Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: ahan1

Joined: 8/17/2012
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

August 17, 2012

I can't decide whether I would be better with a 30" or 26" suitcase for the China and the Yangtze trip next month. Any thoughts? What are you bringing? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. ALH 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

August 17, 2012

 What size luggage you bring is really dependent on whether you can fit everything you want to take inside, and be under the weight restrictions.  Grand Circle will handle your luggage for you at every step of the way, and so long as you are within airline weight restrictions, the choices you are considering will not be any problem.

 

We took this trip in October 2011, and after we collected our luggage and went through customs on arrival, we didn't handle it again, except to check it in on the internal flights.  Grand Circle had porters for us at every airport, and all we had to do was point out our luggage to them as it came along thebelt, and THEY took it off, brought it to the bus and delivered it to our rooms.  Much, we might add, to the envy of every other tour group who happened to be on our flight, whoseclients had to handle their own luggage.  So bring whatever you can pack what you need in., mindful, as we said, of the weight requirements.

Author: mctz666

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 40
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2004

August 17, 2012

My largest suitcase is 25".  Additionally, I always carry a carry-on duffle bag.

Personally, I would not buy a 30". It may break some one's back to lift it up into a car trunk to go to airport, and vise versa to come home from airport.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
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

August 17, 2012

I don't know about China.  But I remember that during a trip in Australia when I checked into a domestic flight, they told me not to put another thing in my suitcase.  It would be too heavy, and they would refuse to take it.  It wasn't a question of more money; they just wouldn't accept it.  I did purchase a small suitcase on wheels and put all my shoes and books in that for the rest of the trip.  And when I got home, I got rid of the big suitcase and purchased a 24" which has served me well.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 239
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

August 17, 2012

I think for the reasons svcontinents cited, 25" is plenty big for handlers. 

And, oh, by the way, we have never had any GCT PD get us porters to get our luggage off the airline belts.  The GCT people were always outside Customs waiting for us, mostly the bus driver or maybe a local GCT person, greeting us and directing us to the bus, to which we each carried our own suitcases, other travelers from our flight as well.  In Europe or Asia, most airports have carts readily available at the baggage area, free of charge to get your bags to the bus.

And, yes, once with GCT we didn't  have to handle the bags again, except to take them off the bed after packing and out the door for pick-up.  Remember, too, if the bell boys just put your bags in your room when you are still out on vicinity walk, are you able to lift the bag onto the bed/rack to unpack?  25" is  heavy enough. 

Lightweight clothes, stretch jeans, cotton long sleeve jerseys, acrylic sweaters, windbreakers with lining all are lighter than heavy cotton sweaters, heavy denim jeans, and fleece jackets.  GCT trips are mostly no dress-up, even on river cruises, so leave fancy stuff at home.  Take sundry items out of boxes, make smaller bottles of tablets or buy blister packs; medications in small zipper plastic bags from pharmacy areas, instead of bottles of medicine.  I carry list of medications, dosage, and taking info; TSA doesn't require original bottles and my list is readily avail. in case they ask.  For things like aspirin, allergy meds, stomach aids, etc.,  I use those same small zipper plastic bags, these usually go in large suitcase.  Cold meds come in gel caps now, so liquid bottles aren't necessary.  Lots of ways to cut back on weight.  E-reader rather than 8 books.  Some people like feel of book in their hand, leave that for your leisure at home. 

I'm getting so good, I've gone from 49 lbs suitcase to 41-43 lbs. 

Be sure to carry one change of clothes and underwear in your carry on in case luggage is lost. Then at least you'll have two sets of clothes.  And put windbreaker at least in carry on, or as most travel tip sites state, wear heaviest coat.  Me, I put that in the suitcase and have an extra sweater/long sleeve jersey in carry on instead, little lighter.

Happy traveling

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
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

August 17, 2012

Try to stick to one color scheme so that everything goes with everything.  If you plan to dress in layers, you won't need a really heavy item like a winter weight sweatshirt.  I wear them at home in the winter, but I never take them on trips.  I was in China years ago in late May and it was quite warm, but all the weather is different now.  Be prepared for all possibilities.

Author: ahan1

Joined: 8/17/2012
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

August 17, 2012

 Thank you to everyone who has replied so far. This is not an individual response, but one to all who took the time to offer suggestions. They are all good ones. It's still a tough choice for me. A 30" suitcase that I am thnking of buying weighs only 7.9 lbs, which is quite light. The 25.5" suitcase that I might buy instead weighs 7.1 lbs, which, of course, is even lighter. Is anyone bringing a 30", or do most people bring the 25/26"? Again, thanks to all who have responded so far so thoroughly. By the way, we are on the Sept. 17 trip. ALH

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

August 18, 2012

I took this trip last September, and most people used the 25 inch suitcase.  The weight limit for internal flights was 44 lbs. last year. Temperatures ranged from 50s to 90s (Hong Kong) with several days of spotty rain, so layers worked for me.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

August 18, 2012

 Singsling-All we can say is that on our trip, the PD had porters waiting for us at the belts, and they took the luggage off for us.  doubtless, these people had to be tipped, and/or paid for in some way, and we suspect that that service was in the budget Grand Circle permitted for that trip.  It was extremely nice, and, as we said, the envy of every other tour group who happened to be on our flight.  such was not the case with the OAT trips we've taken since, nor has it been on any OAT trip.  Our trip to China was a Grand Circle-branded trip.  Perhaps on trips such as China, where there are considerable numbers of internal flights, this is now the policy.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 168
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2002

August 18, 2012

My husband and I always use the LLBEAN large roller duffle bags. There are two cinching straps on top and porters have told us they like these since they use two hands to lift them. Easier on the back. I am sure they get thrown around in the airports but we pack cushion-y stuff around the outside. Nothing has ever been damaged inside.

We keep them under 40 lbs. each but when we go business class for really long trips we are allowed much more.  Dont usually have much more since I pack all souvenirs in my carry on, also a roller.

The added plus is the different colors of these bags. We can spot them as soon as they pour out on the ramp. Also the push carts almost everywhere are free (i.e. the new Atlanta immigration bldg.) The exception is always the U.S.A. in that case, the roller bags with handles are great for us.

Author: ahan1

Joined: 8/17/2012
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2012

August 18, 2012

 Thank you all for the input. What great discussions! I am getting great advice that goes well beyond my original size issue. ALH

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.