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Thread: Anyone else bugged by luggage?

  1. #1
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    Anyone else bugged by luggage?

    Every time I walk through Ross, TJMaxx or any department store I am bugged at all the luggage. It's junk. Mostly unnecessary. Expensive. I regret even having to look at it. I feel for the poor souls who haven't discovered minimalist travel and have to deal with it all.

    This forum has helped me come a long long ways in two years and the travel part has gone from the unnecessary evil to an enjoyable part of the experience whether cruising an airport or simply strolling from the car to a hotel room.

    Ahhhh the freedom.
    Last edited by SKIMT; 01-16-2015 at 08:58 PM.

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    I get this feeling mostly walking through the airport (or, on the plane, being amazed by the people in first class who seem to have spent thousands of dollars on their ticket to carry the cheapest luggage), but I get it. To me, there are two important considerations here:

    1. Sturgeon's Law - namely, 90% of anything is crap. By and large, most products are poorly throughout or conceived, or ultimately have someone other than their end user's benefits in mind.
    2. The difference between 'inexpensive' and 'cheap' or 'costly' and 'expensive.' Something that is inexpensive doesn't cost that much money relative to its value; something that's 'cheap' is both low cost and low quality. Something that's 'costly' requires more money but reflects that investment in quality; something that's 'expensive' is not worth the large amount of money it costs. The luggage at Ross fits squarely, for me, in the 'cheap' camp, though it's not all that's out there: you'll find plenty of luggage that's 'expensive' as well (the same, I find, is true for clothes at Ross as well - 'cheap' versions of the 'expensive' designer brands that share a similar name).

      TB luggage falls under the category, in my mind, of 'costly' - certainly not something I can buy on an impulse, but products for which the price is clearly reflected in the workmanship, the company values, and the thoughtful design that goes into each item. Still, there's no shame in buying something that's inexpensive, either. Here, I'm thinking of the Harry's razors and blades I switched to a few months ago: they're certainly not the most advanced products on the market, but for the cost, they are incredibly worthwhile.

  3. #3
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    Agree! We donated all our suitcases after moving to TB bags. We do have one duffle with wheels and we have one dress suit case, in case we ever need to move back to the U.S., but that's it. I could never go back to checked bag traveling. It's getting even easier as our kids get older too and need less accoutrements

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    Those are excellent thoughts about cost versus value. I agree that TB bags offer exceptional value.

  5. #5
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    I can't see ever getting rid of my suitcases. Sometimes I prefer to check a bag (particularly when I travel long-haul for work, and want to spend the layover unencumbered by too much stuff). Using my 'junker' suitcase, which is sturdy and already pre-stained, is preferable for those trips. I can check the bag without worrying about how it will look when it comes off the baggage carousel.

    I also have a really nice Osprey Ozone, which I take with me 2-3 times a year, when I travel to visit family in the United States. It fits nicely in the overhead and is super light. For instance, last Christmas it was helpful to put all my gifts inside and wheel rather than carry them.

    On the other hand, I really enjoy those trips where I CAN jet around with nothing but a hand-held carry-on. It's a lot more fun to travel that way! And using the smaller Tom Bihn bags for my every-day commute has really changed my life, letting me be organized and streamline down to carrying one bag most of the time, which has been great.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 01-18-2015 at 08:34 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Pokilani's Avatar
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    I can't see ever getting rid of my Tumi International two wheel carry on. The A30 is the heaviest I can carry, and there are times when I just want to pack more on certain trips. It fits in the overhead on the bigger planes, and gets gate-checked on the regional ones. I have also checked it on many occasions. The bag is also super tough and still in fantastic condition even after 7 years. It's been all over North America and to a few European destinations and I expect it will last many more years. Granted, it's not super light, but I can easily lift it in the overhead (my rule in traveling is to never bring what I can't handle easily on my own).

    But, like others have pointed out, there is nothing like traveling with my TB. Taking my A30 when traveling on busses, planes, and trains was amazing! I felt so free and nimble.


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    I think it's my bad experiences hauling our families monsterous luggage set through airports shuttles and hotels that has me looking at luggage in the rear view mirror. I didn't mean to come off as a jackass. It's interesting to get another perspective.

  8. #8
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKIMT View Post
    I think it's my bad experiences hauling our families monsterous luggage set through airports shuttles and hotels that has me looking at luggage in the rear view mirror. I didn't mean to come off as a jackass. It's interesting to get another perspective.
    No offense taken at all! Discussions like this are useful.
    I love using the Tom Bihn bags and am always a little sad when I have to resort to using one of my suitcases. It just depends on the circumstances of each particular trip.
    Definitely, the past few years have seen a huge evolution in my understanding of how to travel, and this forum has been incredible as a source of information and ideas to try out.
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    I am not a fan of rolling luggage - I always seem to get stuck behind a couple people moving slowly with their wheeled bags, or blocking the moving sidewalk when I'm racing to catch a flight, and I'd love to see airlines ban wheeled items as carry-on. Yes, I realize that the last statement will not win me any friends (and isn't likely to happen anytime soon).

    I have become a minimalist traveler (although compared to some I am not since I like my jeans and cosmetics) - and thanks to this site and a few other forums, I've gotten quite a few ideas on how to go even lighter. I do realize it's not for everyone - one of my best friends I travel with will never go carry-on only - she's proud when she goes with the 'small checked bag' which is still huge to me. Still when I get on the shuttle to the airport and people struggle with their huge bags, I have to think, "Are they moving?"

    I'll admit part of my obsession with carry-on only and minimalist travel is making sure I'm never separated from my bag - I've had checked bags lost, destroyed, and had things go 'missing.' Maybe I'm paranoid, but it's nice knowing I have everything with me.

  10. #10
    Registered User Pokilani's Avatar
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    Anyone else bugged by luggage?

    Quote Originally Posted by SKIMT View Post
    I think it's my bad experiences hauling our families monsterous luggage set through airports shuttles and hotels that has me looking at luggage in the rear view mirror. I didn't mean to come off as a jackass. It's interesting to get another perspective.
    I agree with @bchaplin! No offense taken whatsoever! I have a larger 26 in suitcase (Biaggi 4 wheel that folds to half the depth) that I don't like using. The honey recently took it over the holidays for presents and it came back with a huge tear. It was a nice bag, but I use it so rarely that I'm not itching to replace it.
    Last edited by Pokilani; 01-18-2015 at 10:52 AM.
    "Exhaust the little moment.
    Soon it dies.
    And be it gash or gold it will not come
    Again in this identical disguise."
    -Gwendolyn Brooks

  11. #11
    Registered User Pokilani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    I am not a fan of rolling luggage - I always seem to get stuck behind a couple people moving slowly with their wheeled bags, or blocking the moving sidewalk when I'm racing to catch a flight, and I'd love to see airlines ban wheeled items as carry-on. Yes, I realize that the last statement will not win me any friends (and isn't likely to happen anytime soon).
    I can see your point here. I think the larger issue is that some people are just not aware or don't care about others around them. I think my main issue with other travelers and luggage is when they abuse the rules. 3 carry ons, bags that are clearly too big, and putting both their bags in the overhead.
    "Exhaust the little moment.
    Soon it dies.
    And be it gash or gold it will not come
    Again in this identical disguise."
    -Gwendolyn Brooks

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokilani View Post
    I can see your point here. I think the larger issue is that some people are just not aware or don't care about others around them. I think my main issue with other travelers and luggage is when they abuse the rules. 3 carry ons, bags that are clearly too big, and putting both their bags in the overhead.
    I do think my dislike of wheeled bags and/or big bags is symptomatic of a larger issue - that people aren't as aware or don't care when they are traveling, as you point out. Sometimes I think people wheeling their bags aren't aware of how much space they are "occupying."

    I think I mentioned in a post recently flying to Canada - people primarily had one carry-on bag - personal item size with them. It was nice being able to easily find a seat in the gate area and the plane loaded very quickly (plus it was weird seeing empty overhead bins). This was in contrast to a recent flight to LA on an RJ in first. I know the overhead bins are small, but the woman ahead of me had a carry-on that took up an entire bin - and took help from two people to get it down (this was in first, so I think the FAs looked the other way).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist View Post
    I do think my dislike of wheeled bags and/or big bags is symptomatic of a larger issue - that people aren't as aware or don't care when they are traveling, as you point out. Sometimes I think people wheeling their bags aren't aware of how much space they are "occupying."

    I think I mentioned in a post recently flying to Canada - people primarily had one carry-on bag - personal item size with them. It was nice being able to easily find a seat in the gate area and the plane loaded very quickly (plus it was weird seeing empty overhead bins). This was in contrast to a recent flight to LA on an RJ in first. I know the overhead bins are small, but the woman ahead of me had a carry-on that took up an entire bin - and took help from two people to get it down (this was in first, so I think the FAs looked the other way).
    I've been assaulted by more people wearing backpacks than those with wheels. It's just the opposite of those with wheels--many people with backpacks don't realize how much space they take up.

    Airports and airplanes are public spaces that need to be shared. If someone is trying to take on more than they are allowed, then we have a right to complain. Other than that, feeling entitled or better than others will only add stress to a stressful situation.

    I, more than most, promote light travel. Light travel can be defined in many ways. But I always think that people should travel whichever way makes them happy. It's their time and their money.
    Last edited by Frank II; 01-18-2015 at 11:45 AM.
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  14. #14
    Registered User binje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecturist;8975 0
    Still when I get on the shuttle to the airport and people struggle with their huge bags, I have to think, "Are they moving?"
    This made me snort into my carrot juice. I know that next time I travel by air I will think exactly that.

    I am enjoying the thoughts on this thread. I was raised to appreciate quality, practicality and longevity and am fortunately paired with someone who "rebelled" against his parents by teaching himself to appreciate the same. Our buying habits have served us well, especially since we have craft beer tastes and a Budweiser budget.

  15. #15
    Registered User flaneuse's Avatar
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    For us though, one bag travel has become more than just how we travel and transitioned into how we live. After 5 moves in 13 years, three of which were to Europe from the west coast of the US, we have finally pared down significantly and have no need to bring more than a backpack of stuff with us for vacations. The exceptions are moves, but even then I try to mail what we can and max out our air ship limit. There is just no need for us to bring much else. The world is so globalized now, I can find just about anything my family would need that we did not pack.

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