What to take with me? Part 1 luggage

Packing for a trip is still one of the most challenging, anxiety producing activities for me and while I thought I had a good list to start from, I still spent hours working on the options.

The first thing that I needed to decide would be what luggage to take.

I can take with me:

  • 2 checked bags that each measures less than 62 total in (l+h+w) and each weighs less than 50 lbs,
  • 1 carry-on bag that measures less than 22 x 16 x 9 in. and weighs less than 18 lbs,
  • 1 personal item that measures less than 16 x 12 x 4 in.

I am responsible for handling my luggage; so making sure I can move all of my luggage at the same time is important.  Maneuvering at the airport or on public transportation is stressful especially in another country and I hate feeling like a bumbling, sweaty tourist.

Travel Backpack vs Duffel vs Rolling Suitcase- The never ending debate.

  • A duffel is great for trips that will require your luggage to be carried by a pack animal.  It also tends to weigh less so if you want to make the most of the 50 lbs, it helps if your bag doesn’t take up 14 pounds of that.
  • I contemplated bringing a backpacking backpack (70L) as I could use it afterwards for traveling and backpacking and it could potentially make it easier to handle my luggage.  I decided against it as it didn’t really hold as much as a duffel and I was bringing my smaller trekking pack (28L). Plus, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to carry 50 lbs on my back while dealing with other luggage as well.
  • I found this detailed article about how to choose if a travel backpack, a duffel or a rolling suitcase is best for your trip.

After several decision changes, my final luggage includes 1 large duffel, 1 rolling duffel that can hold the other duffel when being wheeled around, one small carry-on suitcase and my laptop backpack.  note: This changed the day before I left, I found that the rolling bag weighed 15lbs and decided I wanted that extra 10 lbs. I found a Samsonite bag that was the exact dimensions needed and only weighed 3 lbs. It is/was perfect for holding my clothes.

Two very humorous books about travel and packing were written around 1855 by Jerome Jerome. One being “Three Men in a Boat” and the second being “Diary of a Pilgrimage“.   Every time I read the books, they make me laugh out loud and remind me of conversations that I have had with myself and with others.

Three Men and a Boat by Jerome Jerome


… We made a list of the things to be taken, and a pretty lengthy one it was, before we parted that evening. The next day, which was Friday, we got them all together, and met in the evening to pack. We got a big Gladstone for the clothes, and a couple of hampers for the victuals and the cooking utensils. We moved the table up against the window, piled everything in a heap in the middle of the floor, and sat round and looked at it.

I said I’d pack.

I rather pride myself on my packing. Packing is one of those many things that I feel I know more about than any other person living. (It surprises me myself, sometimes, how many of these subjects there are.) I impressed the fact upon George and Harris, and told them that they had better leave the whole matter entirely to me. They fell into the suggestion with a readiness that had something uncanny about it. George put on a pipe and spread himself over the easy-chair, and Harris cocked his legs on the table and lit a cigar.

This was hardly what I intended. What I had meant, of course, was, that I should boss the job, and that Harris and George should potter about under my directions, I pushing them aside every now and then with, “Oh, you—!” “Here, let me do it.” “There you are, simple enough!”—really teaching them, as you might say. Their taking it in the way they did irritated me. There is nothing does irritate me more than seeing other people sitting about doing nothing when I’m working.


Up next, now what goes in my luggage?


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