I’m currently touring around Europe which has reminded me of a couple of the hazards walking around another country.
Bicycles are a much more common form of transport in Europe than most places.
Many places have differentiated areas where the bikes have priority such as this paved area in Hamburg . . . so make sure you don’t wander onto it.
The problem is that the cyclists don’t always stick to their area, especially when they are passing another cyclist.
In Amsterdam where the streets are narrow and the footpaths tiny it can make you very nervous.
Not just in streets but on the footpath.
If you have a spinner suitcase cobbles can be a real issue.
Particularly a pavement with bands of cobbles like this.
As well as the extra wear, and the noise, the case is constantly twisting in your hands.
With my normal carry on I will often walk up to a km from the station to my hotel.
If I’m travelling with a spinner case I will be getting a taxi for anything over a couple of hundred metres.
My friends know I can’t resist buying loud shirts when I am travelling. . . . . but wonder how I find room in my luggage to bring them back.
Well I work on the principle of throwing things away as I travel.
When I notice a pair of socks gets a small hole in them; like this example they go in my travel box.
They can get the last wear the next time I am away and then its in the bin.
The same applies to worn underpants and stained, or slightly torn T shirts.
On a typical holiday i would probably throw away 4-5 old and worn items of clothes, . . . which means there is room in my bags for a couple of shirts.
I hear that Airlines performance with checked luggage is getting better.
According to a SITA Baggage Report for 2017 about one bag for every 170 passengers fails to arrive at the carousel.
Only a small proportion of those cases are permanently lost, around 1 case per 2,500 customers.
Reason for loss
Almost half of all cases of lost checked in luggage is due to the case going missing when changing planes, particularly when there is a tight connection.
I would say my experience tends to back up the figures in the last ten years and a couple of hundred flights my checked in bags have got missing 3 times.
Twice with transfer times of much less than an hour.
The other time it got held up in immigration at Los Angeles even though the transfer time was 6 hours.
Every time the bags have turned up within 24 hours.
My Travel Hacks
After 3 occurrences I now rarely check in luggage, even if I am travelling for a couple of weeks.
Even when I check in luggage I still have my carry-on with 4-5 days of clothes.
Flying to the US I aim to stay at least one night at the place where I go through immigration.
This High Sierra duffel has been my ‘Go To’ carry on bag for the last couple of years . . . . . . so why do I like it?
Lightweight (but No Wheels)
The whole bag weighs just under 500grams, even though it uses a heavy duty nylon fabric and heavy duty zips.
That weight saving compared with the typical wheeled carry on means I can take an extra 1.5kg of clothes compared to the standard carry on trolley bag.
Carry-on Size, Even for Smaller Aircraft
It has a volume of 30 litres, so about maximum size.
When you fly on many commuter flights the overhead bins are quite small and people with hard sided bags find they are parted from their bag.
Soft sized duffels can normally be pushed into the restricted space easily.
I hate lots of pockets as they add complexity, weight, and extra zips that can break.
I just want one pocket for my liquids so they are easy to access at security scanning.
The bag has two adjustable carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap.
It means I can carry it conventionally, over the shoulder, or even as a backpack.
I can also adjust the carrying handles to hold my coat to the top of the bag.
I haven’t been paid or received any benefit from this post. I have seen several bags similar to this for around $30-$50.