5-18-17 Classic Italy Small Groups/Checked Luggage & Carry On's Advice

I understand about the checked luggage. I am baffled about carry-on's on the coach. Do most of you take 1 checked piece of luggage & 1 carry on per person? I know we will want to put our medication for traveling on the plane in a carry on. However, I don't want it to be so cumbersome for both my husband and myself on the coach. There are these new carry on's that slide under the seat or small duffle bags on wheels. Your input would be tremendously helpful...Thank you!



  • As you are on a small group tour, I am assuming you will still be on a big bus, so there will be plenty of room at the back of the bus for carry on bags that are on the large side. But it's always good to travel light.
  • Unless you want to have a wheeled carryon for convenience negotiating the airport, one alternative is to carry a personal item (purse, small backpack, etc as defined by the airline and Tauck), as well as, a fold-able tote bag that can be used during the flight to hold extras then the contents transferred into your luggage.

    That's my plan this year. We're doing a cruise first then a land tour with a full contingent. I got a nylon zippered tote ($12 on Amazon) that I'll use on the flight to carry a change of clothes, meds, jewelry, electronic cords, travel pillow, etc and I have a medium sized backpack with travel security features. When not needed, the tote can be folded flat and sliped into the outer pocket of my big suitcase. The backpack is big enough for daily tour needs. The tote is small/squashable enough it will fit in the overhead rack of the bus for any extras I might want available like a jacket, hat, whatever.

  • Typically people carry bags onto the coach which are around the size of a small backpack or over the shoulder bag. The space above the seats are small and hard sided totes will not fit.

    If you are on a small group this will really not be an issue. The coach will only be about one-half full and there will be plenty of empty seats where you can place your carry on in the seat. Under the seat is not really a possibility due to the foot rest if you want to be comfortable.

    As a side note, the luggage storage area under the bus will be half empty. Several members of our small group Italy tour bought souvenirs which they did not want to ship home. They bought a second suitcase for their goodies and the tour director was glad to give them an extra bag tag. Just be sure to let the director know so they can change the bag count.
  • We went to Target yesterday and bought 2 21" carryon's. I figured my husband would put his meds etc in his & I'll keep mine in my carryon. I was really thinking of the souvenirs... I can lug them in there to take home. Just wasn't so sure if these 2 carryon's are too much to bring.....along with our 2 large suitcases. Another idea I have is, coming home I can put some of our clothes in the carryon and the souvenirs in the suitcase. Oh boy, so much to think about......

    We went on other tours but never had to travel by plane. We did Tauck's New England & Canada Tour years ago which started in NYC. By the way, the tour was fabulous. That was easy for us to start the tour. It's only across the river.


  • edited April 2017
    I've taken over twenty Tauck tours and travelled across the Atlantic more times than I want to think about. The key to travel is packing light, both in the weight of your suitcase you start off with and the weight of your clothing you take with you. One easy thing to limit is shoes, also jewellery, you don't want to be the prime target of thieves because you brought along your Rolex watch or large diamond ring. You really can wear clothing more than once and no one cares, especially as it will not be that warm in Italy at the time you are going. You won't be sweating all over the place.
    I also like to add, that if everyone brings a large carry on bag that requires putting under the bus, you may find that your tour guide realizes that more time is required to load suitcases on a moving hotel day and you may be required to have your bags ready ealier than the usual one hour before leaving. I have known that happen, especially in the smaller hotels where there are not as many bell staff around. Sometimes on the longer tours, it is quite a challenge to get up really early every day and an extra half hour in bed can be really appreciated.
    Take less, less to lose or leave behind too.
  • I have been on over 30 Tauck trips. I bring a wheeled carry on. I also have a foldable tote in my suitcase. On moving days I usually bring both down to the coach. Even on a full tour the driver has space for wheeled carryons once he has loaded the large cases. I keep only what I need for the day in my tote. This way I can go back to my room after breakfast, take my meds, brush my teeth and don't need to drag meds and tooth stuff, etc in the tote on the coach all day.

  • edited April 2017
    I'm just a rookie, with only 7, but I think the real issue is that Tauck tries to get going each day as quickly and easily as possible and doesn't want you to need to handle your own luggage.

    On most of our tours the TD's required the travelers to personally haul our own purses/hand bags/day bags and carry-on luggage to the coach. In the case of a full-size tour, there won't be room on the bus for carry-on luggage, so it will need to be loaded below with the checked luggage. That means that the driver must keep the baggage door open until you bring your bag down when departing in the morning and keep it open and keep an eye on your carry-on until you pick it up when you arrive at a hotel- just another thing to get in the way. On some tours, the hotel will haul your carry-on, but that is rare. While everyone is enjoying a hot towel and beverage, checking in/getting keys, you will want to ensure your carry-on is out of everyone's way, but still under your watchful eye.

    I took a small bag (not wheeled) for the first time to Peru & the Galapagos this month because I had some extra stuff for snorkeling and photography and needed to keep the weight down in my checked luggage. I wish I hadn't needed it! Also, on the Galapagos tour you ride in multiple small buses while in and around Cusco which makes it difficult for you to handle a carry-on. Since mine was small, about the same size as my man-purse, I didn't see how others handled the baggage. Also, on this tour, we were initially limited on what we could take to the Galapagos, and many were planning on leaving some luggage at the hotel in Guayaquil. Well guess what, the plane from Cusco to Lima to Guayaquil was cancelled and instead we flew to Quito before heading out to the Galapagos, so all bags had to go with us. There was a potential for problems there!

    I actually wish they would prohibit carry-on luggage on airlines- they really are a pain and the result is that boarding and de-planing take much longer than they should.
  • Thank you so much for all your input....Very helpful with our planning of what bag to take.

  • I appreciate all the advice, because I was a bit confused also!
    Having a change of clothes is wonderful, especially after flying overnight, I planned on bringing a wheeled carry on. If our room isn't ready, it's great to wear something suitable for the weather.

    This is our first trip with Tauck.
  • Bill Holman, Are you also taking your regular sized check-in luggage? We are planning on taking our regular sized checked in luggage plus a carryon each - so far. I'm hoping for the best but prepared for the worst - like lost luggage and us waiting a day or so to get it. Someone also told me to include on a separate piece of paper, the name and address of the hotel. Anyway, if the worst happens at least I'll have my essentials in my carryon. On our way home, we can put our souvenirs in either our check-in luggage or the carry-on.

    Have a great time!


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