After much research and deliberation, the carry-on bag that will be accompanying me throughout Europe just arrived in the mail. Its name is lil’ Blue, and we are going to be best friends. It’s the American Tourister Splash wheeled boarding bag!
Since I will be making short trips (a week long or less) from my home base in Austria, I plan on traveling around with just a carry-on bag. I believe in traveling light, and I think I have gotten my packing down to a science.
I wear my boots and coat on the plane (heaviest items of clothing) and pack tights and dresses for each day, as well as a cardigan. This allows me to layer and be comfortable in different temperatures, and always be dressy enough to go out to dinner or a show! I put in a pair of flip flops for hostel showers, and bring along my tiny netbook and camera. That’s pretty much it!
So why is this bag perfect for me? Well, you don’t have to lay it down flat to upzip it. Going through airport security, I can just set it on the conveyor belt and pull out my baggie of liquids and laptop. Then I can pick it up by the two handles on top and repack it out of people’s way, without holding up the line.
Also, it is smaller than the actual allowance for most airlines, which is good, because it will easily roll down the aisles of planes, and fit even in small overhead compartments (say on Ryanair or other budget airlines). It even has an extra handle down by the wheels for easy lifting.
This is really important for me, as I am only 5’2″ tall, and people get very frustrated when it takes me longer to reach/push my bag into the compartments. (Why people are a thousand times ruder while traveling than they would ever be in their day-to-day lives is probably another post entirely.) On trains and buses, I will probably be able to fit it under my seat and avoid the dangerous climb/lift operation entirely.
Even though this bag is small, it’s roomy, because it doesn’t have a lot of pockets and dividers–just one big open area for squishing lots of things in!
I think luggage is really important to consider when traveling. It needs to do its job of allowing you to bring the things you need, as easily as possible, and without breaking on you. With all the options and brands available, there should be something for everyone!
If you’re curious, lil’ Blue aside, I travel with hard-sided luggage that the airlines have yet to dent. It’s also impossible to miss in baggage claim!