Suit Carriers

Twenty five years ago suit carriers were the ‘go to bag’ for frequent flyers.

Now you rarely see them.

In the late 90’s I was living away from home for 2 years and used my suit carrier every week for the whole period.

These days I rarely wear a suit, or business shirts and some airlines are weighing carry on so it doesn’t come out so often.

It has not been completely forgotten as I would still use it 2-3 times a year, mainly for me and my wife on an overnight stay.

Advantages

  • Great for times when you need to travel with formal clothes.
  • Quick and easy to pack.
  • Great in the hotel room; just lay it on a counter or hang it in the wardrobe

Disadvantage

  • Much heavier than my Go To Carry On.
  • Not as ‘Trendy’ as the wheeled bags

Overall

I would never get rid of my suit carrier even though it’s not my main bag. . . . its still useful for certain trips

It’s OK To Check In Luggage

I’m not one of those ‘travel hackers’ that says you should only take carry on luggage.

Quite often I do take only my carry on bag for two weeks travel, although there are other times when I check a bag in as well.

Why I Check In A Bag

Ten minutes waiting for a bags isn’t going to spoil my holiday.

Yes you can manage with only 4 shirts/blouses and wash them, but that can get a bit boring, and you don’t want to be known as the Same Shirt Person!

Going away for a couple of weeks, or more, and I would rather take 7 or 8 shirts, another pair of pants and an extra pair of shoes.

What To Check In

Basically my thoughts for a checked in bag are:

  • Clothes that are nice to have, but not essential; in case the bag gets delayed (I still carry on a bag with all the essentials including spare clothes)
  • Avoid anything that has a risk of being broken.(These need to be in your carry on)
  • Keep the bag reasonably light (as I get older) I don’t want to be pulling 20kg + bag off the carousel or lifting it into a small hire car.

Remove Old Luggage Stickers

Unless you want to lose your checked luggage!

History

Forty years ago, and more it wasn’t unusual to see suitcases like this.

I suppose that people regarded it as a harmless status symbol; to show how well travelled they were.

As everything was handled manually at a much slower pace there was less chance of luggage getting redirected.

Now

When you check in a bar code sticker could be placed on your checked in bag.

Sometime there may even be a integrated circuit  chip inside the sticker.

These stickers allow the airports and airlines to run high speed baggage conveyors and sorting systems to get you luggage to its destination.

If you have got an old sticker on your bag then you could find your bag has been sent to your previous destination.

Often a check in agent will ask you to remove stickers, however they may not notice a sticker, or you might use self check in.

Travel Hacks

Before you leave for the Airport:

  • Check your luggage carefully and remove all stickers.
  • Put you own tag on the handle with your name, email address and destination airport. ( add a phone number if you know which phone number you will be using at your destination)
  • Add a sheet of paper to the inside with the above information.

My ‘Go To’ Checked Bag

Although I always have a carry on, which will keep me going for a couple of weeks, I still take a checked bag for long trips.

This enables me to take a few more shirts, and possibly some formal wear if required.

The bag is a Samsonite S’Cure cabin sized spinner case.

It’s only cabin sized so its easy to lift, and a bigger bag just encourages you to take more stuff that’s not really needed

I chose blue, rather than black, so it looks a bit different on the airport carousel.

OK for Long Trips

With this bag and a carry on I recently did 5 weeks around Europe quite easily

That included buying a few shirts and bringing back equipment from a Rotary Conference.

With two smallish bags it was easy to use public transport

I even walked a km from the station to my apartment with the bags.

Overall it saved me a fair bit of money in avoiding taxis or hire cars.

Why Samsonite S’cure

30 years ago I bought 3 Samsonite Oyster cases that have been round the world many times.

Over that time a couple of handles and a wheel have broken but each time Samsonite have provided free replacement parts.

The S’Cure cases are basically an update of the Oyster but spinner cases rather than trolley cases.

There are no zips, just strong latches that won’t spring loose and a waterproof seal between the two halves.

No 2 Carry On

Although the S’cure is carry on size the empty bag at 2.9kg is more than 2kg heavier than my Go To Carry On.

That means to stay within the 7kg weight limit for cabin baggage I can only take around 4kg rather than 6.5kg of contents.

OK for a weekend away but not really enough for a week or more as carry on.

Disclaimer

I haven’t been paid or received any other benefit from this post.

Walking Hazards

I’m currently touring around Europe which has reminded me of a couple of the hazards walking around another country.

Bikes

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.

Cobbles

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.

Making Room For Shopping

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.