Traveling is hard work because it always involves carry a bunch of stuff. I decided to let the Scout Cart do the bulk of my hauling during a summer vacation to France. With delight, I found the Scout Cart was very useful transporting my luggage, bags and totes throughout the airports, train stations and cities. As expected, it was easy to maneuver on the streets and into and out of buildings. The wheel span was narrow enough for all the doors and passages we encountered making it travel friendly. Also, the folded frame and baskets stored away easily in hotel closets.
Flight: Checking Frame and Baskets
At Dulles International Airport, my sixteen year-old daughter and I checked the Scout Cart frame in a piece of luggage and checked the baskets separately in a box. This worked out fine since we were allowed two pieces of luggage each. We retrieved our bags at Charles de Gaulle airport and everything was in good condition.
Knowing now what we didn’t know then, we should have immediately unpacked the Scout Cart and put it to use transporting our other luggage, bags and totes. It would have made our trip from the airport — via train and metro — so much easier! My daughter urged me to wait to test my cart theories later (and if you’ve had a teen you know why I agreed) and so the two of us dragged our suitcases (three total and a box) through the airport to the train. Then, from the train station to the metro, and from the metro to our hotel in St. Germain. As you might imagine, we were exhausted, hot and grumpy by the time we arrived.
During our week in Paris, we moved to two other hotels because to experience different neighborhoods. This is when the Scout Cart shined. I nested the top basket in the lower basket and then fitted in my luggage, camera bag and handbag. There was room to spare. I discarded the box and old piece of luggage (the one we used to transport the cart frame from the U.S.) and felt free as a bird with only the cart to maneuver through the streets.
My daughter was set on using public transportation, so we walked from our first hotel in St. Germain to the metro. I used the escalator to get the Scout Cart downstairs. The elevator would have been fine too. The one thing I did not do was to try and pull the cart upstairs because the Scout Cart is not designed for stair climbing. We rode the metro a short distance to the Louvre neighborhood of Saint Honore and then walked to our hotel. I pushed the Scout Cart and my daughter pulled her single piece of luggage. It was perfect.
Moving to the third hotel, we used a taxi to test my taxi questions (how would the driver react and would everything fit). I packed my luggage and bags in the Scout Cart as before and went down to check out of the hotel. The taxi picked us up on the street outside. The driver loaded my daughter’s luggage and my luggage while I removed the baskets and folded the frame. He then loaded the frame and baskets without difficulty or comment! He drove us a short distance to the Hotel Square Louvois. Here, we met up with the rest of the family — just arriving from Maryland — for a couple of nights in Paris before traveling by car to the D-Day beaches in Normandy.
Stay tuned for Part II