Carry on luggage – not so crazy

My parents are currently in Europe. I know, it was a coincidence that both families planned to go to Europe in the same year. As you can imagine, before they left we compared lots of notes. As ‘mature’ travellers (yeah, we’re the immature ones) they have quite a different itinerary and pace. Although they politely admired our Rick Steves carry on bags, they maintained they didn’t mind taking bigger suitcases and not having to cart their bags onto the plane.
Well, we are currently piecing the story together from SMS messages and emails but the gist of it is that my Mum has lost her bag. They flew from London to Paris. The airline didn’t loose the bag – another passenger picked up Mum’s bag by mistake. When he realized the mistake, he contacted my Parents (who were half way to Germany by that stage) and returned the bag to security at CDG Airport. My parents drove back to CDG to retrieve the bag but it couldn’t be located.
So my parents have resumed their trip minus all of Mum’s clothes. They will be able to buy replacement clothes and they will put in a claim of course but now they have the added hassle of trying to shop in an already busy
schedule.
I don’t want to get too smug because all our travel disasters have yet to happen. We need to wait until we get back before we can truly say that carry-on is a better way to go. In the meantime, it’s certainly sounding less crazy.

Gizmo Indulgence

Digital Luggage ScalesOk, I couldn’t stand it any more. I HAD to get a gizmo. The gizmo of choice today was the balanzza digital travel travel scales. I found them for a good price at Office Works.
One of the things I get very nervous about when travelling is the weight of our bags. Keptwoman emailed me this and suggested it would be a really good thing to get. I’m afraid that kind of ruins her reputation as the anti-enabler, but here is my new toy.

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Packing Test Run

Today we are giving our packing lists and bags a good work out. We’re off on a homeschooling camp to Wymah Valley retreat.

Packing for a trip

That’s not our bags btw – we are all allergic to cats, so we aren’t even owned by one. However, the rate our packing is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to find one in there. This is what our packing is supposed to look like…

actually, what´s in my suitcase

We are much more like this:

Emily´s suitcase explosion

In fact, I HAVE to go check the little girl’s bag right now.

Perhaps we can have a practise run packing the imaginary babies while we are at it.

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The Luggage Kart Arrived Today

It’s a more industrial beast than I had imagined. It weighs in at 3.4kg. On the bright side, it might not break the first time we get onto the plane. On the downside, the Flight Crew might dummy spit about it. 

 

Fully Extended Kart
Fully Extended Kart
The Kart Folded Up
The Kart Folded Up

 

Very sturdy looking wheels
Very sturdy looking wheels

It’s a Remin Kart-a-Bag Concorde III 

[amtap amazon:asin=B0006GCZZQ] If you read the review that goes with it – the person who bought it totally loved it but gave it two stars. Gotta love the way that happens on Amazon.

Folded up it is small enough to fit into one of our bags – as long as that bag was only about half full to start with.

Preach it Sista!

There’s a big drawback to packing only carry on luggage and here it is…

The thing I hate most about air travel. Other than the “fear of death” thing, obviously.

Ok, so I don’t have a mono-brow. But I really, really hate travelling without tweezers. I’ve been scouring the Airport, Airline and TSA websites. It looks like Melbourne Airport is still stricter than the TSA regulations. TSA will let you fly with blunt scissors – I suspect Melbourne will still confiscate anything metallic. Bah!!!

Current plan is to either buy some while in Transit in Singapore or once we get to Cannobio in Italy. First Italian phrase “do you sell tweezers” is “Non si vendono pinzetta”? Ok, cool pinzetta like pincers. Awesome, I can make crab like gestures if my Italian accent fails me (100% likelihood). More critical Italian…

Non voglio dire veramente buona pinzetta (No, I mean really good tweezers)

Hanno rubato il mio aereo (They stole mine off the plane)

Si mi piace il colore rosa brilante quelli (Yes I like the pink shiny ones)

Note to self: if I manage to find pink shiny Italian tweezers I MUST post them back to myself from the UK!!!! 

pink tweezers
not shiny but Swiss

Super shiny and sparkly pink ones here

One-Page Packing Checklist :: One Bag

One-Page Packing Checklist :: One Bag.

This is a super site with heaps of information on how to pack light. I love this quote, 

“But remember, the goal isn’t to see how much stuff you can carry aboard — it’s learning to travel lightly, and happily.”

He doesn’t like wheelie bags as an option either. So I guess we are on the right track. And whadda ya know, he has details of the “bundle wrapping” technique for packing.

The Packing Book

[amtap amazon:asin=1580087833] The sub title of “The Packing Book” is, “secrets of the carry-on traveller”. I bought it partly because of this by-line but also because I’m a sucker for a good list. While a lot of the information is a avaliable places like the Rick Steves website, I have picked up a few handy tips. The first was a different brand of fold up luggage cart. We’d decided on the Samsonite micro mover but I was having trouble finding one. I was actually extremly relieved to read that the author, Judith Gilford, recommended luggage carts, as I was having second thoughts about our choice of wheel-less luggage. The brand Gilford recommends can carry two to three times as much weight wise. I’m watching one on eBay at this very moment.

Gilford also has a great packing method called ‘the bundle method’. This looks like it will work really well. If you want to know how this works, you’ll have to get the book.
Gilford also had an interesting list of travel gizmos. One of these was a white noise generator. I’m a light sleeper and noise bothers me, so I thought I’d check these out on Amazon. Guacamole! They retail for about $80+ US dollars. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology there are at least three free iPhone apps that generate white noise and relaxing sounds. Well, depending on your definition of relaxing and whether or not you have a weak bladder!!!! There are also a couple of free podcasts as well as complete albums for purchase. Sounds like a much better idea to me! Get it? Sounds like? Oh never mind…

Easy Relax Lite
Easy Relax Lite
White Noise Lite
White Noise Lite

Happy Box Day to us!

In Homeschooling land, box day is when the boxed curriculum you ordered finally turns up in the mail. Our box day was a little different – all of our Rick Steve’s luggage turned up! It kind of counts as curriculum materials seeing as it is going to contribute to the education of the Applets, right?

We decided in for a penny, in for a pound with the Rick Steves luggage. We wanted to be able to maximise the amount of packing space, while keeping things light. We also hope it will last us a while and that one day the Applets may use it to do their own tours of Europe.

It wasn’t until I had the slate blue bag on my bag that I suddenly realised how very Star Trek the colours of the bags are. How appropriate for boldly going!