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Old 06-04-2014, 12:01 PM   #1
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Luggage Advice

What type of luggage do you recommend for flying with a famiy of 4- my husband, myself, 5 year old & 16 month old? we will be staying at Disney the night before the cruise and will be checking luggage. It's a 7 night cruise. I want to make packing as easy as possible!!
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
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I don't have suitcase specific ideas, but definitely something that rolls, and make sure you don't exceed the weight limit for checked baggage.

But I will recommend packing cubes. They are fantastic for organizing things within luggage. I use them when we travel, one or two for each child, then for the grownups (bigger clothes) one for pants and one for shirts each plus smaller ones for socks and underwear. With the kids stuff I roll an outfit together before packing as well, so it's easy to pull one days worth of clothes out.

When we travel we just use carryons. If we need to travel light, we'll used 2-3 carry on rollerbags. If we have more room, we each have a carryon size bag (my boys, 9 and 6 have rolling duffels, my daughter, 4, has a rolling suitcase and my husband and I each have a rolling suitcase - all carry on size). Then we each wear a back pack for personal things, like books, toys, etc.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Also I would put some of each persons clothing in different suitcase just in case a suitcase gets lost. One cruise, I had to make do with items from the onboard gift store to wear, while my son was very well dressed!
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #4
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Oh! So these packing cubes are not the actual suitcase, they are more of an organization item for your suitcase! They really save that much room in the suitcase??
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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On our last cruise we used a gigantic suitcase, trying to minimize our number of checked baggage so we wouldn't be charged for multiple checked bags. But the big suitcase was so big that it was over the weight limit and we were facing an oversize baggage fee. So the challenge with a family and a long cruise is finding a balance between carry-ons versus checked, and getting all your stuff in suitcases while avoiding baggage fees if you can. I don't know the perfect solution

I will be packing this weekend for five for two weeks in Europe. I have been thinking about suitcases WAY too much!
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:06 PM   #6
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Good point. I'm going to ship diapers and such. I honestly found on our last cruise, my family pretty much wore bathing suits the whole time so I'm trying to keep that in mind i will limit the shoes as well!!
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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I suggest packing an overnight bag for your first night. That way you don't need to open or touch what's packed for the cruise.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:44 PM   #8
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When my son was younger we did just want you are doing. The one thing that helped me was in our carry on (1 rolling suitcase and 1 backpack) for each was our clothes for the park and going to the ship. Then in the 2 big suitcases we both got was all our clothes for the ship. I never needed to open the big ones till the ship that was great. Roll everything and you can stuff your extra shoes with small items and they will take up the same space in your suitcase.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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I use LL bean duffles. They are hardy and never have gotten lost knock on wood. One RCI a cabin steward told me that they can really stack them as well as suitcases so they seem to get priority.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #10
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I thought of buying a nice leather garment bag but the largest one weighed over 20 lbs, and I figured it would go over the weight limit before all our clothes were packed. So I opted for the medium size, which is working well for us. As we get older, we also have to protect the creaky backs while hefting large luggage as well. Even tho the luggage is on wheels, we still have to lift it onto the bed for packing/unpacking, into the trunk of our car on the way to the airport, etc.

Also, we juggle clothes around on our trips -- the dirty clothes end up in one suitcase, and souvenirs find their way into our bags, so it's hard to guesstimate how much weight we're packin in each suitcase. We bought a small hand-held luggage scale, which has helped immensely. Not all airport scales calibrate the same so we allow a few pounds leeway, just in case.

My largest case is soft-sided and it's lighter weight than DH's hard-side, but it hasn't been as durable as I'd like, so next time I'll probably go back to hard-side. Most suitcases these days have zipper closures and are less apt to catch on luggage carousels and other hazards than old cases with protruding latches. We've had more than enough problems with sprung/ruined latches that just won't stay closed.

Our travel agent recommends just buying inexpensive luggage, because she knows she's just going to replace it sooner or later anyway.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CruznLexi View Post
I use LL bean duffles. They are hardy and never have gotten lost knock on wood. One RCI a cabin steward told me that they can really stack them as well as suitcases so they seem to get priority.
This is what we have the way they roll so easily, we can fit lots without going over the weight limits...and they are funky prints that stand out in the carousel. Plus...they are lifetime guaranteed!
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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We are a family of 4 (kids are now almost 13). We pack/check 2 large suitcases with our stuff. Inside we also have an extra bag that is folded flat (we always have more stuff to bring home!)

DH packs a smaller rolling carryon and puts it inside a slightly larger one. The larger one will be used to carry alcohol on to the ship.

I have a backpack and a rolling carryon as well, and the kids each have a backpack.

As others have suggested, in the carry on is what we will wear onto the ship the next day (we fly in the night before) so we don't have to go through the big suitcases.

When you board the ship, unless you are boarding after 1:30, you won't be able to get into your room, so keep that in mind. To bring ON the ship, we have my backpack and the rolling carryon of adult beverages. Everything else we have brought directly to the room.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:49 PM   #13
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If money isn't a huge issue I recommend buying travelpro luggage. It has a magic way of connecting up to 4 suitcases together and is absolutely effortless to walk with. You can literally pull all 4 bags behind you with 1 finger. It's amazing. We also use ebags to put all our stuff in to organize our stuff. Each of us have a different color ebag set to easily unpack
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:59 PM   #14
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My advise is to pack what you think you need, then take half of that out. Then take only 1/4 of what's left! This is coming from experience because I used to way over pack! And we have three kids! Remember there are washer and dryers on the ship!
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thumper43 View Post
Oh! So these packing cubes are not the actual suitcase, they are more of an organization item for your suitcase! They really save that much room in the suitcase??
Eagle Creek makes a compression packing cube. Those could save space. Flight 001 makes packing cubes that have vents in the sides so you can compress & zip. I like the Flight 001 cubes because they are double sided with a clean & laundry side. I just got my first one this week to check it out. They're pricy so I wanted to be able to see the construction of one before I invest in more. Very sturdy. I'm impressed.

I want to get packing cubes before my next trip. I really like the idea of the simplicity of unpacking: remove packing cube & place in drawer. Done.

If $$ were no object I'd get 2 of the Flight 001 hard side carryon size cases in pink. I want to be able to collect stickers and things on my travels and cover them. Kinda old school style.
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