Im going to be a study abroad student at the University of Bristol in England for the next academic year (2004-2005) and I was wondering what kind of luggage I should bring with me. Basicly, I was told that bringing a backpack (the big hiking ones like the one in the logo on the upper left corner) may not be neccessary as I can get anywhere with the wheeled luggage things that people always have in the airports. However, then I was told by other people that a backpack is a neccessity when traveling in europe becuase I will have to go on cobblestone streets, up stairs etc. I dunno, should I get a backpack and put it in my luggage case for when I go traveling or skip the backpack thing all together as it wont be neccessary? I do plan on traveling on the breaks and the breaks are practically a month long as far as I understand.
Those backpacks are a pretty nifty invention, but I got along just fine without one. I took all my stuff over to the UK in a big ol' regular suitcase, then got a smaller duffel bag at the Salvation Army when I got there, and used that to lug my stuff around during my excursions to the continent. Make sure it's something you can lift. I stayed in a hostel in Picadilly Circus once in which the reception desk was on something like the 17th floor. People looked so unhappy huffing and puffing with their wheeled luggage. One thing I would stress is that they have stuff over there. If you're not sure you'll want or need something, wait and get it there if you need it later. good luck. Feel free to contact me with any questions- I was at the University of Durham for 2 years. Hilary
There was a rather lengthy thread on this dilemma a few months ago that may be worth reading.
I personally would be quite content having a duffel with wheels. We took one on our recent trip around the world and never really had a problem. In fact, I remember a lot more hard work last year when we did a three week trip with backpack. The cobbles can be annoying, but depending on where you're going, there aren't all that many. If you think the occassional carrying will be an issue, you could look for hybrid luggage, which either is a duffel with backstraps or a backpack with wheels. That seems like a good compromise to me. Good luck with your trip and welcome to TP!
Thanks again guys.. and I read that long post that peter put down. It really is interesting stuff. I just got one from REI cuz their having a sale on backpacks now but yeah, there do seem to be lots of pros/cons to backpacks or wheeled luggage.
Btw.. if I have lots of side pockets on my backpack, is that a bad thing cuz of pickpocketers? I just got one of thouse like hiking packs for like 100 bucks.