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  1. #21
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    When DS1 was in 7th grade, I went with him (and 50 other kids/parents from his middle school) to Europe through EF Tours. It sounds similar - we flew over and then took either a tour bus or train place to place. Lots of hotel changes, most for one night and little down time. Sink washing would not have been doable so I would pack accordingly. Of course this was pre-Covid but everyone on the tour seemed to check a medium-sized roller/spinner bag and carry a backpack carryon. Backpacks doubled as a daypack. We did lug our bags up stairs, through train stations and down streets but it wasn't bad. The kids never complained, especially since everyone was doing it.

    Our family generally travels carryon only. My kids all have the smallest Monos carryon. It's a great little spinner bag and has put up with lots of abuse - dragged through airports, train stations and cobbled city streets. We can definitely fit 10 days worth of clothing but that's with careful rolling and organization. I'm not sure my high school boys are neat enough to maintain it alone. They make larger bags and if I were in the market for one, I'd definitely consider it. It seems to hold more than expected while being easy to handle. Packing cubes always sound good but I've never been able to fit as many clothes when using them. For a carryon, they use their regular backpacks. We bought Cotopaxi Allpa travel packs for a trip this coming summer with luggage requirements. I really like how those open like a suitcase and have some organization. DS1 used his this past summer when we went to Italy. He seemed to like it but he was always carrying a backpack on his front and back on trains and through airports since we didn't check our bags. He wasn't bothered but others may do better with a roller or spinner.

    Hope your DD has a wonderful trip! She will make such great memories!
    Mom to Two Wild and Crazy Boys and One Sweet Baby Girl

  2. #22
    Kindra178 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I very much love rolling duffels. As recommended here, the REI branded one is excellent. It would be a great choice for a kid going to college.


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  3. #23
    Percycat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    If its the school that is limiting to either 1 checked bag or 1 carryon plus a personal item, it is probably due to concerns about packing the bus. If she checks her larger bag and the smaller bag qualifies per the airline as a carryon and can be brought on board, then i would take the smaller bag to the intown school meeting and ask the trip organizer if it would qualify as her personal item.

  4. #24
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Ds1 has been on one of these trips before (with EF Tours). I wasn't thinking about that one earlier when I posted. I think he took an average sized suitcase (slightly bigger than carry on guidelines nowadays) and a backpack. This was for France and Spain in the summer. he did fine. We didn't really put much thought into it.
    eta- the rest of my family loves packing cubes. I go through phases. My newest phase is layering my suitcase. I pack a full outfit (bottom, top, undies) then stack the next day on top and end with what I will need night 1/upon arrival (swimsuit...). It keeps me from digging and thinking. I just pull off the layer that is Tuesday's clothes. I don't know...for some reason it is working really well for me now.
    Last edited by SnuggleBuggles; 02-22-2024 at 04:57 PM.

  5. #25
    jgenie is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendibird22 View Post
    Thanks all! Keep the ideas coming as you are giving me lots of food for thought.

    They are flying Air Canada, direct from Toronto to Milan. Return is also Air Canada, direct Athens to Toronto. They don't seem to be too restrictive on carry on (no weight max): https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/...arry-on.html#/

    And yes, bus from place to place. They are in a different hotel every night and have been told their days are basically 8am-10pm so little time to even hand wash items. First week in April will be cool temps so wont really need shorts (might bring one pair for Greece) or bathing suits and were told they don't need skirts or dresses (though she may bring 1). So 2 pair sneakers (wear one, pack one), shower shoes, and an assortment of pants/leggings and shirts with a sweatshirt or two. I think she's likely going to want to check a bag just to avoid the 3-1-1 liquids rule. By the time you have shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, toothpaste, dry shampoo, other hair treatment (she has wavy hair that needs something), tinted moisturizer, sunscreen and holy moly your little quart size bag is already full. Not that she'd bring full sizes of anything but I find a female's liquids are more plentiful than a male's (DH packs an all in one shampoo, toothpaste, shave gel and that's it).

    I do think I'll have her pack the Mother Lode backpack and the Mother Lode suitcase with a representation of what she'd actually pack and then go up and down the stairs in our house and she what she thinks.
    Take her to your local train station. Have her carry the bags up and down those stairs.

  6. #26
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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    ……My newest phase is layering my suitcase. I pack a full outfit (bottom, top, undies) then stack the next day on top and end with what I will need night 1/upon arrival (swimsuit...). It keeps me from digging and thinking. I just pull off the layer that is Tuesday's clothes. I don't know...for some reason it is working really well for me now.
    I pack exactly like this as well if I don’t use packing cubes. My nightgown is always on top along with anything I feel might need ironing. Unless it is overnight I also always unpack my suitcase and my clothes go in the drawer as you describe.


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  7. #27
    robinsmommy is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Something to consider- don’t buy any luggage that you will feel bad chucking if it gets badly damaged while checked in (many are not repairable) or gets bed bugs in it. 😬

    We use mostly soft pieces that can go in a hot dryer when we get back.

    I agree having her haul loaded pieces around somewhere, including at a hurried “catch the train” pace, is a good idea to understand the value of packing light.

    We like the Rick Steves carry on backpacks. Also, with many suitcases being divided inside, it can limit how/what you can pack. Highly organized hardsided suitcases being the worst. Makes it esp hard if you want to bring back an odd shaped souvenir or, say, many large boxes of chocolates from Belgium. Some people find the dividers helpful- me less so.

  8. #28
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    wendibird22 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    You all are the best with helping me think this through. I pitched some ideas to DD1. I told her since she's on school break this week, now is a great time to pack a pretend load in the luggage we have (wheeled and backpack) and traipse it up and down our stairs at home. I also shared the great point made here...pretend you are packing for camping, not for vacation.

    We have a little over a month until the trip (she leaves Good Friday) so plenty of time to experiment and for her to come to grips with judicious packing!
    Mom to two amazing DDs ('07 & '09) and a fur baby.

    Gluten free since Nov '11 after non-celiac gluten sensitive diagnosis. Have had great improvement or total elimination of: migraines, bloating/distention, heartburn, cystic acne, canker sores, bleeding gums, eczema on elbows, dry skin and scalp, muscle cramps, PMS, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue. I'm amazed.

  9. #29
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    essnce629 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Haven't read all the comments yet and don't have advice on luggage and packing, but wanted to recommend these SinkSuds, individual packs of laundry detergent for washing in your hotel sink. We use them for DS2's multi day travel tournaments where uniforms need to be washed in the sink. They are great. I roll all the wet stuff really well between towels to get out all the extra water so everything is dry by the next day, even cotton t-shirts that I've washed the minute we get back to the room. The hair dryer can always be used in a pinch if not fully dry by morning.

    SinkSuds Travel Laundry Detergent Liquid Soap + Odor Eliminator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D1X2QJG...EKNX5R0TJ94KDF

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  10. #30
    acmom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendibird22 View Post
    You all are the best with helping me think this through. I pitched some ideas to DD1. I told her since she's on school break this week, now is a great time to pack a pretend load in the luggage we have (wheeled and backpack) and traipse it up and down our stairs at home. I also shared the great point made here...pretend you are packing for camping, not for vacation.

    We have a little over a month until the trip (she leaves Good Friday) so plenty of time to experiment and for her to come to grips with judicious packing!
    I think having her try out what she is most comfortable with and seeing what fits in the different bag options is a great plan. I travel a lot with my DD and DS for sports and have learned in our packing adventures that they each have their own packing preferences that work best for them, which we figured out with trial and error. One likes and uses packing cubes, one doesn't. One now packs in outfits, one usually packs by category. Both have discovered that they don't need as much as they used to take and have gotten better at packing smarter. One thing that helped both of them was thinking about taking bottoms and layers that go with most tops and taking minimal shoes. Also wearing the bulkier items, like sneakers, jean jacket or sweatshirt.

    For me and my DD, we both prefer traveling with a carryon roller bag plus a backpack (DD) or small duffle as our "personal item". Both of us throw our lulu crossbody in right before we get on the plane- that is great for having easy access and secure spot for phone, travel papers and ID, plus great for a purse when we get there. I would not like having to lug two bags without wheels through the airport. The smaller roller bags do fine on escalators and I can even take them up and down stairs if needed.

    Good luck! Sounds like a great trip!

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