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  1. #1
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    Personal item issue, packing anxiety etc.

    I am flying Aer Lingus to London next month for 10 days. I just found out that the bag I was planning to use as my personal item (LL Bean Stowaway backpack) is too large for the airline's rules. I will take it anyway, to use as my EDC, but now I am rethinking my packing. Especially since last year when I went to London, I sort of wished I had a bigger bag. I have a 21" spinner (MaxLite pro).

    The problem is: shopping. I'm not gonna lie to myself (or you) and say I'm not going to shop. I said that last year. While I won't be bringing souvenirs for family and friends (which I did last year), I do want to get a few things for myself. The personal item must be 13" x 10" x 8". I'm considering a 25" spinner. Also taking a tote bag as carryon.

    So far, for a carryon that seems lightweight, I have found the LL Bean Carryall III. I have the LL Bean Carryall Tote. I figure I can put the personal item in the tote, or fold it up in the suitcase, or just carry it empty, if need be.

    I am not happy about any of this. I try mightily, and repeatedly, to pack light, but there is just so much I can do. This year, I'll be bringing very little in the way of socks & undies. I'll wash them in the sink and I'm find with that. I'm not bringing my own shampoo/conditioner, and some of the snack items/grocery items I brought last year are not coming (I'll be shopping at Tesco). I'm not so sure about washing shirts and pants in a sink, though I will have access to a laundromat. I feel disgusted b/c I aspire to travel light and feel like a 21" SHOULD be good enough.

    I can't check a second bag as Aer Lingus charges $100 for that.

    I guess this is a bit of a rant, but if anyone has advice, I'm all ears.

    (Sorry if I'm being a PITA. Had a bad night. Place around the corner burned down, was awakened by fire engines in the middle of the night. Then power went out and I was awakened by spouse trying to re-set the alarm clocks with the bedroom lights on as he couldn't do it with only a flashlight. Then had barely enough water for bath before work, as a water main broke in addition to the firemen using so much water. Oy vey).

  2. #2
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    Wow, sorry you had such a bad night! I hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.

    I am not sure what you're asking exactly, are you looking for a better carryon or personal item or both? What clothes are you taking? Do you use packing cubes?


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  3. #3
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    Thank you! I am feeling a bit better now. At least it is sunny out and I will go for a walk at lunch.

    I do use packing cubes and I'm going to try the Konmari method of folding. Taking four shirts (wearing one), three pairs of trousers (wearing one), lightweight PJs, two cardigans (one is the Flyaway brand from LL Bean), one pair silk long undies, two bras, three panties, four pair of socks, two pair shoes (wearing one). I'm not a big cosmetic person so very few of those. Some journaling supplies (two rolls washi tape, pens, glue runner, some stickers). That's all going in my checkin bag.

    So I guess I'm looking for a better personal item and advise on carryons.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Wow, sorry you had such a bad night! I hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.

    I am not sure what you're asking exactly, are you looking for a better carryon or personal item or both? What clothes are you taking? Do you use packing cubes?


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  4. #4
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    Do you already own the larger spinner? If so, I would consider taking that so you can minimise your carryon stuff and have room for some souvenirs. If it were me, I might check a 25" bag, and for the flight take my Side Kick in a large or small Shop Bag (this combo is basically a version of what I normally carry around these days). If I really wanted the most flexible option, I would put my SK in a small SB in the large SB (or just fold the small one in one of the pockets of the large one).

    So your personal item is actually the SK or SSB and your carryon is the LSB, in essence.

    It kind of depends on what sort of stuff you want with you in flight, I realise.

    Does that sound like we are heading in the right direction?


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  5. #5
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    No, I don't have a 25" spinner. I just went to department store on my lunch break, and I seriously do not think I can handle one on my own. I have back problems and they are waaay bigger than I thought (the suitcases, not the problems).

    I measured my SSB and it's too big for Aer Lingus. In my carryon tote, I will have my tablet, various chargers/cables, camera (small point and shoot), 6" x 9" journal, 3-1-1 bag, glasses, flashlight, small pair of binoculars, snacks, travel pillow. I practiced packing and those items did not fill the carryon, thankfully!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinblack1964 View Post
    No, I don't have a 25" spinner. I just went to department store on my lunch break, and I seriously do not think I can handle one on my own. I have back problems and they are waaay bigger than I thought (the suitcases, not the problems).

    I measured my SSB and it's too big for Aer Lingus. In my carryon tote, I will have my tablet, various chargers/cables, camera (small point and shoot), 6" x 9" journal, 3-1-1 bag, glasses, flashlight, small pair of binoculars, snacks, travel pillow. I practiced packing and those items did not fill the carryon, thankfully!
    So, since your carryon stuff fits well, do you need an additional personal item? It sounds like you're all set there and it is the checked bag that is giving you trouble. Is that right? Is it possible to move one change on clothes into your carryon? It will come in handy if your luggage gets lost.

    Since you're coming to the UK I assume you will have a rain coat. A rain coat with zippered pockets can stash some of your snacks, etc, if you need a little bit more space after you've gotten your souvenirs.

    Depending on what sort of souvenirs you're after, you might be able to send them back home via Royal Mail? Tracked shipping will start at around ten pounds.

    I hope you get nice weather!

  7. #7
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    I might be able to get clothes into the carryon. That's a good idea. I do have a raincoat with a lining and it does have good pockets.

    I'll keep the mail in mind. There's a post office right around the corner from where I am staying.

    I hope I get nice weather too! Last year, there was only one day that was beastly. The rest of the time was high 50s F and overcast--my kind of weather!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinblack1964 View Post
    I hope I get nice weather too! Last year, there was only one day that was beastly. The rest of the time was high 50s F and overcast--my kind of weather!
    Hahaha, I am pale and entering a time of life when I am getting permanent freckles instead of ones that fade in the fall, so I love it when it is overcast too!

  9. #9
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    After spending a lot of time trying to get through all of this, I think I found an easy solution.

    Spinner--check it both ways
    Tote--becomes your carry on bag both ways (If you can slide it over the handles of your spinner it may help with transporting it.
    Backpack--packed away going over, when needed is your personal item for your return. If not packed full will meet the size limits of the personal item.

    You will be responsible for three bags on your return but if you don't want to get a larger wheeled bag, and you insist on shopping, I don't see how else to do this.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  10. #10
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    I was in London for 8 days in March. I'm not a minimalist, I like fashion, and my reason for being in London involved needing formal wear. (All this is to say, I'm perhaps not the lightest packer in the world.) I also have some ongoing neck issues, which means I'm attentive to weight and bags. I do not like being dirty or wearing sweaty clothes, but I also do not do laundry when traveling for that length of time. I had no issues on either front.

    My baggage consisted of an A30 (checked), a tiny Rimowa wheeled suitcase (the Business Trolley, which has about a 25L capacity; also checked), and for a personal item on the plane I used an Aeronaut PCBP. I had a small shop bag rolled up, and for daily out-about-town I used a PCSB, which is the same bag I use for my everyday out and about puttering at home, in New York City.

    I had more than enough room, and I managed those bags just fine on buses, the Tube, and the Heathrow Express. I bought three pairs of shoes in London (whoo hoo Miista sample sale!) and lots of beauty products. I also came home with books. I am not a minimalist, but I also use everything I take, so I might suggest any packing woes come down to not yet realizing what you really need or want during your trip?

    I'm quite pleased with my A30/Rimowa combo (I've used them on several trips now-- a single A45 is too heavy for me now), but my flying habits mean I get two checked bags. If I only got one, I would switch over to a single checked bag with a 50L capacity. I would prioritize having a lightweight roller with good wheels (my preference is for Rimowa; I've thought about Muji or Away but both have--for me-- drawbacks, but they are much cheaper.) No one at Aer Lingus will bat an eye at the PCBP (or Daylight Backpack), regardless of the actual dimensions, and you can have a Side Kick, Side Effect, or PCSB in addition, frankly.

    Also, editing to add, I used to be very concerned about having things like chargers, extra cables, and the like in my carryon in case my bags got delayed. But, you are flying an EU airline, so if your checked bag is lost, the airline is required to cover your expenses until it reunites you with your bag. That includes an electronics charger. (The battery on my phone lasts forever, and I don't use it much, so I'm not worried about recharging in transit.) You'll be in London, not in the Outer Hebrides, so easy enough to pop over to Marks & Spencer or Boots or wherever, buy a charger, buy a USB cable, buy a cheap outfit, and submit the receipts to Aer Lingus. (I have what I refer to as my Air France outfit, not surprisingly paid for by Air France when my luggage was delayed for just a few hours.) The more I travel, the less I actually worry about certain things, because at least when traveling in/to Europe, consumer protection laws are a bit friendly to the consumer. I still bring undies and a fresh shirt (as they roll into a tiny space), but I'm willing to check other things and just buy what I need (and get reimbursed, either from the airline or travel delay/baggage delay insurance from my credit card) if it comes to that.
    Last edited by turnleftbrighteyes; 04-23-2017 at 05:45 PM.

  11. #11
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    Frank II, Thank you. I think I am really going to stick with small items as souvenirs. It's not that I bought big items last year--they were just bulky, when all put together. Books (four or five), mugs (four of them!), T-shirts, cosmetic bags...just added up to be too much.

    turnleftbrighteyes, thank you so much. Originally I did have an A45 but found I could not carry it on my back for more than five minutes (15 lbs. of clothes). You are absolutely correct about buying a charger in London--I hadn't thought of that at all. Thanks for the specific info re: Aer Lingus. They really make it sound severe on their site, and it's good to know someone will not be at the gate with a measuring tape!
    And yes, part of my problem is that I don't know what might strike my fancy there.

    Last year I brought food with me (snacks) b/c I was flying Icelandair and did not expect to be fed. I ended up code-shared on United for the flight over and really didn't need all the snacks. I also brought sweetener (I'm a diabetic) which I will buy. I didn't know what to expect since I had not been in London in nearly 30 years and I was really unsure of myself.

    Also I tend to panic over very small things, which probably represent larger things (such as will the trip be a success in general)?

    Many thanks for your help!

  12. #12
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    It's been a little while since I've flown Aer Lingus but I remember being well-plied with snacks and gin. Hopefully that's still the case, and you can get away with just one small emergency snack (and perhaps one small emergency gin).

    If you can't fit an entire outfit in your carry-on, try a change of unmentionables/socks and a clean shirt. The bonus is you can change your shirt right when you land—a nice thing even if your luggage isn't lost.

    Washi tape trick: instead of whole rolls, wind a foot or so of tape around a plastic card. It should remain sufficiently sticky and it can live in your journal, taking up virtually no space.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Washi tape trick: instead of whole rolls, wind a foot or so of tape around a plastic card. It should remain sufficiently sticky and it can live in your journal, taking up virtually no space.
    Used gift cards are great for this. I do this as well.

  14. #14
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    Badger, gin and snacks, hmmm...I'm liking the sound of that!
    I do have a small packing cube that's just the right size for the unmentionables and shirt.
    Good point about the washi tape. I've bought samples from Etsy and they are often wound around little embroidery floss cards. I'm sure I've got a few of those, as well as dead gift cards, around the house. Absolutely no reason to bring entire rolls!

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