Deciding on what type of luggage we needed wasn’t easy. It must be lightweight, durable, affordable and possessing good quality. As always, research has been an integral part of any of our decisions.
Off and on over the past several months I read reviews and baggage restrictions for a multitude of airlines traveling to our required three flights: Rome to Mombasa, Kenya; Mombasa, Kenya to Nelspruit, South Africa and Lisbon, Portugal to the island of Madiera, Portugal and back to Lisbon, a total of four flights.
To fly coach on some airlines, one checked bag, one carry on, one computer backpack with one hand bag per person is acceptable. (Tom, much to his dismay will now be carrying a “murse,”a man purse or what they also call a messenger bag). Other airlines allow two checked bags. If one travels first class, most airlines will allow more bags, number unknown.
We are less than two months premature into booking our first flight to Mombasa, Kenya, which we’ll do as soon as possible. After researching the cost of first class with some possible discounts, it may pay to bite the bullet and go first class or perhaps business class, depending on baggage restrictions and fares.
The flight from Rome to Kenya with a few layovers, is a minimum of 17 hours. There are a few better priced options for as many as 29 hours (yikes!). First class would provide food (hopefully pin-free) and comfortable seating, enabling one to sleep with more leg room to accommodate my 34″ inseam, much longer than Tom’s.
This morning, as I perused the overstuffed totes in our bedroom, filled to the brim with more “stuff” to pack, it appears we may each require three checked bags. With our two 250 pound capacity luggage carts, we can do this!
Last night, we purchased four, 30″ Antler bags, a company in the UK known for manufacturing quality, lightweight bags, along with two matching carry on bags from eBags at their eBay store.
|Orange Antler 30″ Expandable 4 Wheel Bag|
After this morning, I faced the reality that we may as well purchase two more of the 30″ bags, once we’ve inspected them. Luckily, eBags provides free shipping both ways in the event one is dissatisfied.
Originally, we had planned to buy the Antler Zero 30″ bag, retailing for $540, priced at $249 on eBay. The quality was slightly better than what which we purchased. But, the thought of spending almost $1000 for four bags killed me, as opposed to the $444 we paid last night plus $79 for each of the two carry on bags.
We chose the Antler Toluca 30″ expandable four wheel upright bag for the following reasons, by order of importance:
- Quality brand
- Lightweight at 7.9 pounds each
- The color: ORANGE (easy to find amongst all the black bags at baggage claim). Also, the color causes the bag to appear more of a “fashion” bag than an upscale expensive bag which may ultimately deter thieves. We leave Minnesota on Halloween, orange, get it? Hahaha (Tom didn’t think that was funny).
- Great price at $111 each plus free shipping
- Perfect size to comply with airline’s 63″ maximum dimensions
- Four wheels for stability, when they are off of the cart
- TSA locks, allowing us to lock the bags, but avoiding the TSA’s typical habit of cutting off non-regulation locks. This doesn’t provide a guarantee against theft, but it does reduce the risk.