an EDC and I love it, though sometimes I wish it were just a wee bit larger. Methinks I just need to learn to carry less! And thank you for the links. I will check it out.
          Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!


            As one with a touchy back, I generally use a good quality roll on, and then my Co-Pilot with the critical stuff in it. The good roll ons can take quite a lot of abuse unless you're going to Somalia!
            Go Navy


              On bus tours, you won't be toting your own luggage. You'll set it outside your door and someone else picks it up for you. And it will get stacked with other luggage, with yours probably on the bottom.

              For this reason, I go with a hard sided suit case. Perhaps with wheels in case you have to roll it through the lobby to your room.

              It's only when I know I have to deal with my own luggage that I go with a soft bag like TB, and carry it myself.


                Go Navy, which roll on bag would you recommend?

                BWeaves, that is what I was afraid of... I hate not knowing how my bags are being treated. I have flown on a plane twice in my life, and the jerks broke an item that started out in my carry-on, until I was told that my tiny purse that looked like a backpack had to go into the checked bag. Go figure. SO... the breakable gift I had for someone was broken into a zillion pieces and I was furious. This was long before 911 happened.
                Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!


                  I originally bought my Briggs & Riley TORQ suitcases just because they protected my hair dryer and flat iron from breaking (and they are good quality). However, as great as the spinner wheels and outside telescoping handle are, they severely limit the size of the interior of the suit case. Oddly enough, I've never maxed out (got an A45) on the size of my TB bags, because I just can't carry a full size carry on suitcase anyway (so I have an A30). So pretty much all my bags are similar in size. They are just different in hard shell vs. soft shell, or duffle style vs. flat packing style, depending on what I'm bringing and how I'm traveling.

                  I just bought a B&R Transcend clamshell case because it's the size of my WF, but will slip over the handle of my TORQ. I missed out on the WF that had the slip through for the rollaboard handle instead of the backpack straps, and I really wish I had that version instead.
                  Last edited by BWeaves; 07-18-2017, 06:13 AM.


                    BWeaves, I think I would prefer the slip through on the WF, too, but I know there are people who prefer the backpacking method. I wish I knew what I would prefer when I am older, but I'll just have to wait and see. I do plan to get either the Co-Pilot or the Pilot, I think. If my Sidekick will fit inside whichever bag I do decided on, that would be great.
                    Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!


                      I like my Pilot because it slips over the handle of a rollaboard. I love to one-bag it, but sometimes it just doesn't work for a particular trip.

                      Plus, for tour bus travel you need to be able to lock you bag. I don't find this necessary if I'm one-bagging it and my "suitcase" looks like a briefcase.


                        Oh, I would definitely want to lock the bag when I go touring, no doubt. Especially when it's going to be tossed into a gaping hole with a bunch of other bags.... and handled by someone other than me.
                        Smile! People will wonder what you're up to!


                          I will be doing some bus tours this fall when I go to Scotland. Will definitely let you know what works well! I think it's fun to be planning something that you can look forward to, even if it's a ways off.

                          Tentatively, I plan to have a small bag (Side Kick, probably) that I'll carry all the time, then a slightly larger bag (maybe PCSB or Co-Pilot), that can hold the SK along with extra stuff I won't need all the time (water, coat, etc) that can stay on the bus. And a backpack for my clothes. Personally, I keep all my valuables (wallet, money, passport, phone) with me, and don't worry about someone stealing my clothes. I'm sure a tour bus gets locked anyway.

                          Though if one of my TB bags went missing I'd be seriously displeased.
                          All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
                          Edmund Burke


                            Hahahah! Yup. I'm more concerned about losing the suitcase than the stuff IN the suitcase.


                              Now that I'm retired, I have done a couple of bus tours abroad. I think you are asking all the right questions. The most important being can you handle the bags on your own (including at airports). For some, that will mean it has to roll. For others it means a light bag. Although from what I've seen, some don't care either way and bring huge suitcases.

                              On some tours there are strict baggage restrictions due to the bus being small or because internal/regional flights have restrictions. Also, depending on where you go, sometimes there are no elevators. Although at most hotels there would be someone to help with bags. But it is good to be able to be able to handle the bags on your own just in case.

                              For me, right now, my health allows me to shlep my own bags. This allows me to grab my bag off the bus and not have to wait for the hotel to figure everything out and deliver the bag to my room. It also gives me a bit more exercise

                              I bring an aeronaut (either A30 or A45 depending) in, wait for it, dyneema. I've had no problems with it being treated poorly. In fact, I noticed this last time that the bus driver put it aside and always stacked it on top because it was so light. I almost never use this in backpack style. I grab it by the handles or use a strap.

                              For on the bus, again this depends on where you are going. There is usually room for a pilot size bag or small backpack. You'll probably want someplace to stash outerwear, a camera or phone, snack, etc. If where I'm going is pretty casual like SE Asia, a Pilot or Co-pilot (or even a lesportsac) has served me well (although a co-pilot doesn't work too well if you have a heavier jacket). If I were to go more to cities, like a European capital tour, I might want something a little more elegant. On my last tour I took the Lo and Sons Hanover backpack which has a nice minimal look but I'm still not sure I don't prefer a cross body to a backpack for day. That said, I also pack either a side effect or side kick in the day pack for those times (frequent) when I don't want to bring a bigger bag but I don't want to leave valuables on the bus.

                              I don't usually lock bags on the bus. I do have a system for locking down the aeronaut that will at least tell me if anyone has used the "ballpoint pen method" to open it. I try not to bring too many valuables and for those I have to (passport, camera, money, phone and maybe a kindle), I keep those distributed on my person and in my sidekick/effect.

                              Have fun! Anticipation is half the fun.
                              Last edited by Ca1i; 07-19-2017, 09:17 AM.