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longest trip with the least luggage

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  • flitcraft
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Maria
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • gmanedit
    replied
    Originally posted by LiLin View Post
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • flitcraft
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Peruvian
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Just
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisG
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fat Crip
    replied
    Originally posted by peregrina View Post
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • peregrina
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • peregrina
    replied
    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 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).

    Leave a comment:


  • cpau
    replied
    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

    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, it gives the information that I just said.
    Last edited by cpau; 05-01-2011, 07:43 AM. Reason: adding information

    Leave a comment:


  • helder_jb
    replied
    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...8657#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.

    Leave a comment:

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