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Author: shatzi

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 59
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2009

July 26, 2011

I do suggest reading GCT's 101 Tips for Women Travelers.  First of all, you do not have to be single or female.  This little book is choke full of great ideas for traveling.  It is free from GCT.

http://www.gct.com/Community/Harriets-Corner/Special-Pages/101-Tips.aspx

Another book, if you are an avid reader, is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  On European travel you will be visiting a cathedral or two :).  Besides having a good story, the author has researched architectural aspects of cathedrals and medieval life. The sequel, World Without End also gives you a good idea of living in medieval times.

A Tramp Abroad is another entertaining book about Mark Twain's travel in Germany.  Keep in mind it was published in 1880 but it is a very enjoyable read.

Author: lynda.lohmeier

Joined: 4/20/2012
Posts: 2
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2012

April 20, 2012

 I read "Pillars" during a trip to England and France.  It was wonderful.  We found ourselves so much more knowledgeable about cathedrals.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

April 21, 2012

Yes, Pillars is a good read for visitors to Europe.

Overall, I found the 101 Tips for Women, helpful but must say I don't agree with all the tips; wearing a skirt for one. I'm far more comfortable wearing loose fitting long pants, which are also easier to pack.

I wonder at the tip to change your underwear in the airplane lav before landing. Good grief, I can barely turn around in that space. I think changing a panty liner is more practical.

I was happy to see the advice to take a nap when you arrive after a long flight. The usual advice is to stay up until evening, but that hasn't worked for me unless I've slept for a few hours on the plane, which doesn't always happen. If I don't get any sleep I'm worthless, and a couple of hours sleep after arrival doesn't keep me from sleeping at night. If I have a shower and a nap I'm good to go until local bedtime.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 21, 2012

I agree with Luisa about the skirts.  I only own a couple these days.  And the argument that it's easier in those situations where you have to stand to use the "facilities"  -  I don't think so.  What about (sshh) splashes?  It's easier to take off your pants entirely.

Naps, no.  If I take a short nap, I wake up like a zombie.  And I can't sleep on planes, except for once when the plane was so empty I took over a middle section row, put up all the arm rests, and stretched out rolled in a blanket.  Doesn't happen these days.

 

 

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 128
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2001

April 21, 2012

It's so interesting what travel tips people swear by.  Me .... I love to change into a long skirt at the end of the day.  And I always carry soft slippers in my carry-on.  If my feet aren't comfy, I'm not a happy camper.  There's no way I'm washing undies on vacation; I just buy an inexpensive suppy of "Fruit of the Loom".  I also collect (at thrift stores) long-sleeved cotton/poly blouses; I just find them comfortable and I like to protect my arms from insects and sun.  Shorts + Me = Disaster.  So, soft long pants in the day, a long skirt in the evening.

Hey, it works for me!  Oh ..... and I always take my eyebrow pencil!

 

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

April 23, 2012

There aren't many travel trips I swear by but packing light tops the list. I've gotten better but still find that I've brought an item or two that I didn't need. I usually travel alone and have to handle my luggage (lifting it on and off the luggage racks, airline carousels, etc.) so weight is important and I stick to essentials.

My comment about skirts was in regard to the tip in the 101 booklet. Like Pauline, I think a full skirt would get in the way in primitive "facilities."  However, I think it would be nice to wear a long skirt at the end of the day, especially in a warm climate, but for me it might mean packing a long slip and another pair of shoes that would go better with a skirt than sneaker type or clunky walking shoes.

I take soft slippers in my carryon too and change into them on the plane.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 23, 2012

When I planned my trip to Russia in 2010, it was my first solo experience in a number of years.  And I, also, was concerned about lifting my large case on and off luggage racks and carousels.  So, as the weather had been unseasonably hot right up until after our first few days, I thought I was safe with taking my second size piece.  Fortunately, I had also planned on shedding some items as I went, and that gave me room to pack the fleece jacket I was forced to purchase.

I take two pair of SAS in the same color, one of which I wear on the plane.  And since my feet tend to swell on planes, no matter how much I do the proper exercises, I don't take the shoes off entirely.  Just loosen the laces.  It's a genetic thing.  We have a family story of my mother getting off the plane in Honolulu in her stocking feet and having to buy a pair of very wide sandals to wear for the remainder of her trip.  I also take a pair of Mephisto sandals, in the same color, for some evenings.

I did love wearing long skirts in the evening, that lovely swishy feeling!

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

April 23, 2012

Suitcases for 3 weeks in Europe...river trips question!

 

We have used two large sturdy black suitcases with wheels for our 7 previous rivercruise trips.  They weight a substantial amount unpacked.  After packing we just make the 50 lb. limit.  Because of some health problems with such heavy  lifting, we are planning to search for replacements regarding suitcases.  Our current ones are the largest size allowed by airlines on overseas travel.

Any comments by other GCT  travelers on suitcases they use?  We thought we should go down to the next smaller size (one each).  Wondering if less expensive suitcases hold up under the rough treatments.  Our current ones are sturdy called "Ricardo of Beverly Hills" which we bought many years ago on the internet and are not "designer" suitcases despite the name.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 23, 2012

I just bought a new 24," Swiss Army brand.  I've been very pleased with that brand and have it in several sizes.  My sister, who is going to Ireland in July, was worried about the weight.  So she went to a discount luggage place and bought the duffle bag version of the same size.  It does have the wheels (where most of the weight is), but it is lighter than mine.  We tested them together. 

As I posted, I did take the smaller (22"?) bag to Russia, mostly because I wouldn't have my friend to help me lift luggage.  And I did manage with it.  That's the one I use when I travel within this country, because I'm either staying with friends or in timeshares.  In either case, I can do laundry so I don't need to bring as much.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 23, 2012

I should add that Swiss Army makes a larger bag than 24."  But years ago in Australia when I checked my bag in at one of the airports, I was told not to put another item in it or they wouldn't take it.  It wasn't a question of my paying for excess weight; they simply refused to lift it if it were any heavier.  So I bought a small suitcase, with wheels, and put all my shoes and books in that.  Solved that problem for the time being.  But I never used that large bag again, replacing it with the 24."

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

April 23, 2012

Most luggage manufacturers make a line of light weight suticases now: Samsonite, Travel Pro, Tumi, Swiss Army and Victorinex and others whose names I can't recall right now. Try a web site, luggageonline.com, for example and read descriptions, including size and weight and the traveler's reviews. Then if you see something that interests you go to a store and check it out throoughly. TJ Maxx sometimes has good prices on brand luggage that are season closeouts.

I can get a lot into my 25 inch seemingly indestructible Andiamo suitcase, but they don't make them anymore. It's been to several countries and survived countless flights and is scarred but the handles and wheels will not come off that one. When you look, make sure the wheels, handles and zippers are strong and will last. 

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

April 23, 2012

I appreciate the responses about luggage and will be sure to check out luggageonline.com.

Would like to hear from anyone about what size you are using.  We usually take a pre-trip and post-trip plus the main river cruise.  We average about 3 weeks total and, as I mentioned, would like to downsize our cases we are currently using which weigh 50 lbs. each when we fill them.  I have never been a light packer but am willing to try but need to know if others are using smaller cases.  Our two cases seem to be one size larger than those put out in the ship's hall for pick-up.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 23, 2012

I have usually done the pre- and post-trip extensions, and one 24" suitcase has sufficed.  Of course, I'm a very small person.  But I follow the guidelines.  I pick a color, either black or brown.  Black includes gray and navy.  Brown includes all shades.  Every top goes with every pair of slacks.  I never pack an "outfit," i.e., a top/jacket that only goes with one pair of pants.  It means that my outfits are quite boring, but so are most people's.  Once or twice, I've made an exception for the captains' dinner, in that my top is a little more interesting than my usual one, maybe a little bit of embroidery around the neckline. 

The main thing is that the clothes are comfortable, and you don't worry about wrinkles.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

April 24, 2012

You could measure the suitcases you've used on the trips. If they are one size larger than most on the ships, they are likely 26" or 29." Measure from the floor up so the measurement includes the wheels. If you travel as a couple, perhaps one 26", one 24" and one 19-20-inch wheeled carryon (should weigh about five pounds) would work since you take the extensions.

When you read the dimensions on a web site, note the cubic inch capacity, it could differ (could be deeper) among brands on a 24" or 26."

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 176
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

April 24, 2012

Since we retired and started traveling big time, my husband and I use the large roller duffelswith handles from LLBean.  We also each have a roller carryon from LLBean (we are from Massachusetts and LLBean is our first go-to's )   These bags have been all over the world and hold up wonderfully. Easy to see colors on the carousels. They have cinch straps on the top which not only hold everything as tight as can be but lifts off and on with both hands easily.  We also use the cardboard packs with velcro closures which are fantastic and keep everything just so until you need it.  I take golf shirts that are cool and dry fast in the summer and this really helps when I am packing as light as I can.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 146
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

April 25, 2012

I found the literature from my Ricardo of Beverly Hills luggage and it gave the sizes and dimensions.  They are both 29" cases (expandable)-except you cannot use the expansion because it makes the total inches over the limit.  They do meet requirements without expansion feature.  Problem is they weigh 20 lbs. empty.  Great cases.

Went shopping and being "chemically sensitive" to most things, I smelled most of the famous brands and ended up with a burning nose and throat. 

There are warnings in small print on everyone of them about "cancer causing and birth defects" from the materials, etc. used.  In my case, the chemicals affect my breathing system.

I did some research on the internet about people complaining of "luggage smells" and lo and behold, there are complaints.

In our basement, we have a wonderful duffel bag given to us two years ago from an organization my husband belongs to and I have left it open to the air and it still smells.

I guess we will have to deal with our heavy luggage somehow or hopefully borrow some.

Thanks for all the input.  GCT Travelers are the best!

 

 

 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 429
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

April 25, 2012

Sorry, I can't address the "chemically sensitive" issue because, apparently, I'm not. But we have been very pleased with the TravelPro brand 29" bag my First Mate uses. It is very light weight empty. On our last GCT trip, Sicily with Malta extension, the First Mate was jokingly chided by the airline agent for "not packing enough". Her bag weighed in at 37 pounds.

We both have TravelPro carry-ons. The First Mate's matches her big bag in both style and color. Mine is the same style but different color. Anytime we're going somewhere for a week or less the carry-ons are usually all we need. All of our TravelPro bags were purchased from LuggageOnLine at what we considered a very fair price.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 545
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

April 25, 2012

I'm a Travel Pro fan too. I had a couple of the "Platinum" line several years ago but got rid of them because of the weight. They were sturdy and easy to handle but too heavy for me when packed. I think the current 26" Platinum is about 11 pounds. The suitcase I currently use weighs ten pounds and I've traveled for a couple of weeks with 28 - 32 pounds. But I always follow tha advice to wear my heaviest clothes (shoes, jackets) on the plane.

When I get something with strong chemical odors (OAT duffle for one) I put one or two Bounce sheets in and close it up for a while  and that seems to work.

 

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