Size Matters – The luggage debate.

(Last Updated On: July 20, 2017)

When you’re selling almost all of your stuff and preparing to travel the world, there are many, many discussions as a couple — many excited, some fearful, some funny. The inevitable one, however, is the “Luggage Discussion.” Here’s an excerpt:

Sean: So, we need to start deciding on our bags for the trip

Jen: I’m not a backpacker — we need something with wheels.

Sean: Agreed. But what size do we need? I’m thinking a 21 inch case or a 25 inch case. Anything bigger than that will be a pain to carry when we need to.

Jen: Well, I’ll completely fill whichever size we get.

Sean: So, 21 inch it is!

Jen: But I don’t know if I can fit everything in a 21 inch.

Sean: 21 gives us the option of carryon only. We did three weeks in Europe with only carry-ons.

Jen: Yeah, but remember Ryan air, and a lot of the smaller airlines? They base everything on weight, and even the 21 inch needed to be checked. So we didn’t save any time waiting at the luggage carousel.

Sean: Sure, but there’s still the weight issue. Remember having to carry our bags for a quarter mile over the low tide mud flats after the boat ride back from Krabi in Thailand? Do you want to do that with a bigger bag?

Jen: If I remember correctly, I had you carry both bags through the mud.

Sean: EXACTLY! I don’t want to carry two big bags.

Jen: Maybe we should get one 25 and one 21, and you can carry the 25 inch.

Sean: But I don’t need that much room….

Jen: I know, I’ll put my stuff in it.

Sean: Sigh. Maybe we just need to lay out all of the things we’re taking, and decide what size bag we need based on then.

Jen: But I won’t know what I’m taking until I know how MUCH I can take.

Sean: So, you’ll just fill up the bag to the brim, even with things you don’t need?

Jen: I thought we had already covered that…..

After more than a few such discussions, we ended up with two eBags Mother Lode TLS Mini 21″ Wheeled Duffels that manage to hold up to all the things we’re stuffing in them, some pack-it cubes, along with some generous daypacks.  What do you think? Big enough? Too big? Leave a comment!

Yes, the backpack is wearing a hat.
Yes, the backpack is wearing a hat.

For additional information about travel resources, including ways to save money on airline tickets, visit our RESOURCES page. And you can find a great guide to minimalist carry-on packing here.

And since we’ve been on the road, we have become huge packing cube fans. Not sure they are for you? Check out this article and you won’t ever travel without them again: Ultimate Guide to The Best Packing Cubes



Some of the links on this article are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small referral fee. If you find the links useful and do make a purchase, thanks so much for your support!

12 thoughts on “Size Matters – The luggage debate.”

  1. I am just cracking up with the:
    Sean: But I don’t need that much room….
    Jen: I know, I’ll put my stuff in it.

    That is pretty much my life too!

    Good call on the size. Looks like something to get started with. How are the wheels? When Chelsea was flying, she was killing hers. I think we should invent a bag that takes rollerblades so you can repair them for $10…and be awesome when you hit Venice Beach!

  2. Hmmmm, that conversation sounded real familiar…

    Just an FYI, the link for the eBags duffels gives a 404 error.

    I’ll be interested to hear how these bags work out for you two.

    • Thanks for your comment! There is a lot of debate out there about how to dress when traveling. Some are recommending to try to “blend” more so as not to be a target. Others have mentioned that in some places (not necessary the markets) it’s considered disrespectful to wear shorts and sandals in some establishments. Very curious what other people have to say.

  3. Hilarious article 🙂
    But out of curiosity, why must you have wheels? Even though you’re not backpackers, we personally find (good quality!) backpacks far more practical and comfortable to carry bags you mainly drag?

    • Yeah, we definitely lose space because of the wheels, and I see your point. For longer slogs through the airport, we can perch our carry on bags on the case, and don’t have to carry anything. Besides, if we had more space in the bags, Jen would bring more stuff. 🙂

  4. The safest size for carryon luggage is 21 inches. We have researches this and 90% of airlines allow 21 inches or under. Funny read BTW. Good luck with your travels Sean.


Leave a Comment