If you are one of the following: travel obsessed, a travel nerd, constantly dreaming of new places to visit, known to obsessively scour other blogs for travel advice–you will likely find yourself enjoying what follows. If you could care less how we get from point a to point b (train? plane?? tube???), and what we took with us while there, you may find yourself bored. You’ve been warned.
We were ambitious in our itinerary planning for our Europe 2016 trip. Two weeks, five countries, six cities, two bags. It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate that brief window of time between January and March where we are both the same age (25 this year). Still in our mid-twenties, our bodies can deal with the stress of constant movement. Not to say that if you are older you can’t pack in as much as we did into a trip, your body may just revolt from such an endeavor a lot quicker than ours did…
Details: Mulch loved his Muji suitcase. It was purchased on sale during the holidays, and was a bit of a deviation from his normal luggage of choice (backpack).
Pros: Wheeling instead of carrying. I think it goes without saying that while in airports and well-paved walkways, a rolling suitcase is a dream. This suitcase had lots of nice features, like locking wheels, that also made it useful for our train and bus rides when things can easily slide around. It was also easy to slide into the overhead bins on planes (tsa compliant and met the requirements of our picky airline).
Cons: We spent a lot of time walking to and from our accommodations and bus lines/train stations. Paris, for example, has super romantic stone streets that are perfectly fulfilling of all your Paris dreams, but also not fun to roll a suitcase on. Also, when you have everything strapped on your body, you’re just faster. That’s the way it is.
Other than that, I think it was a good investment and if you are tired of backpacking throughout your travels, we recommend this piece to pack your stuff in.
Details: I loved my Osprey Porter 46L bag. It was a Christmas gift (thanks mom) and is airline compliant.
Pros: If you prefer backpacks, this bag was really an all-in-one for travel. It opens like a suitcase (seriously a MAJOR dream), can be worn as a backpack or duffel bag, has a nice front pocket with a spot for a tablet/computer, and tightens with two straps that cross the front, compressing everything inside. Also, for airlines concerned with weight, employees tend to stop those with rolling luggage for weighing rather than those who have it strapped on their backs. And we can speak from personal experience (Mulch was stopped, I was not). And as mentioned before, it was no problem for me to traverse cobblestone roads. My Blunnies took them like a champ.
Cons: The Osprey Porter doesn’t have the comfiest shoulder waist straps. They are acceptable, but a bit more sharp than I had expected. There were a few times that I looked longingly at Mulch’s easy breezy rolling suitcase, huffing and puffing from behind with what felt like an entire house mounted upon my shoulders. Of course, I didn’t bring that much and was suffering from delusions due to the drama of travel, but there are a few nice travel backpacks that do have a rolling option. That would have made this bag go from two thumbs up to three in those moments for me.
Still, I highly recommend the Osprey Porter. We were packing for winter, so layers were a must. Otherwise, I could have easily made the two weeks with this as my only bag (sans purse).
Also, we both used packing cubes. Saves so much time and space!
I mentioned by Blunnies above, and must elaborate. What the Blundstone 566 lacks in chic Parisian style, it made up for in absolute comfort and versatility during our travels. I purchased the version that were made with thinsulate and include a sherpa lined footbed. My toes were cozy and warm and comfy. One of my most favorite investments, and I already know they have many years of wear to come. And I can recommend them for both girls and boys!
This was our first trip flying with Norwegian Air. We were shocked at how low the prices were when we booked them several months ago, and I had my suspicions about our experience before we left. I’ve done budget airlines in Asia (…not recommended…) and lingering uncertainties followed me onto that big fancy Boeing bound for Amsterdam. After flying four flights with Norwegian, I have no complaints.
My recommendations: pack lots of food or purchase a meal beforehand. If you don’t reserve your seats, they will be automatically assigned and it’s not so bad. As on any flight, make sure you will be warm enough. Blankets have to be purchased, and they are not cheap. Along with head phones.
Excluding our experience at Gatwick (where Mulch’s bag was weighed by a Norwegian staff member that hated the world), the staff were very friendly. I can’t see any reason not to fly with them if you are looking for a cheap ticket to Europe. The prices really cannot be beat.
More travel nerdery to come. Stay tuned.