Best suitcase size for a 8 day trip?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Best suitcase size for a 8 day trip?

1. Posted by rstew2207 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I'm glad I found this forum! In 2 months and some days, I'll travel to Paris (by plane).I've always been there for no more than 7 days. The previous times I only had my carry on and ended up needing to buy an extra, larger suitcase to bring stuff I bought there. It was always in summer, but now It'll be in winter. I'll be staying at a family member's house. Since it's winter, I'll obviously need clothes that take more space and are heavier, and I'll need to take more clothes for the cold weather (my family says they have cold winters there). The limit is 20 kilos. Since I'm staying 8 days (leaving the night of the 8th day), I'm thinking which suitcase would be the best! I have this hard shell suitcase, it measures 50 cm width, 27cm length, and 70 cm height (not including the wheels), and another one that is much smaller, it measures the 42cm width, 22cm length and 58cm height (no wheels included). This one is not hard shell. Besides my clothes, I plan to carry something for my family, that shouldn't really take much space. What would be the best? I don't want to look like a fool carrying that huge suitcase around the airport, but I've tried putting my clothes into one and the other and with the smaller, I wasn't even able to close it (without anything else that I want to carry for my family), I tried with the other one and everything fits really well. Either I take out some clothes, or use the big one! What do you guys think?

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1131 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting rstew2207

I don't want to look like a fool

It doesn't really matter what you look like at the airport; what matters is getting your belongings around.

It's only eight days - most seasoned travellers would suggest wearing your bulky clothes (and shedding some for the journey) and packing your lighter clothes in a carry-on case or backpack. That way you'll avoid the wait for your luggage. You should be able to do some laundry at your family's home or else there'll be a laundrette handy.

But if you feel more comfortable with the bigger one, fine. It's your choice, no-one else's.

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1286 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

For winter you don't need lots more clothes, you just need to add a couple of garments to let you add another layer. This could be a pair of wooly tights to wear under your jeans, or a fleece or jumper to wear under a jacket.

20kg is a huge limit, to me. I normally travel with 5 or 6kg, and do it carry-on. (Which saves queueing for baggage reclaim, avoids damage and loss of bags, and saves money on budget airlines.)

With the sort of travel I do, a wheeled case is a pain in European cities in winter - uneven surfaces and snow mean a backpack is preferable. But maybe family are picking you up at the airport and this isn't a concern for you.

Re your clothes not fitting in the case - common packing advice is to put the clothes you want to take onto your bed, and then remove half of them. :-)

4. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 365 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I suppose your family member owns a washing machine? If so, you don't have to pack new clothes for eight days. Wearing everything twice saves a lot of weight and volume.

5. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 613 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

The previous times I only had my carry on and ended up needing to buy an extra, larger suitcase to bring stuff I bought there.

If this is a habit then yes you will need the bigger suitcase. It is pain having to buy a new suitcase just to lug back your purchases. If you don't plan on purchasing anything during your trip, then you are probably overpacking and could use the smaller suitcase. As someone pointed out you are staying with family so surely you can use their washing facilities? I have found that usually all you need is one good jacket and then layer it with some long sleave shirts underneath. I have one that is wool so it keeps me really warm, but I guess it also depends on your own sensitivity to cold. It also depends what you will be doing on this trip, do you need certain outfits for activities you will participate in?

6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 758 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I don't think what you look like at the airport matters a jot. Every time we fly we see people with far more luggage than ourselves and others with less, but we just assume they have their reasons (e.g. no one will know you're only staying a week!) But if you'd like to manage with the smaller one that should surely be possible for such a short trip. Plan on taking a thick jacket which you can carry with you, not pack. Put in one warm jumper for when/if you feel the need for two warm layers, and a few long-sleeve shorts and thinner jumpers you can layer. As Katherin says, you could use your family's washing machine to wash those shirts and anything else part way through so you won't need a lot of anything. And for the gifts I would use a small rucksack that you can carry on, which will double for bringing home anything you buy while away.

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 833 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I plan for the possibility of buying stuff by packing a small folding soft bag in my suitcase into which I can put the stuff I buy. Actually what I would do is put the new purchases in the suitcase and put the leftover dirty underwear in the folding bag.

Or, you can ask the places where you buy stuff to ship it home to you.