Travel to Europe is amazing anytime of year, but packing can be one of the most difficult and stressful parts of the trip, especially if you are traveling to multiple destinations. Having the right luggage can make packing and traveling easier. I have fine tuned my luggage selection throughout my business and personal travels and share what works.
You will need to decide if you will take a carry-on or will need to check a bag. The most important thing to remember is to travel light. Everything will be easier and you will thank yourself when you are trying to catch a train, moving hotels or making your way down a cobble stone street. If possible consider packing in a rolling carry-on and then taking a smaller back pack or carry-on that will ride on top when you are moving around. No checked luggage means no worries about lost or delayed bags and you can immediately get on your way once your have arrived at your destination.
Great care should be taken when selecting the perfect luggage. Ideally for either carry-on or checked bags, 4 wheels and something lightweight are a must. Next you can decide on a hard side bag that will protect your valuables or a soft side bag that is a bit more forgiving and has a bit more give. This is just mainly a matter of preference.
Carry-on Luggage – My personal preference is to travel only with carry-on luggage. The Tumi Voyageur Series International Carry-On is perfect for a two week trip, but if a little extra room is needed then the Travelpro Crew 11 21″ Expandable Spinner is the bag of choice. The Tumi Voyageur has a split case configuration with two nice size sides. The outer zip pocket has a padded laptop pocket which is a nice addition to the bag. The Travelpro Crew seems to be slightly bigger and is incredibly light. It has a usb port incorporated to charge your phone or devices. Although the battery is not included it is a simple fix and a great solution for crowded airport charging. Both bags have 4 wheel spinners, bottom grips, nicely padded handles and are lightweight. These bags will hold up well even if you decide to check them and they could be the solution you need for your carry-on needs.
Checked Luggage – The bag to select for a extremely light piece of luggage is the Travelpro Maxlite 4 25″ Expandable Spinner at just 7.8 lbs. If you want something that comes with a warranty then Briggs & Riley offer the Explore Large Expandale Spinner, that is only slightly larger and several pounds heavier.
Compact Carry-On – I use a bag that fits on top of my rolling carry-on that has 4 wheels in case I end up checking my larger carry-on. My choice is the Tumi Osona Compact Carry-on that has a sleeve that will slide over another bags handle. The bag is divided into two sides for plenty of space, a smaller pocket and also a padded computer pocket.
Regardless of the bag size, I use several varieties of packing cubes that work really well for organization and that make the most of the space available in your bag. Eagle Creeks packing cubes are my preference. The Eagle Creek Pack it Specter Compression Cube Set makes easy work of space saving and the Eagle Creek Starter Set that includes 2 cubes and a garment folder give you many options to mix and match most any piece of luggage. These bags are not only key to organization while traveling, but also helpful in your quest to travel using only carry-on luggage if you want to be a savvy traveler.