Packing for a tour



  • Nope, just an old bald sailor.

  • At least you don't wear scrubs!

  • I am a great one to pack the old and cast off as the trip progresses. We have done this for years. It frees up a lot of space in luggage

  • love the enthusiasm we are showing back again!

  • British: your post about Rwanda reminded me of our fellow traveler who wanted to do the gorilla trek in flip flops - thank heaven our tour director convinced her that footwear would not be appropriate.

  • Packing is a lifelong learning process; over the years and many different trips with extremes of temperatures (Antarctica and India for example)we are still learning to pack smartly .Comfort for weather and travel is a priority over looks. Weaering repeat clothes with mix and match is the theme.We have seen some travelers on our tripos travel only with a carry on; they look just as fine as others who have carried more luggage.Will never forget a family that we met in our Australia NZ trip with 2 adult children; all of them had only carry on luggage.We have a long way to go to achieve that.After every trip we count the clothes that were never used and try to cut down the number for the next time.We also use compression packs for clothes; that helps with taking smaller suitcases.

  • You all are SO entertaining!

  • I also use lists, packing list and departure list, very helpful.

  • This is part of the original Tauck duffle we got from Tauck for our first Safari which I think was 2007. The end zipped off snd could be used as a separate backpack….that’s the one in my photos. I’m using it for taking my own weights etc to the gym as I take my own stuff since Covid so I’m not messing around wiping every down before and after use. We loved these bags.

  • You gave me the best laugh with those pictures. Going to Iceland after you and can not wait to hear about your trip

  • The one item that always accompanies me on long trips is my trusty Swiss Army knife. It proved its worth in 1980 on the train from Paris to Madrid. I encountered two German girls. They spoke no English, I spoke no German, but we all knew a smattering of Spanish. They had a bottle of wine and a round of cheese, but no corkscrew or knife. My handy knife made the train trip one of the memorable parts of the journey.Knife blade, can and bottle openers, corkscrew, scissors, even a tiny accessory screwdriver in the corkscrew that is perfect for eyeglass repair. Modern security rules force me to put it in checked bags and i always worry that it will be lost.

  • Airport security got all my Swiss army knives years ago … even the keychain size. They even got my ‘dividers’, a navigation tool with very small pointy ends. It didn’t matter that I was in uniform and I had a ‘crash axe’ in the cockpit, but those dividers with little pointy ends were a threat.

  • My top TSA confiscation was the 1 inch long file on a nail clipper. This happened 2 months after 9/11 at LAX on the way home from a Jeopardy! taping (not me, but my daughter, who was on the kids' tournament).

  • Since you brought up the Swiss Army knife, I always take my Leathernan Juice Pro (the smaller version of the Leatherman tool). It has most of the features of the Swiss Army knife plus pliers. But the big advantage for me is that the bottle opener doubles as a lever for the corkscrew (like a waiter's corkscrew) - makes it much easier to use.
    I nearly lost it in Canada when my wife packed it in the carryon by mistake. Fortunately, she had time to go back and check the carryon (a mistake she only made once). The only other issue I had was on the Grand Alaska tour when we boarded the the Princess cruise. The knife got picked up in our check luggage and I had to open the luggage and show it to them. Security's response was, "Is that it? You're good."

  • Smiling Sam,

    You're Cole Haan ZeroGrand shoes look awesome. What is that top material?

  • Hello Everyone, I was wondering if there are luggage restrictions in terms of size. I’m looking to upgrade our luggage with a 21” carry-on and a 28” checked bag. The land trip is over two weeks and I know we’ll be wanting to bring both dressy clothes for evenings as well as casual outfits for daytime. Will there be a problem with these two bags? Thanks and happy traveling (Finally!)

  • Tauck allows one checked bag and one carry on. They suggest your carry on should be soft sided and be able to put under a bus seat or on the small luggage rack above the seat. Otherwise you may have to put your carry on under the bus and not have access during the day or on travel days. Tauck also suggest taking clothes you can wear multiple times since no one cares. There are people who don’t care about these rules. Savvy travelers know to pack light. I think for size of your checked bag, you would have to see what the airlines allow. For weight, Tauck suggests different weights for different tours, it’s all on the individual tour pages.

  • Thank you, British. Our tour is the Brittany, Normandy…etc., land tour and I certainly want to dress appropriately for dinners in Versailles and Paris, as well as the kind of hiking I expect to do during the day. Also, as it’s mid-September, I know the weather can be changeable. I’m a pretty good packer, make use of packing cubes, reusable outfits, layers, etc., but it’s still kind of a long trip and there are two of us. Thank you for your quick response by the way and I’ll recheck the individual tour page. I probably just missed it the first time.

  • Exlandlubber = When my husband and I go over, we stay 3 weeks.
    We EACH take a 26in checked suitcase and a carryon duffle type bag to place in our overhead bin.
    We do each have an 'under the seat personal item' too (like a purse for me).
    We usually keep our carryon duffle type bag with us on the bus and we leave room in it for purchases. Our personal plane item/under the seat bag usually fits in this duffle so we don't juggle 3 bags.

    I find that 2 suitcases, like you mentioned, each is hard to manage. But one suitcase and a duffle is easy. I'd caution anything bigger than 26 in (we have some 29in and they are too big, esp off and on a train, etc).

    Did you mean you'd each take a 28 in and a 21 in? Or this would be total for both of you?

    We also love a duffle type bag that can fit over our luggage handle as it makes it so easy.
    We love the Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Duffle for this reason, plus, they have a separate place for shoes. We have both the large one and the small one.

  • I'm with terrilynn and British. Pack light. I usually fly business or first class and can check a bazillion bags, weighing a ton. Tauck doesn't want or allow that. In addition, I tend to tag on another trip or spot to stay and make my trip a month or two. I hate making that long flight for a week trip. I don't dress up for dinner, so I don't have a suit. I might take a sport coat....maybe... Even with the sport coat, I often just wear some jeans or khaki pants with it. I limit shoes to comfortable walking shoes and a pair that looks like they are a bit dressier. If it isn't going to be worn at least three times, it stays home. All that said, to each his/her own. Take what you think you need, but know you have to schlep it around.

  • Hello again and thank you all for your help. My plan was to buy the 28” Delsey Paris hardside bag as the checked bag my husband and I would share for the trip. I thought the 24” bag might be too small for both of us but I could be wrong. Then I was weighing the pros and cons of the matching 21” carry-on or the duffel, but not both. The duffel apparently holds a ton of stuff, but obviously it gets carried as opposed to being pulled. Can you tell that not being able to travel for 18 months has made me a little crazy?🙄

  • We chose the lightest weighing bags we could find,ever, and used them just before Covid arrived, we loved them. Smaller than we have had before but they held a ton of stuff. Our clothing is light and we don’t take many shoes. I would not consider a Tauck -sized duffel without wheels, especially as carry on. A small backpack is the best for us, especially when running through an airport.
    Most people suggest it’s a good idea to have two bags and then at least if one goes missing and you have put at least one completely outfit in each other’s bag, you have a change of clothes. We usually pack two outfits in our backpack these days too….you only have to have a lost or delayed bag to realize it’s a good idea.

  • I love the Samsonite Lightmight 26". I don't know if it's still available but I managed to find one on Amazon for my husband. I think that weighs 7 lbs empty. I compared it with the TravelPro but I like the Samsonite better. It is a four wheel spinner. I like the four wheel concept. It's enough for me and a 16" inch or so under-seater also Samsonite. I also take a lightweight backpack, a nylon fannypack, a small clutch for evening. Even then, I feel I pack too much, I always do.

  • I read your question related to "Packing for a tour". I recommend that your carry-on be soft-sided and placed under a bus seat or on the little luggage rack above the heart. Otherwise, you may have to put your carry on under the bus and not have access during the day or on travelling days. Packing is a lifelong learning procedure; over the years and numerous different trips with extreme temperatures. You also use compression backpacks for clothing items, which helps take smaller suitcases.

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