22 x 14 x 9 = 2,772
These are the dimensions, in inches, for the max carry-on luggage for flights. Over two thousand square inches of room for stuff. That almost seems reasonable until it is converted to a number that is easier to intuitively gauge – cubic feet. 2,772 cu in = 1.6 cu feet. That is not such a big number. It is the space we have and it is the space we will use for our three months of travel.
Our swim team friends Loriann and Ken let us borrow a travel bag that is perfect for the trip. We found the bag online and purchased more for everyone. The bag is by eBags and the formal name is the eTech 2.0 Weekender Convertible and the eTech 2.0 Weekender Convertible Junior. The key points for us were maximum space, back-pack/duffel option and limited pockets. Oh, and the price was well under our $100 a piece budget.
Most heavy duty back packs have 27 pockets and bungee cords for items to dangle or cram in everywhere. This just seemed like a pickpockets delight. We so often hear to be very wary of European thievery – the less opportunity they can have with our family the better. No pockets to pick is key. Another swim friend, Michele, is loaning us packing cubes which will add a level of organization we usually don’t experience.
I’m not sure how eBags operates but they exceeded expectations on delivery. I ordered them before noon on a Tuesday and they were delivered on Wednesday. This was their FREE ground shipping. Everyone got their color of choice but when Scarlet discovered both she and Brenna chose Plum, well Scarlet was no longer happy. This only serves to prove that with a family of 6, in any situation, someone will be unhappy.
This week we are filling the bags with clothing of lightweight materials. Basically we will all have 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, a light jacket and a heavy jacket. No one is complaining. This must be for 2 reasons: 1) they are accustomed to having only a few clothes and 2) most of the clothes are new and a new item is equivalent to 5 old items. Toiletries are limited and we plan to buy larger shampoos and toothpaste when we get to Europe – they have stores and we have a credit card.
A big help with our packing list is my internet travel BFF Rick Steves. He has experience and is a source of truth for all things touristy. If you are interested in what we are bringing just reference his light and right packing guidelines.
Sunday will be the real test for the family. We are filling the packs and walking around the High School jog path after church. Brent says we are walking until someone drops out.