Carry on luggage

Going on a land tour in May. We will be in Europe for a week prior to tour and a week after. We planned on 1 checked bag, one carry on and one personal bag each but am reading that Tauck would prefer no carry on bags. Since airlines allow this I am quite surprised. Is that accurate information?
Bad enough we cannot take two pieces checked luggage since we fly business class and are allowed two but am surprised about the carry on which is a necessity for us. I would just like to check the accuracy of this and if true a little concerned but too late to do anything now.


  • edited April 2023

    You'll see a lot of discussions over quite a few years about this in the forum archives- do a search. (Just type "luggage" in the search window at the upper right. It will return at least 94 pages of results!)

    Essentially, it is because additional bags require more time and effort to load and unload (done only by the driver) and more time to have them hauled up to and down from your room by hotel staff. That is especially true for full size tours.

    This is your first visit and possibly your first Tauck tour, but if you read the archives and once you take your tour you'll discover you don't need to take as many clothes as you think, despite the one week extension at both ends. First, Tauck tours are not "dressy" tours and you really only need to take one or two additional pairs of shoes. The archives are filled with practical solutions how to maximize the clothes you take. Also, doing laundry or sending it out at the hotel during the tour is always an option.

  • You may take carry-on luggage on a Tauck tour. You may also have one piece of larger luggage per person. Many people like to keep their carry-ons, such as roll-aboards with them in the hotel room on the mornings that larger luggage is picked up early; in that case, they just bring the carry-ons down to the bus when they're ready to board, and the driver will put them under the bus. In the alternative, if you don't want to handle your carry-ons on those mornings, just ask the tour director for an extra luggage tag. The hotel bellmen (bellwomen?) will transport the luggage with Tauck tags.

  • I do exactly as MCD described. I get my big bag ready the night before having set aside what I plan to wear the next day and my night gear. After breakfast I put my toiletry kit and anything I don't need access to during the day in my baby roller bag. I bring it down with me and the bus driver stows it in a special compartment under the bus.

    To what Alan said, the bags get picked up by the hotel staff and brought down, the TD inventories them then the bus driver loads them. Basically the reverse upon arrival at the new hotel plus figuring out which room it goes to. A few guests having an extra bag isn't a big deal. If too many do on a full sized tour it can delay departure times and the TD will move up the luggage pick-up time for everyone.

  • We would never dream of travelling without a carry-on. We had BA lose our luggage and did an entire Russia trip with nothing but our Carry-ons. We pack our carry-ons as if it is our only luggage.

  • There is a difference in discussing carry-on bags for your airline flights vs while on tour. I always bring a carry-on when I fly (I would never check medicines and the like) but while I tour I usually bring that bag to be put under the bus (with a Tauck tag) when we travel between towns.

    I also have a much smaller day pack size bag which I bring with me on the bus as we are heading between towns and sometimes when we head out for the day. That bag easily fits above the seats on the bus and contains what I will need for the day.

    The problem with bringing a roll-aboard with you onto the tour bus is that it will not fit in the space above your seat and will need to go in an empty seat. That wouldn't be a problem in any of the small group tours I've taken, but I can see it being an issue if there is a full busload of people and many large roll-aboards to accommodate.

  • We never bring a roll aboard bag which Tauck discourages, for the above reasons, but a backpack instead which holds just as much and is far easier to negotiate through busy airports. In the past, we have known the tour director adjust the pick up bags time when too many bring extra bags for the bellman to bring down from the rooms…which when when you leave at 7am and the tour director has said leave your bags ready two hours before that, it makes it a long day for the rest of us who pack as Tauck strongly suggests.

  • I have back problems so backpacks are out. I use a small rolling suitcase which goes on the bottom of the bus when we are transferring hotels, never had a problem with that. I have never let them take my roll on with my suitcase.

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