This week we will be going over suitcases, carry-ons, and helpful tips for packing your luggage.
The first step is to make sure that your suitcase size fits within the requirements of the tour company and airlines. In most cases, the tour company has more stringent rules about size because there is less room on the motor coach than there is on the airplane.
The standard weight is 50 lbs. for a checked piece of baggage, and 15 lbs. for a carry-on. Even though they say 50 lbs., really you should only pack it to about 40 lbs. so that you have enough room after your purchases and mementos so that you don’t exceed the limit on your way home.
Some suitcases now have an ‘expand’ feature. When measuring your suitcase make sure you take this into account. If you are measuring before the tour without the expansion, you shouldn’t expand it on the tour. If everyone did that, there wouldn’t be enough room on the bus for everyone’s luggage by the end of the tour!
As for your carry-on bag, you really need to know what the bus requirements are. The airlines usually will allow you to take another small suitcase to but in the overhead bins. This is not the case with the European buses. Usually your carry-on bag is supposed to sit underneath the seat in front of you because the motor coaches don’t have overhead compartments.
You shouldn’t push the dimensions for your carry-on bag, because it would just mean that you would have to carry it on your lap throughout the whole tour if it does not fit underneath the seat in front of you.
Here are just a few ways to organize your suitcase and help you meet the requirements.
If you are having space problems, step back, and color-coordinated everything, if it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, leave it at home. Rolling your clothes will also be a major space saver.
It’s no secret that shoes are a major space hog. One pair of broken-in walking shoes and a street-friendly sandal are usually all you need.
I recommend packing zip-lock bags. They are ideal for packing things tighter, separating wet from dry and managing small items like batteries. Zip-lock bags come in a variety of sizes which can help with sorting.
Also, divide each person’s belongings amongst all luggage if you are traveling with someone. This will insure you have clothes and necessities if one of the bags is lost or delayed.
Take this quick precaution and save a possible mess with any liquid bottles. For instance, place a plastic bag under the screw caps of soaps and shampoos and tie the bag around the bottle. This way if the cap opens, the bottle spills into the bag, not on your clothes.
To enjoy your tour to its fullest extent, knowing the requirements and following them will allow for a more comfortable ride for yourself and other passengers.
Your Travel Agent