Best suitcase sizes for Switzerland and Europe

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Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2019 - 2:58 PM

Hi,I am from Singapore and first time to Europe.planning to Switzerland 8days,Munich 3days,5 Salzburg,5 days Praha and 4 days Amsterdam.

what is the best suitcases sizes for traveling in Europe?In Singapore we do not have any regulations for suitcases sizes if you take buses or train.

May I know Is there any rules for buses and train in Europe?I have booked ,8 days swisspass ,flixbus,Leo Express bus,train

I have suitcase with Zip,is it safe if we store in the train when we transfer to the next city.

I read in some articles that better do not bring suitcases too big (do not mentioned the sizes),no suitcases with zip because not safe.I also ready many story that happened pick pocket in some city,some happened documents and money missing.

I am a bit worried about that๐Ÿ˜“

can anyone share your idea or experience

many thanks.

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Apr 6, 2019 - 4:56 PM

Hi Sarah and welcome to MySwissAlps!

An interesting question... There are no regulations when it comes to buses and trains as far as I know, only considerations when it comes to practicality! if you have a very large suitcase, it's very difficult to lift it and put it on the top rack for example if the train is full and so on. I would say that small and medium sized suitcases are best.

On Swiss trains you won't experience a problem because there is ample storage, as you can read about here www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/practical/luggage

However in the other countries you may want to be a bit more careful about what you pack as the trains may not have as much storage space between the aisles.

From personal experience you will want suitcases with 4 sets of wheels rather than 2 as they are easier to lug around, and ideally with integrated locks.

When it comes to safety, you can read more about it on this post in our forum: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/luggage-4

I always keep my valuables with me instead of in suitcases....

Hope this helps you, and perhaps others will have more comments or suggestions.

Maria.

pvonk
pvonk
225 posts
active member
Apr 6, 2019 - 8:59 PM

"From personal experience you will want suitcases with 4 sets of wheels rather than 2 as they are easier to lug around, and ideally with integrated locks."

My wife and I have opposite opinions about 4 vs 2 wheels. I have to admit, the 4 wheels (sometimes called spinners) that she prefers are easier to use when the floor is flat, ideal at an AirPort for example. But the moment you pull/push a suitcase over bumpy landscape, the spinners are no good. A 2-wheel configuration is more like a wheelbarrow and they can handle uneven floors. But we agree to disagree on this topic :-)

We were recently in Thailand, and many of the locals seemed to have humongous suitcases at the airport (really, really big). In the US you usually find the smaller ones (22 inch) used for checked and carry-on luggage, and 25, 26 or 29 inch for checked luggage. (We're going to Switzerland this September with just two 22 inch and one backpack, so we'll be very mobile.). I suggest you avoid humongous ones and use 26-ish suitcases (per person). Much easier to move about from train to train and walking in a city (to hotel).

I'm not sure what you mean by suitcase with zip.

As for "pick pocket in some city", Swiss cities are not like Paris, in my opinion.

Enjoy your European vacation! (Amsterdam is a a fun place but don't eat any "brownies" if you've never had them from the "special cafe shops" there before.)

- Pierre

NJfam
NJfam
51 posts
active member
Apr 6, 2019 - 9:35 PM

4 wheeled bags are the best specially getting in and off trains. Travel light if you can lugging the bags can be tiring but doable. Standard size bags work the best and you can store easily. Many tourists do alot of bags and sometimes ra hard to find a place to put them. Thanks !

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2019 - 12:51 AM in reply to NJfam

<<"4 wheeled bags are the best specially getting in and off trains. ">

Not if the trains have steps and your entrance/exit are not level with the platform. Those conditions are not uncommon in Switzerland.

Thus, I have to disagree with you.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 12:56 AM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2019 - 12:58 AM in reply to NJfam

Hi NJFAm-

<<"Standard size bags work the best and you can store easily.">>

What is a "standard size" ?

Opinions may vary in different countries. Can you give measurements? How many centimeters in each dimension?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 1:00 AM by Slowpoke
Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 1:48 AM in reply to Sarahsarah

Above my posting Suitcases with Zip

I mean *zip Lock TSA

Thanks

Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 1:49 AM in reply to Maria

Thank You Maria

Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 1:49 AM in reply to pvonk

Thank you Pierre

Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 1:51 AM in reply to NJfam

@NJFam

Thank you

Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 1:56 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Agreed with you.my main questions is what is the best size of suitcases that we need to know.

thank you

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2019 - 2:09 AM in reply to Sarahsarah

The smallest ones that you can manage. There is no right number. I don't even travel with suitcases. I use duffel bags with wheels.

Inside Switzerland, you have available some options to move bags by train. Maria gave a god link.

Slowpoke

Sarahsarah
Sarahsarah
10 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2019 - 7:25 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you

Ashraf907
Ashraf907
47 posts
active member
Apr 7, 2019 - 9:14 AM in reply to Sarahsarah

Hi Sarah...

I understand your concern as I am from Asia myselfz. it depends on how many persons in your family or wheher everyone bring their own luggage. As best as possible carry the small luggage as you will be travel alot with bus/train changes. The biggest may be size 28 for convenience, but ideal one will be 22-26. If needed you may bring a backpack, put it in your luggage, and take it out if you need extra bag.

As guidance in case of our 5-pax family.I bring size 28 luggage + medium backpack. My wife and eldest daughter size 24-26 each + small backpack, my 12 yr old son is assigned with size 22 bag - but which I put inside my 28 luggage until it is necessary to take out for him to bring, and my 7-yr old daughter her small favourite backpack.

Oh and this is for 2wk+ travel around Europe; Switzerland, Freiburg, Paris and London. And will only let my wife do her heavy shopping with the kids at the last stage of our journey in London, so most of the time the bags will be empty ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope this helpful.

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 9:17 AM by Ashraf907
paddington
paddington
272 posts
top member
Apr 7, 2019 - 8:36 PM

A 22 inch suitcase with 4 wheels will hold a bit less than a 22 inch suitcase with 2 wheels.

We did 8 weeks in Italy and Greece with 22 inch bags with 2 wheels in summer but left a tiny roll on in London after the first week with coats - London is cold! - and picked it up at the end of the trip.

For Switzerland we are taking 26 inch bags because we need extra clothes for the cold. Our bags are never really full so we always have room to bring stuff back.

Rick steves has a video on packing light (and Sarah Murdoch for women) both which might be a bit extreme but it should be required viewing for travellers who go on public transport. You have to be able to carry your suitcase yourself up a very long staircase (this will happen somewhere on your travels). If you can’t carry your suitcase get a smaller one and pack lighter.

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 8:37 PM by paddington
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2019 - 9:50 PM in reply to paddington

<<"You have to be able to carry your suitcase yourself up a very long staircase (this will happen somewhere on your travels). ">>

Hi Paddington.

I don't disagree in principle, but, in practice, in Switzerland, whenever I have been at an inn which required taking a bag upstairs, the person at reception always offered to carry my bags up stairs. Unfailingly. As I have gotten more set in my choices of inns over the years, I have tended to pick ones with elevators (lifts). But, I still find ones without such modern conveniences. Some nice old ones in the countryside are that way.

And, I will not say that 100% of rail stations are equipped with elevators or moving stairs (what we call escalators here in the USA). I will say that they are common. In the stations which have maps on the SBB website, they show on the station maps. And, some of the older smaller stations, in the regions rarely frequented by tourists, I still see a smooth ramp perhaps 30 or 40 cm. wide beside the stairs, to allow a wheeled bag to go up or down.

<<"Rick Steves has a video on packing light (and Sarah Murdoch for women) both which might be a bit extreme ">>

As you imply, Rick does not pack for some important elements of travel. He definitely does not wear the very large size of hiking boots that I do. They take a lot of space. I can't wear them on the plane, because my sciatica demands that I get every single fraction of an inch under the seat ahead of me for my generous sized feet. He probably does not try to fit a hiking staff in that bag ( although there are collapsible ones). I think that he does not need to take a set of dressier clothes, which I find useful, desirable, or necessary for concerts and some of the better restaurants. I am graced with friends who take me to some of those, and I find it nice to be somewhat better dressed than I am for more ordinary places.

With all that said, my point is that it is possible to get around with bags a bit larger that what Rick recommends, because I do it all the time. The worst part, consistent with your comments, is that some of the trains have narrow doorways with steps. They are a nuisance with a bulky suitcase. So, I have found that a large duffel, bag with wheels, is easier to maneuver in such situations.

Oh yes, one other minor point. While we have laundromats ( public self service laundries) almost everywhere here in the USA, they are scarce in Switzerland. The Swiss apartment buildings generally have laundries for their occupants, which reduces the need for free-standing laundromats. So, for a 3 week trip, or even for shorter ones, I find a way to schedule some clothes washing. Jetwasch in Luzern often fits my schedule. Many inns will do some if you ask, and generally don't charge big-city hotel prices.

It's been a while since I read one of Rick Steve's books, so I don't recall what technique he uses for having clean underwear. On occasions in the past, I've washed some undies in the sink, but, It's not my favorite method. ;-)

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 9:57 PM by Slowpoke
paddington
paddington
272 posts
top member
Apr 7, 2019 - 11:21 PM

Hi Slowpoke,

Trains in Sydney (which we use to get to and from the airport) have many stairs to negotiate with no alternatives. We found this to be the case in Italy, Greece and the UK as well. I met people in Italy who couldn’t carry their bag upstairs and relied on the “nice guy” at the station to do it for them – never to see their bags again. I‘ve also seen people with huge bags arguing with airport staff about extra charges. I’ve met women who take 8 pairs of shoes for a 2 week trip!

I am not advocating travelling only with carry on bags, nor handwashing clothes in the hotel sink nor wearing polyester as Rick Steves does– I’m just suggesting people do a bit of pre-trip thinking about luggage as the OP is doing.

Being a non tipping Aussie I don’t let bellboys carry my luggage upstairs! :) Your hotels must be a bit more upmarket than our because there are invariably stairs, but lifts are not a criteria I have looked for in accommodation (so far).

Thankfully we can wear our heavy hiking shoes (getting lighter all the time thanks to technology) on the plane and my walking poles are telescopic, so fit into my bag. Luckily I can dress up clothes quite easily with a scarf and I always have a good pair of pants and flats for going out. I feel the cold so I am bringing a down jacket to Switzerland but will probably send it home as we leave Switzerland. I still haven’t got the nack of planning all cold countries together.

DH has eczema and his clothes have to be machine washed (hand washing isn’t good enough) after wearing once. We only wear cotton or linen as well (except for jackets) so our clothes don’t dry overnight in a hotel room. We plan for this by get apartments or B&B's that have washing machines or a hotel with a laudromat close by as needed every 5 days (frugality prohibits me using hotel laundry services). It is just part of our travel routine. Thanks for the Jetwasch tip.

Switzerland sounds very civilised and great for travelers and public transport but, like many others, we are tacking on a few other countries to our trip and have to cater for their facilities as well.

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 11:25 PM by paddington
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2019 - 11:53 PM in reply to paddington

Hi Paddington-

Sounds like you have got it under control. Sometimes I wish I did not have such big feet or long legs. Airplane travel is not always the most comfortable process for me.

<<"Trains in Sydney (which we use to get to and from the airport) have many stairs to negotiate with no alternatives.">>

Sorry to hear that. I've only been through Sydney once, so long ago that I don't remember those details. Seems a bit unfriendly. In the USA we have the ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act - which is interpreted to require have something other than stairs.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Americans_with_Disabil ities_Act_of_1990

www.dol.gov/general/to pic/disability/ada

I has been a major benefit for disabled people who want to work.

Switzerland is following our lead, as are many countries, and now makes clear what facilities exist for handicapped traveler at various SBB stations on the SBB website. More and more have ramps to the platforms, so that wheels can go on them. Lifts have been added during any new construction.

But, you have to deal with what you meet up with. I simply choose to go to Switzerland a lot. ;-)

<<"Being a non tipping Aussie I don’t let bellboys carry my luggage upstairs!">>

Although tourists have spoiled them a bit, the Swiss service staff do not expect tips. Tipping in restaurants is optional. Tipping in cabs is optional; the prices are high enough that they don't need tips.. The wait staff are reasonably well paid. My Swiss friends round up to the nearest whole CHF, or, sometimes to the nearest 5 or 10 CHF mark for exceptional service in a restaurant.

My accommodations at inns are far from high end. The buildings are old enough ( some going back to the 1400s), that many do not have lifts. It is simply that the innkeepers feel a need to be hospitable. There, I don't tip if they haul my bag upstairs for me. It is simply part of the accommodation. Sometimes I tip a tiny amount, as a token of appreciation, not as a payment ( as in the USA, where the wait staff lives off the tips).

<<"or B&B's ">>

I avoid B&B's in Switzerland. They are contributing to the decline of the very old, very special, full-service inns.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 7, 2019 - 11:58 PM by Slowpoke
paddington
paddington
272 posts
top member
Apr 8, 2019 - 12:01 AM

>I avoid B&B's in Switzerland. They are contributing to the decline of the very old, very special, full-service inns.<

Yes, I don't use air bnb anywhere but I couldn't think of the word for some of the places we are staying. Not hotels and not apartments. Inn is a good word.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6757 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2019 - 1:01 AM in reply to paddington

I use these regularly.

www.kreuz-ligerz.ch/

www.hotel-ours.ch/fr/

www.baeren-sumiswald.ch/kontakt-oeffnungszeiten.html

Those are closer to hotels than inns, but have a distinct family run operation, with an inn keepe who is visible and interactive.

I'm trying these two on my next trip:

www.baeren-ranflueh.ch/Startseite .html

www.engel-sachseln.ch/en/

and, this one, which is a restaurant with 3 or 4 rooms:

www.kreuz-dallenwil.ch/

Just got there first Michelin star.

Slowpoke

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