Baggage tips

All luggage seems to be on wheels today. It’s great on flat surfaces, but now we have all these new weight restrictions, and wheelers weigh seven pounds or more. Is it important to you to have wheels or to be able to carry seven more pounds of your stuff? It’s your choice.

Wheels can be an absolute liability on the steep escalators in the London underground. In downtown Oslo, on the way to the hotel from the railroad station they’re an absolute nuisance as the bag tips over every few feet on the cobblestones.

Always buy a suitcase that is waterproof rather than water resistant. My brother’s luggage went astray for two days. It was found with everything in it soaking wet. What if it had been full of my genealogy notes written in ink? I’ve looked out my window while on a plane and watched my bag sitting on a cart as the rain flooded down.

I prefer using my backpack from REI (Sumner, WA; 800/426-4840, The downside is that backpacks seem to be double-checked at all airports. The upsides? People really do give you more room in a crowd and you have both hands free. And crooks detest them because they think they’re full of dirty hippy laundry.


Cathedral City, CA