My Luggage of Choice
When choosing your luggage, remember the "LUG" part. You will at one point or another have to "LUG" your luggage onto a bus, train, metro, up and down stairs, etc.
Here's my main suit case. I will check this back, although it is carry-on size, but ALWAYS check with your particular airline's weight and size restrictions.
I put my clothes and other non-essentials in this case. It's great for books, my power strip, shoes, and liquids too big for carrying on.
Be sure NOT to put anything you can't live without if the bag gets lost. Never put your medicines and any personal financial information in here.
Many bags have wheels that only go in one direction. I prefer the multi-directional wheels so I can really have control of my bag.
The Little Back Pack
This is the best tourist back pack ever! I found it at Walmart and have used it on three trips already.
This gets packed in the main suitcase and is used only when we are out and about for the day in Paris.
There are two water bottle pockets on the outside, a mesh pocket for maps, etc. and enough room inside for snacks, a small first aid kit, some wet wipes, and even a small pair of shoes.
This is perfect for all the above items, but never keep your money or passport in there as it's not a security bag. Those items should be on your person. But this is a great money saver as you won't need to stop for expensive water and snacks all the time. You can even pack a great pick-nick in this!
Here's a similar one: Rick Steve's Small Back Pack
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This is a good sized back for travel. There is room for all my necessary paperwork, my money, and camera. There's even a pocket for my cell phone.
The shoulder strap is adjustable and long enough to easily go across the body for security.
It's good light material, soft and flexible. But I need to be careful not to overload it and make it too heavy.
During my trip in 2012, I opted for the bronze shoulder bag below, as it was smaller than the black one above. It forced me not to carry too much weight but still had enough room for the things I needed. My metro pass was in the outside pocket, always easy to get to quickly - usually I turned that side to my body for extra security. I also thought it looked less "touristy" the black one: a similar bag
But both bags are good choices, depending on your needs!
Back to What to Pack
My Fantastic Carry-on
This is a really great carry-on bag. I have the advantage of living near L.L. Bean and so could personally try this out in the store. I'm sure there are other brands that can meet your needs too.
This back-pack makes it easy to zip around hands free after I've checked my main suitcase. It's strong and has a lap belt which makes it very ergonomic - something that's always important, but especially so as you get older. I like that this bag also has a handle on the side in case you need to carry it unattached - through security for instance. There's plenty of room for a computer, some clothes, a separate compartment on the bottom for shoes, and pockets on the side for my liquids, items needed for freshening up, and boarding passes, itineraries, etc. If I was traveling alone, this would be my only suit case.
It's small enough to fit overhead or under the seat in front of you. It's a great footrest during the flight if you keep it with you.