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      1. I agree with this for travel in Europe (and I imagine most other areas except for the U.S.).

        But I tried this for a while in the U.S. and went back to a wheeled bag. Most places in the U.S. that I have flat smooth sidewalks that make wheeled bags very easy.

        In Europe, however, cobbled streets, narrow train aisles and other obstacles made a convertible backpack suitcase more practical.

        If you really have to have both of these and don’t want or can’t afford to have two bags, a lightweight luggage cart such as the one listed on http://www.onebag.com/business-bags.html#carts might be a good way to go. You can leave it at home for trips that don’t need it or stow it in your suitcase when you are not using it. But even 2.5 pounds seems like kind of a lot when I am trying to cut my bag down from 25 to 20 pounds.

        When I do return to Europe however, I do plan to buy a different backpack bag. I bought the larger of the bags Rick Steves has and found that the side pockets made it wide enough to catch on the sides of seats when walking through trains. His smaller bag or something similar would be a better choice. I do like the fact that it has plenty of straps inside to keep your belongings from shifting around and straps on the outside to reduce the size of the bag to the minimum size needed for your stuff.

  1. I agree for most of the stuff mentioned here – except for the last point. My boyfriend and I always try and put a few clothes / shoes in both suitcases so that even if one of our suitcases goes missing or is delayed – the other will still have one or two spare outfits in the other’s case. Saves you then frantically buying replacement stuff if the worst does happen! 🙂

    1. That’s a good point. We travel carry-on size so the chances of things going missing are quite low, but if you’re checking bags, it’s definitely worth splitting things up.

  2. You mentioned that you gave up on shaving oil because it requires a very sharp razor and it is too expensive to replace cartridges that often. One thing I have discovered recently that might help with that is that blades get dull mostly when they are sitting damp after you use them, not when you are shaving. If you normally carry a travel hair dryer or stay at places that have them, you can dry off you cartridge razor (or safety razor) immediately after use and keep one cartridge sharp for 1 to 3 months. Also, when they are left damp, they actually get tiny rust spots so they start feeling jagged. If you keep them dry, they very gradually get duller but never rough feeling so they don’t ever develop the problems that cause nicks or abrasions (assuming they were decent blades in the first place. Some bargain basement disposable razors or cartridges start out being rough).

  3. We could not disagree more with the statement: “we’ve found the easiest way is to only split shared items. Each partner should carry their own personal items.” The problem is airlines! We travel a lot and have had situations where airlines loose one of our bags, but not both. Splitting up items means you always have something. We always split things up on our travels now.

    1. Hi Lance, fair point — but we do constantly recommend travelling with carry-on only.

      Theft might be a problem in that case, but you’re never at the whim of luggage-handling barcode scanners.

      When we do check a bag (normally because we want to carry wine bottles over borders), we add a day’s worth of clothing into our carry-on to avoid such catastrophes.

      Thanks for pointing it out; will be useful for those with checked luggage. We won’t shout at them too much 🙂

  4. You mean I can’t share a toothbrush with my bf? 😛

    I agree about personal entertainment. My kindle was soon taken over by my other half. Thankfully I found some paperbacks in places where we stayed.

    Next trip, I’m planning to bring 1 laptop. I wonder how that will play out.

    1. Hi Natalia… only those in very special relationships do that!

      On the one laptop front, I think that’s a good idea – especially if you can convince your other half to bring a smart phone or some other way for them to connect!

  5. Just wanted to say, thanks for the great site, tips, and hints. My gf and I are preparing for our first real long-term, unguided, trip abroad, and I think your site’s help has already saved us from quite a few mistakes. Great work, definitely buying the book as well!

    PS, any tips for taking the trip on a motorcycle, especially in a country that you are not a citizen of?