I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.
Michael E. Leahy Oak Lawn, IL
We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies. None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.
Nancy & William Sondervan Sherrills Ford, NC
The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.
Bill Jones Vancouver, WA
All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.
Susan & Paul Krupp Georgetown, TX
Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.
Barbara Schoetzau New York, NY
Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.
Tara Malmberg Quitman, TX
Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.
Jean Hall Prairie Village, KS
We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.
Roger Soder Seattle, WA
The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.
Patricia Joyce Peoria, AZ
We love the small group experience.
Dave & Alice Wilson Williamstown, MA
Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.
Jane & Ronald Decker Chicago, IL
Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.
Laurin & Phyllis LeTart Shepherdstown, WV
This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.
Barry & Bobbi Rosner Somerset, NJ
I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.
Donna Stevenson Dublin, OH
It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.
Trish Merrill & Mac White Austin, TX
This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.
Merle Frank Miami, FL
Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.
Ken & Carolyn Helm Newburgh, IN
Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!
Ronni Goldberg New York, NY
Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.
Harvey Wine Dallas, TX
I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.
Lynn Bafaloukos Glendale, AZ
Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!
Luggage Tips: Weight Limits, Long Transfers, and Checked Bag Charges
Posted March 22, 2019
Obviously, packing for an international trip is crucial. But while we spend most of our time considering which outfits to pack and ensuring that our electricity adapter will work for each destination we’re visiting, we shouldn’t overlook the bags themselves: the actual luggage we’ll be taking along on tour.
All of our tours include handling for one piece of checked luggage per person. Because of airline and/or motorcoach restrictions, it is important that you limit yourself to this one bag, though you are of course encouraged to pack a carry-on with essential items, such as prescription medicines, eyeglasses, travel documents, camera, and perhaps a change of clothes.
Though it may sound simple – one checked bag and one carry-on — many countries and itineraries present the small hurdles that we navigate below. First up: weight restrictions.
These safari-based trips necessitate
strict luggage requirements, as we have extremely limited space in the safari
vehicles we use to travel between lodges, as well as strict weight limits on
Only one piece of checked luggage per person is allowed, with no exceptions.
Checked bag must be a soft-sided (collapsible) duffle-type bag.
Checked bag must not have an overall rigid frame or collapsible handle.
Total weight of checked luggage cannot exceed 33 lbs. per person.
Only one piece of carry-on luggage is permitted, and it cannot weigh more than 15 lbs. or exceed 43″ (length plus width plus height).
Our comprehensive touring through India also requires us to board a charter flight, which results in the following luggage restrictions:
Total weight of checked luggage cannot exceed 33 lbs. per person.
Carry-on bag cannot exceed 15 lbs. per person
These restrictions also come with a few notes: First, you are responsible for any additional charges levied for checked baggage and/or excess weight. And further, airlines may occasionally restrict you from checking baggage all the way through to your final destination, meaning you may have to retrieve your bag during your layover and re-check it with the airline carrying you to your final destination.
Tours with Unusual Luggage Transfers
The nature of these trips requires you to bring an extra bag in your luggage that you will use for a short period of time along your tour. Read on for more details.
After disembarking our barge on day 10 of the tour, we leave Burgundy and board the TGV high-speed train for the 1½-hour journey to Paris. Because of limited storage space on the TGV to Paris, Odysseys has arranged a luggage transfer service that will transport your bags to our hotel in Paris. This transfer will pick up your bags in the morning and deliver them to your rooms that same afternoon. Please ensure that you pack a separate bag with everything you may need for your train ride.
On day five of our Alaska tour, we board a prop plane for the scenic flight deep into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the largest national park in the United States at 13.2 million acres. Due to weight restrictions on the flights into and out of Wrangell-St. Elias, you will need to bring along a smaller, overnight bag no heavier than 30 pounds for your stay at the lodge in Kennicott. You will meet your original checked luggage upon arrival at the lodge in the Knik Valley.
You will need to bring along a smaller, soft-sided overnight bag for your one-night stay at the ryokan on day five of our Insider’s Japan tour. Your checked luggage will be securely transferred from our hotel in Tokyo to our hotel in Takayama, where you will reunite with it upon our arrival on day six.
On day 15 when we fly from the Masai Mara to Nairobi, your luggage will be sent by ground transport back to Nairobi where you will see it later that day. Should you wish to take an additional set of clothes or toiletries with you to freshen up at the hotel upon arrival, we suggest you pack these items in your carry-on and take them on the flight with you.
Due to the small nature of our parador in Ubeda, you will need to bring along a smaller, soft-sided carry-on or duffle bag for your overnight stay on day 11. This bag should be small and flexible enough so that you can pack it inside your checked luggage.
On these tours, we take a train from the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Because of limited space on the train, in addition to your one piece of checked luggage, you will need to bring a smaller, soft-sided duffle-type bag for your overnight stay at Machu Picchu. This additional bag should be small and flexible enough to fit inside your checked luggage (or you can use your carry-on luggage as your small bag). Your checked bag will be held in safe keeping until you meet up with it the following day in Cuzco. Additionally, note that umbrellas are prohibited at Machu Picchu.
We stay in a small hotel in the ancient town of Assos on day 6 of our Legendary Turkey tour, and you will need to bring a smaller, soft-sided bag for your overnight stay here. This bag should be small and flexible enough to fit inside your checked luggage.
Checked Baggage Charges
If your luggage exceeds the weight limit for the above tours, you will be responsible for any additional charges that may be levied for checked baggage and/or excess weight. For the few tours on which you are strictly not allowed to exceed the luggage weight limit, your luggage will be safely stored and returned to you at the end of your tour.
Also please note that increasingly, and at their discretion during airport check-in, airlines may restrict you from checking your bag through to your final destination – requiring you to retrieve your checked bag at the international gateway and re-check it with the airline carrying you to your final destination. In addition, and also at the airlines’ discretion, you may incur additional checked baggage charges for which you would be responsible, regardless of whether your bag is checked through to your final destination.
Smart Luggage Restrictions
As a small aside to the luggage discussion, guests who travel using “smart luggage” – bags that can be tracked and locked remotely and used as chargers for devices, need to heed airlines’ restrictions. Several airlines (including Delta, American, and Southwest) require that travelers remove the batteries from these bags before boarding, as they may constitute a fire hazard. Read our blog post here for more information.
Hopefully this information will help you when packing for your next adventure with Odysseys!