For those who know me well, packing light is not in my vocabulary. I'm the one at the airport shuffling things around because my XL suitcase is past the weight capacity :-/ Yes, an XL suitcase for Mexico. A place where you mostly live in a swim suit. Ugh. I'm bad.
So when the time came to pack for our three week trip to Eastern Europe, I decided to grab the bull by the horns so to speak and made the decision to only bring a carry-on + purse on our adventure. We'd be tackling so many cities and trains and buses, that the thought of lugging a 50+ pound suitcase around didn't seem very, well, smart. Here's my search criteria for finding the perfect bag:
I've spent the last month or so doing my research online and here were my top three options:
- Close to or at the average international carry-on size (15.7 x 7.8 x 21.6 inches)
- Opens fully - no top stuffing hiking backpacks
- A soft exterior
- Nothing too flashy
- Not a million dollars
Kelty Redwing 32
The hubby has a larger version of this one, which he loves and gets away with on domestic travel all of the time. The smaller version still isn't quite close to the international size, but I like the look of it and know that it'll be uber comfortable carrying around. I do have a regular, school sized backpack so I do wonder if it's worth having two close in size.
eBags eTech 2.0 Weekender Convertible
I'm a sucker for a good deal so when I came across this one, I bookmarked it. Yeah good price! I like the versatility of it and the interior space. It felt very suitcase-like to me, which I think would help with packing. Being able to tuck in the straps seemed like a good feature too JUST in case it had to be checked. I do wonder with the cost, just how well it'd hold up.
Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On
Rick Steves, the god of European travel! If there's someone I'd trust for a trip abroad, it'd be this dude. He's got it on lock. This backpack is pretty similar to the eBag one above, but with a bit less space and a higher price tag. He's got a store up in Edmonds so I may need to make a trek up there to see this in person before pulling the trigger.
Did you fret as much as me when picking out the perfect carry-on? Tell me what you've used for trips abroad!