Need confirmation on luggage restrictions on Spain-Portugal trip

We are taking the Spain/Portugal trip in May, 2020. There's a flight to Seville on Day 5. I called Tauck and they had to hunt around for the information. It looks like it is scheduled for TAP Economy. The TAP website for carry-on restrictions is one of the most complete I've seen, but it is also a typically restrictive foreign carrier. Carry on is 8kg or 17 pounds, and the size limit is 22 x 16 x 8. Personal item: 2 kg or 4.4 pounds, 16 x 12 x 5.

I'm always watchful, because, as some of you know, I'm one of the Tauckies that carries more photo equipment than the average person. And, I can't check the equipment. The flights to and from Europe can be dealt with -- United has NO weight restrictions on carry-ons, for example, and KLM has generous amounts. BTW, this is always a big issue for amateur photographers and is discussed heavily. LOL.
Has anyone taken this trip lately who could confirm this. Tauck said it was a small TAP airplane with 74 seats.


  • edited January 2020

    11:03AM in Spain and Portugal

    We are taking the Spain/Portugal trip in May, 2020. There's a flight to Seville on Day 5. I called Tauck and they had to hunt around for the information. It looks like it is scheduled for TAP Economy. The TAP website for carry-on restrictions is one of the most complete I've seen, but it is also a typically restrictive foreign carrier. Carry on is 8kg or 17 pounds, and the size limit is 22 x 16 x 8. Personal item: 2 kg or 4.4 pounds, 16 x 12 x 5. . . . . Has anyone taken this trip lately who could confirm this. Tauck said it was a small TAP airplane with 74 seats.

    I can't help with this specific trip, but when researching a response to a similar question recently posted on the Galapagos forum, I found the LATAM carry-on and personal item size and weight restrictions were exactly what you found for TAP- they may be an international standard. LATAM uses smaller/regional aircraft as well.

    If you have access to your bags checking in for the local flight (not a connecting flight) and the danger of lost/delayed luggage is low, move excess items- emergency clothing, magazines, books, etc. from your personal and carry-on to your checked baggage (as long as you won't exceed that weight limits.) Then load up BOTH you and your wife's carry-ons and personal bags with camera gear (along with the other valuables, tablets, etc., that you would normally carry on). Another partial solution is wear a safari vest or other jacket and load the many pockets with extra lenses and camera paraphernalia.

  • Thanks Alan. Great to hear from you again.

    I've really done a lot of planning over the years. For me, what's interesting, in a nerdy sort of way, is this issue, and deciding what I wish to bring, based on what I think the locations will need in terms of image-making. I've even collected a bunch of vests, and, on the India trip resorted to a cheap $24 vest found on Amazon. It wasn't very durable, but it was very lightweight for the hot weather, with zippered pockets, and not so many pockets that I'd lose track of which pockets I put what in! LOL.

    The other thing to think about, especially on Tauck trips, is camera equipment on the tour buses. Oftentimes there's extra seats, and usually, the back seat is free to stow stuff. But, as I travel more, I'm lightning up. Places like K/T though, require long lenses to get pro shots.

    Recently got a superb street camera to try out on this trip, but it has a fixed lens. So I'll try to do two cameras and one extra lens -- I can stow that pretty easily, and at worst, just wear them around my neck.

    • Doug
  • Doug - would you mind telling me the brand & model of your ew street camera? Much appreciated

  • Afraid to admit it. LQ2. BTW, tell me a bit about yourself? We seem to talk about the same stuff. LOL.

  • Also going to try the Eagle Creek Expansion Carry-On Tote. It's small -- which is good for Tauck buses and foreign airline carriers, but it only weighs 4 lbs, 9 ounces. I can get three cameras into it without accessories, I think and come in at 12 lbs. It has a handle so you can tote it up the stairs. You oftentimes see the stewardesses carry something like that. Got 20% off, so it was $116. Got it in red, so Happy Chinese New Year, everyone.

  • Doug - I’m assuming your question is for me as everyone knows all about ALAN 🤭. Retired. Love to take photos. Family, nature, vacations. Have had the requisite prosumer dslr’s but got tired of schleping heavy stuff. I use an Olympus OMD 5II. My edc for street is a Sony rx100. I also use a Sony rx 10IV when I want to get in close. May need to upgrade my edc. Also, and most important, my ambition far exceeds. Y abilities but I do have fun. Have always enjoyed viewing your photos on this forum.

  • BSP51 -- Thanks so much. You seem to have quite a range of interesting cameras. The combination of Olympus I use most is the OMD with the M.Zuiko 12-100. So that's a full frame equivalent of 24 to 200, which is quite a sweet spot for travel photography. I only wish it were faster. Lately, I've been trying to use a M.Zuiko Pro 45mm f/1.2, for portraits and low light situations.

    The reason I've been using the latter lens is because, as my style is developing, I seem to do my best work in environmental portraiture. The problem with that fixed lens is that you get a lot of exercise -- you have to move back and forth to frame the subject.

    I'm a retired clinical adolescent psychologist, and facial expressions on people that might elicit an emotional response in the viewer is what I'm drawn to. I learn as I go, and I learned in my India expedition this past November, how much I like to make environmental portraits. And the people in India that we met were sooo friendly and accomodating. In the link below, for example, note how many of these folks posed in a manner that still remained more than a snapshot. Mothers, for example, hiked up their babies for the camera.

    If you have not viewed these, here is a link:

    I bought the LQ2 because it's so unique. I've fallen in love with it, but haven't got a good image out of it yet, LOL. Trying to use it on full manual is what I'm trying to do, to improve my skills. My instructor said I need to speed up. Sounds like a challenge from the OK corral. I'm not slow. Like almost any camera, you can put it on automatic, but that's like an artist trying to paint with three colors. But when you do put it on manual, all the controls are there, without having to access menus.

    At some point I'll discuss the issue of taking pictures of people, and whether or not it engenders asking their permission, and how to approach them with respect. And, getting over the intimidation of trying to approach a potential subject. It took me a couple of years. It's a lot easier with lions.

  • BTW, I've heard that for some professional photographers, their abilities exceed the ambition, LOL, and they no longer have fun.

  • Doug, I looked at your INDIA images and see that most people were probably not aware that you were taking their photo, otherwise they generally ask for or expect payment. One of my India memories and taking Photos is of one person in particular in our group who frequently went right up to people holding a full size iPad and taking their photo even when it was clear that that was not what the person wanted. One woman held out her arm meaning no, she did not want her photo taken but our tour companion took no notice. Any people I came across who I wanted to take their photo up close, I paid them. That is what was expected, for example, a snake charmer we encountered. And of course, one should never take photos of people like priests. In other cultures, photography of people is just not done, for example, the Masai or even the Amish here in the States.
    Did you Pay the people who clearlY knew they were being photographed?
    There is someone on another forum who posts pictures of people and they are wonderful. It’s her favorite subject, people. She has a wonderful camaraderie with the people she takes photos of and always asks permission since she almost always posts additional photos of herself with them. She has a sophisticated camera, but most recently has been posting cell phone photos because they are so much easier for her to share and they are equally good.
    I know you are passionately about your craft, but for most of us, quick snaps are enough to look back on, though I admit I try to improve my technique as I go. I just don’t want to spend a lot of time behind the lens or I will miss the big picture of being there. Our most recent trip, Mountsin gorillas, I think most of us did not spend too much time taking photos, the live event in front of us was too mesmerizing.

  • Hi British,

    I very much understand where you are coming from, and I believe I've said in other posts that folks on tour vary in how they wish to experience their Tauck tours -- very few wish to spend as much time and effort doing camera work as a few of us camera bugs do. In my experience with Tauck, there's usually only a few people in the group carrying prosumer cameras. I've oftentimes found some Tauck guests to be encouraging and positive, often pointing out locations or subjects that might be of interest to me, and I try not to be a burden to others or to interfere with their tour experience.

    It's just a hobby, and my comments on the forum are simply aimed at those who have questions about the way I approach the craft, and proffer information that they might find useful. And, anyone is free to contribute their own opinion, techniques, or disagreement. In fact, my comments are meant to stimulate a discussion among enthusiasts as we can learn from each other.

    I would think there are many amateur photographers that are more skilled, more competent in using their equipment, and who produce better images than I do, on these Tauck tours, and the Tauck photo contests attest to that.

    I think I became involved in the forums when I signed up for K/T -- that was sort of a "trip of a lifetime" experience for an amateur photo bug, and there were a lot of issues around the best equipment to bring along. And, as I've mentioned before, that depends on what one's purpose is, what one wishes to do with the final product -- e.g. make albums for their grandkids, as I believe you said you do, or make wall-sized prints (which, I'm advised, requires a high megapixel camera. I've mentioned, too, that smartphones continue to develop and have displaced the low and intermediate parts of the consumer camera market. They are excellent, and they can produce startling effects because they use computational photography and actually often mimic the effects that professional photographers try to achieve -- e.g. astro-photography and blurring of backgrounds in portraits. The smartphones accomplish these effects by using software to merge images from multiple lenses on the back of the smartphone.

    Traveling is the laboratory where I learn this hobby. And the forum is where I learn about others' approach to photography, their interests, and what they wish as an opinion from me, if I am able to proffer help. But I am just a hobbyist, sharing my enthusiasm and learnings as I go along. I have no formal training in this craft, other than taking workshops from pros.

    In the next comment session, I'll develop my thoughts as a separate topic around approaching human subjects.

    Best wishes,


  • Doug - thanks for your comprehensive reply. I’ll continue to plod along and enjoy taking photos as does my wonderful wife. I will live vicariously as a talented photographer when viewing your wonderful contributions to this forum. Take care.

  • How nice! I wish to give a shout out to the spouses. My wife is very Japanese -- she takes care of me, and tolerates this foolishness. Oftentimes, she walks behind me on the Tauck trips, not because she's Japanese, but because she fears I'll lose the group while poking my camera into who knows what cranny. LOL. And it's just not wives -- I've seen faithful hubbies put up with wives with huge lenses. I know, some folks say that's soo Freudian. LOL. Anyway, have fun, watch the Light, the trees coming out of peoples' heads in the viewfinder, and leading lines and composition -- and learn to press the shutter release at the emotional moment.


  • My wife has to keep an eye on me too!!! I'm always falling behind taking photos or waiting for the right expression, pose, etc. My hearing is going so, it is great that Tauck uses the VOX/Whisper listening devices in many places. Even when I've fallen behind I can generally hear what the local guide is saying. When I start to lose audio, which is not uncommon :o , I know it is time to catch up to the group! :D

  • I've been using the Widex Evoke 440s prior to India, at first, on trial. Had not trouble in India hearing the photo guru, then with the New Year, insurance covered my own pair. If you do no know about them, they're the first set of aids that have really made speech clear for me -- can even hear my wife (with her back turned); great thru the iPhone; probably a leader in the market with machine learning and iPhone integretion -- you craft the aids to the places you go, e.g., favorite restarants, and it geotags and is supposed to readjust itself to your favorite places. Good hi frequency and music response. You need a good audiologist and a couple of months to craft them to your profile of hearing loss. I have three Taucky friends with the same. If Tauck is using telecoils, we might be able to have a feed right to the aids, like in some plays and movies.

  • edited January 2020

    Instead of using the supplied single ear clip or ear bud, I have actually used my regular headset with VOX/Whispers- it uses a standard headphone jack. Last year I got a good headset- Bose w/bluetooth. At home I've been using a small bluetooth transmitter with the TV so I can listen with the Bose. It works great, so, to dispense with the VOX ear clip or headphone cord I am going take the bluetooth on our next couple of trips to see how it works with the VOX. I'll just need to remember to tell the TD/local guides so they don't think I'm listening to tunes while they are talking! :)

  • Oh, ok, got it. I have a pair I can bring along, thanks for the tip. Pain getting old.

  • BTW, I spent last night looking up airlines and making a chart of their carry-on policies. It's very tricky as each airline is rather idiosyncratic in their policies. This is especially true of the so-called "personal item". It seems to me that that policy was rather undefined previously, but recently airlines appear to have become more definitive about the personal item's size and weight. So, some airlines add the weight of the personal item to the larger "carry-on". Some allow two carry-ons if you go Business or First. And there are astericks -- exceptions depending on the flight and size of the airplane. So the lesson is, before you purchase your ticket, if you don't want your carry-ons gate-checked, one should go to the airline's website and see what their LATEST rules are. E.g., Air Canada recently got the message and changed their restrictive weight policy for the carry-on -- now they say you have to just be able to lift it up into the overhead bin. Wish I had the strength of a younger man. LOL.

  • BTW, United's site is interesting. They specifically allow a personal item, a carry-on, AND a camera. Other carriers might or might not -- it's undefined. It doesn't matter with UA that much because they do not have weight restrictions for a carry-on.

  • edited January 2020

    How about a "carry-on photographer?" Mechanical, inflatable, little person, etc.? :D For those who want to document their trips, yet don't necessarily want to lug a camera around or spend time taking photos :D

  • "Air Canada recently got the message and changed their restrictive weight policy for the carry-on -- now they say you have to just be able to lift it up into the overhead bin."

    I'm 5'1" and can't lift anything into the overhead bins, which I swear are getting higher every trip!

  • But there's always someone nice around that will give a hand. No?

  • Especially if you're a damsel in distress. :) (At the risk of sounding like a MCP).

  • You are correct -- I've never had anyone refuse my request for help -- and sometimes I don't even have to ask (but it's been a long time since I've been a damsel!).

  • Interesting thing I read - fight attendants may refuse to help you put a bag in the overhead (although I seen them help plenty of times). The reason is that due to a quirk in the flight attendant labor agreement, they are only paid and "working" once the door is closed. So if they should hurt themselves while the aircraft is boarding, they aren't entitled to workman's comp. Weird.

  • The solution for short people to get bags in the overhead- swing the bag wildly and loft it towards the bin. It won't take more than one or two attempts before someone, especially someone in the path of the bag will help you heft it up. :D

  • edited February 2020

    Don’t get me started on the subject of people putting very heavy large bags in the overhead bins. Fairly recently some guy opened an overhead with gay abandon in mid flight and his very heavy bag fell on my head—- OK, no wise cracks about that’s why I post crazy things on the forum. I once heard a travel show where this subject was addressed and it is really quite common to be injured in this way, so much so that airline employees don’t like to fly in the isle seat. And yes, flight attendants are not really supposed to help you with your bag. I think they can adjust them once they are up, but not lift them. My husband is reluctant to help in case he injures himself on someone else’s bag, And as he is about to start a vacation, if they are having trouble, then it’s obviously heavy. I struggle with height challenges on some planes, but always manage because I only hand carry a backpack.

  • My carry-on is never too heavy. I can lift it overhead (with thanks to my trainer!). I often just can't reach the bins -- especially if I'm in the center section of a plane with two aisles.

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