Monday, August 30, 2010

Luggage?

Since I've decided to start believing that I'm actually gonna get a referral and travel to China, it's time to start making some plans. I want to do as much as I can ahead of time. One ...to keep me busy while I wait. And two... so I don't have to stress out nearly as much during those last 6 weeks or so between referral and travel.

So over the next few months I expect I'll be here often asking for advice and opinions about all kinds of different China adoption related topics.

Let's start with luggage. What do you experienced folks suggest? What worked best for you? I've seen lots of talk on RQ of rolling duffles. Thoughts? How many pieces did you take? And forget the Carry-On-Only route. There's no way I can do that. I imagine I'll have a backpack for my laptop and other important stuff. Do I also get a carry on suitcase/duffle plus a checked bag? Is it just one checked bag per person?

Okay there's the topic ...LUGGAGE. Now discuss. :)

25 comments:

Marla said...

I am a HUGE fan of rolling duffles and will be taking one when I go with Lisa. It's amazing how much it can hold and it's just so much easier to handle than a big suitcase. I forget all the rules on how many you can take, etc, but I'm sure someone who's traveled recently can answer that one. I used a backpack diaper bag while I was there with Jaden and it worked great too, that way my hands were free to mess with her and it balanced me out when I had her in the carrier, LOL.

How exciting that you're getting close enough to start planning!! :)

Miche said...

Many of my friends that have traveled overseas used rolling duffles and LOVED them and also used spacesavers for items they weren't sure they would need-extra jackets or coats-but wanted to have with them just in case. Spacesaver bags would be a great route if you knew of a way to repack them when it was time to come back...

Briana's Mom said...

I bought a huge rolling duffel and I checked it and Doug checked a smaller suitcase. Worked like a charm! Here is actually a picture of what I took (from my blog) - http://waitingforbriana.blogspot.com/2007/07/i-think-i-am-ready.html.

And I just brought a backpack on the plane with me with all my paperwork and anything I didn't want in the belly of the plane. Doug brought on the camera bag and the laptop bag. There was no way I could do carry on only. Hats off to those who have done it - but I couldn't!

It is so exciting that we are talking about this!

Stephe said...

This is what I took...
http://packinglistchallenge.blogspot.com/2007/10/challenge-3-stephe.html
I created this packing list challenge blog with my waiting friends. Each month we had a "packing list" related challenge. If you have time on your hands...check it out! Don't trust all the side link as some members never put "labels" on their posts! :)

Marla said...

Oh yeah, and I forgot! We used those space bags that you roll up (don't have to have a vacuum) and they worked great for diapers, our coats and Jaden's little poofy snow suit (we traveled in January and it was COLD). We were amazed how flat we got a whole package of diapers!

Hedgetoad said...

Although I haven't traveled to china with all the baggage necessary, I have traveled with two toddlers... these bags
http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/medium-packing-cubes-3pc-set/48439?productid=1234136
are a miracle! You can pack a shocking amount of stuff into each little pouch and it still fits easily into your suitcase. Rolling the clothes, you can fit a weeks worth of toddler clothes into the smallest one and it will take up almost no room in your suitcase.

C said...

I say ditto on the rolling duffel. We took 2 (in really ugly colors so they would be easy to spot) one from llbean and one from Eddie Bauer. I still use the Eddie Bauer one. One of the space bag companies gave a discount to adoptive families and I used those. Really helpful with packing some diapers and formula.
I carried a backpack carryon with our medical stuff. (I swear I brought the entire walgreens pharmacy in it)
We were warned about weight (44 pounds in China) but when we were there our guides had "friends" at the airport, and we never had a problem with paying extra charges.
As a matter of fact if you want to borrow our rolling duffel, just let me know. you are welcome to.
c

Kim said...

Great ideas for packing.. I am sooo excited for you ..
I don't know why I don't take notes..but I have a while so I will just read.. LOL..
Have a great evening.
Hugz..

"M" said...

I had a lot of stuff! I took two expandable large (but not super large) suitcases and carried a backpack on the plane with all the important stuff in it. I think you can actually bring 2 suitcases internationally (or at least when I went). Once I was in country, "A" had her own ticket for all of our flights, so a second suitcase was fine. The bags got a lot lighter when all the orphanage staff gifts were given....except for all the things we purchased, I guess.

M3 said...

Luggage -- wahoo!!! Let's see, first off we took helpers, four of them, so we got four extra suitcases to stuff with our overflow (no we are not light packers, never have been never will be, sigh...). And TubaDad and I each took a large normal suitcase with wheels and a backpack for our carryons.

a Tonggu Momma said...

We took hard cases when we adopted the Tongginator in 2005. Umm... yeah... it weighed a ton. And when you can't go over XX pounds without paying out the wazoo, well...

I vote for rolling duffels. That's what we'll be taking this next go around.

Randi said...

Definately use space bags. I went to China in February and everyplace was colder than it should have been. Pack your clothes in layers in case it is cold. Make sure to find out the size limitiations for your bag. I remember that the in China flights had smaller limitations than the international flights. I brought 2 companions with me to China. We each had one checked bag, rolling suitcase or duffel and each had a backpack as a carryon. We bought Emma a seat for the flight home and therefore were allowed a bag for her. We used that bag for all the things we bought while in China.

Kayce said...

We had a family of 3 on our trip (4 by the end :) ) and they had two rolling duffles and each a backpack. I was SO impressed! They even brought formula from the states and diapers. Our family of three each had a suitcase and a backpack and I felt way overloaded! Will definitely go the duffle route next time and bring much less.

wzgirl said...

Smart girl, you. BEing in that whirlwind - I will tell you that this kind of preparation is gold. Our heads are spinning given the long, long, long wait - and what feels like speed-of-light abrupt move toward going! Luckily hubs & I are fairly light packers - so I'm hoping that will pay off about now. We're going to try not to trip too hard, use laundry services and also make good use of the resources available in China!

GGHadden said...

Oh good question Krista...........will have to keep an eye on this post :)

We were thinking of packing super light(since we will be traveling in winter) and buying what we needed over there...what are your thoughts on that?

Gina

correspondent said...

Hi Krista,

I saw that a lot of people have recommended rolling duffel bags and Space Bag To Go Bags for your travels to China. Both are a great idea! Space Bag To Go Bags don't require a vacuum to compress clothes. Simply push down or roll the bags to eliminate out excess air. Space Bag has an online community called Space Savers where we offer organization tips, including packing advice, and special offers to members. Feel free to visit www.SpaceSaversCommunity.com for tips on how to prepare for this big change in your life! Best of luck in the upcoming months.

Space Savers community correspondent

Barbara said...

Rolling duffles are awesome! I brought ONE and a backpack for a carryon. There may be times when you have to haul everything, including baby, through an airport. Some of my fav packing tips - choose a neutral base color for your clothing and make everything match - kinda like garanimals fpr adults! You need so many fewer clothes that way. Don't pack many clothes for baby - you can get so many cute clothes, including awesome shoes, in China.

Laurie said...

I am right there with you girl (LID 5-31-06) and am in shopping and list making mode! I just traveled overseas to Spain in June. I took a backpack for my carry on which was great and checked a 28inch suitcase which held a ton but was definitely too much to tote around on the metro etc. I decided then to go with something a bit smaller. I am thinking of the packing cubes like one of your readers mentioned. I found I spent a lot of time sifting thru my large suitcase and I think the cubes will help with that (plus we'll have to pack up several times). On my international flights you can bring a backpack (or tote) and a small (like 21") suitcase. I am not sure about the in China flights though. I am considering a hardside...they have gotten so much lighter 5-6 pounds and my suitcase was completely trashed after my recent trip. Several people swear by the Brooksides. What to do....

Laurie said...

Make that Brookstone luggage-the metallic ones they have in airport shops. And, they come in pink!!

Michal said...

K- We have never used the rolling duffles but had I been allowed to pack more than coo? That's what I would have taken.

We used backpacks as our "personal item". You get one carry on and one personal item. As far as checked bags- each ticket gets one bag for the most part I think. Again we didn't have to focus on that because I am married to The Pack Nazi.

I did not take an extra diaper bag. I used my carry on back pack as a diaper bag when we were out and about.
I think the space bags are an awesome idea and I can see how helpful those would be.

On out first trip our carry on's were not rollers and that was the biggest mistake ever. On this trip my hubby's backpack was older and sort of sacklike- no structure t it and that became an issue.

The carry on's we used for the US flights were too big for the China flights and had to be used as checked baggage- just an fyi.
This is so exciting!!!!!!
You can not prepare enough- but have fun with it.

Abby's Mom said...

Rolling everything including the back pack, Mine was so freaken heavy I just wanted to throw it out the window by the time we got to China. Oh and check the tags the airline puts on your bag. Make sure the name and destination are right! Especially if you fly Un&ted! (Almost 3 years later and I'm still mad :)

Nicole said...

Great topic!! It gives me another excuse to go shopping ;). We're almost there!!!

k1 said...

I agree with Barbara's suggestion on clothing. I took only six bottoms and six tops for both our three week trips. The pants were a mixture of jeans and capris. The capris were usually patterned. All the tops were solid and each could be worn with any of the pants. Like Barbara said, Garanimals for adults!! I also took two lightweight jacket/sweaters, one in a dark color, one in a light, that could go with any combination of outfit if needed. I didn't need the space bags since I didn't take a lot, but I did put my clothing in gallon sized storage bags to keep them organized and clean. I could put a full outfit - under garments, pants, top, and socks - in each bag. The bags kept them folded and clean during the baggage search at the airport.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

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God Bless You ~Ron

Traci said...

Krista, We took two back packs. I can't remember if you have someone traveling with you...???? Assuming you're taking a friend, Scott carried a backpack with all the electronics in it; video camera, laptop, camera, the extra batteries, cords, all that stuff. Also in his bag is where we put all the paper; copy of dossier, yada, yada, yada. I can't even remember what all paper we had, but I know it was a lot. In my backpack we carried the things we wanted with us on the way over and while tooling around Beijing and then it converted into the diaper bag when we picked up Peanut.

Wish I had taken this advice: 1. You can find it in China if you forget it. (Except western meds that you can read.) 2. Using Chinese diapers and formula is absolutely fine for two weeks. 3. Take U.S. wipes with you. (At least that was our experience.) 4. No one needs an ENTIRE box of Cheerios while in China. (ooops!)

Go ready for the trip of a lifetime. Oh man, it was incredible. No better way to have a baby. I loved that I wasn't sedated for this one. ;)

So excited for you!