Packing For France – Which Luggage Is Best?

Eiffel sunset

Our next trip to France is getting closer and for the first time ever, I’ve hit a packing dilemma.

For all of our previous trips we’ve followed the advice of a close friend and travelled with large backpacks. While the flash hotels aren’t quite sure what to do with packs – we actually had a porter in a Parisian hotel remark that he’d never met a guest without a case before – packs do have certain advantages, including:

  • They allow you to move easily onto public transport without having to lift anything. You can also manage the escalators in airports and train stations with no worries at all.
  • Packs are very handy if you happen to be staying in an apartment building without a lift.
  • You get to keep your hands free, which is helpful for manoeuvring things like doorways and gates.
  • They are great in wet or snowy weather – you don’t have to think about puddles or slush.
  • Packs hold heaps of oddly shaped things, as well as all of your clothes.

But like everything, packs do have their limitations. They can get heavy (especially if you’ve enjoyed a little too much shopping) and they can get uncomfortably warm when carrying them in Spring or Summer.

It’s these last two reasons that have me thinking about switching to a case the next time I’m packing for France.

I’ve written before about my obsession with packing light so I’m trying to decide if I can travel for a month with just a carry-on case. I still want to be able to move about easily…but I don’t want to miss out on any shopping either.

This week, I am travelling for both work and pleasure so I am planning to give my carry-on luggage a good test by packing more than I normally would and finally make up my mind!

Do you prefer cases or packs? Have you ever travelled for longer than a week with just carry-on luggage? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time – au revoir



About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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