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PEOPLE Magazine Article

 

Your Luggage - Tips, Tricks and Tales

Large garbage bags…

Often times bags are unloaded from the plane in the rain. Bags are left standing on the tarmac, water soaks through your bag and the first layer of clothes can get wet. I prevent this by putting a large garbage bag on the inside bottom of my suitcase, pack my clothes and cover everything with another bag before closing the bag.
Martha, Toronto, Canada

Have you noticed how airlines stack all in their favour…

We pay to check our luggage. We pay if our luggage is too heavy. We buy yet another suitcase when airlines change the dimensions of carry-on bags. We pay for baggage insurance. And, if they lose you bag, the airlines say, 'sorry' and makes you wait months to settle your claim. Enough said.
Alice, Boston, USA

My suitcase will be lighter next time…

I pause on the landing. Just two more floors to climb in our two-star Parisian hotel. Now 50, I realize that I cannot do this much longer. I am thankful my bag is light, and that I have packed the most important item: Tiger balm. I also packed English novels, nonwrinkable clothes, an umbrella, walking shoes. As we walk for miles daily, these winding stairs become increasingly difficult. We get to the room, open the windows and exclaim about the view of blvd. Montparnasse. In future, we will stay on the fourth floor, and my suitcase will be lighter.
Deborah, Burlington, USA

Packing for Paris in a 21" suitcase…

Packing for Paris is a pleasure. I have a uniform of sorts that I always put together. Starting with black slacks, I add a silk type shirt of some lovely color. I bring two jackets, white and black to layer. Scarves add just the right final touch. For shoes, I pack two pairs: comfortable walking shoes and a pair of sandals. I shop all year for items that are light weight, wrinkle free and wash easily. I bring a few simple, understated pieces of jewelry. I leave my best things safely at home. Packing this way I can look great for three weeks using a 21" rolling suitcase. Enjoy! Packing well is part of the pleasure of travel.
Peggy, Chicago, USA

Keep your bag with you …

I have learned to travel with a simple light and small backpack only. I usually also take a foldable bag that I don't have to check in but have the option to if I want.
Last year while traveling in Rome, Italy with my daughter her large backpack was stolen from a tour bus. I carried mine on the bus as it was small enough to put under the seat or carry on my lap. And there is the advantage - it never has to leave your sight. There is so much less stress when you don't have to look after a large bag.
Shirley, Hythe, Canada

A photo of me and my suitcase…

Many years ago I purchased a Samsonite suitcase for a vacation to Ireland. My family brought me to the airport and took a Polaroid of me with my suitcase. When I got to Dublin, the suitcase wasn't there. As I was filling out the lost luggage forms the photo fell out of my handbag. The Aer Lingus rep saw it, said he had just seen that bag on the tarmac, ran out, and grabbed my suitcase before it went back on the plane. Since then I always take a picture of new luggage and keep it with me for luggage identification.
Mary, Greensboro, USA

30 minute flight and no bags…

I miss my favourite ear-rings - gold hoops with delicate dangling slivers of amethyst. I lost them, and my favourite summer clothes, in October 2007, when Aloha Airlines in Hawaii mislaid my suitcase on a 30-minute flight from Kona to Honolulu. I've never seen it since. The frazzled young airline staff member at the lost luggage desk at Honolulu airport, faced with a long queue of angry luggage-less customers, erupted with this announcement to the group: "Well you CHOSE to fly Aloha!" Six months later, the airline went bankrupt.
Kay, Hong Kong, China

Carry two pairs of underwear…

I always pack 2 pair of underwear, 1 pair of socks, my toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, a package of baby wipes, and my hairbrush in my carry-on. In the best case scenario, you can freshen up during travel. In the worst case, you have back up in case your luggage gets waylaid.
Sara, Lansing, USA

Detained for packing light…

I did a 108 day solo through Europe with a small/medium size backpack. Upon return through Customs in Detroit, I was detained and told that I was "highly suspicious" to have been away so long with just a small pack. I waited a terribly long half hour to even be inspected. Every item was removed and inspected, and still, they could hardly believe that I was legit. I had to race across the airport and arrived at the gate having my first almost panic attack ever as the door was closing. I'd been traveling for over 24 hours and the prospect of being stranded overnight in Detroit due to the needless interrogation was almost more than I could bear. So much for packing light!
Sally, Lavelle, USA

I put labels everywhere …

You name it, my name's on it! Do you get those free return address labels in the mail like I do? Well, they are perfect to stick on your belongings. I put them everywhere including inside my luggage as well as my wallet, passport case, cosmetic case, camera case, journal, books, etc. I also bring extras to stick on those luggage tags the airlines provide. I put those on every handle of my luggage and belongings, check in or carry on, and save a few for additional totes or shopping bags I may collect along the way.
Victoria, Santa Barbara, USA

BONUS! WatchYour Daypack...

Whether in the airport or in a restaurant, I never leave my pack pack out of my sight. If it's on the floor under my chair, I put my foot through one of the straps. The least tug on it and I know immediately. If it's beside me, I pile my coat, etc. on top so you can't get at it easily. I keep my valuables in a zippered compartment in the back inside section of the pack -- the part closest to my back. I pack thicker things -- a small towel, my sweatshirt, etc. at the front of the backback -- the part facing out and most vulnerable. If a thief tries to slit my pack with a sharp utensil -- he can't grab and run, unless he covets my very well-worn sweatshirt.

Source: Evelyn Hannon, Editor Journeywoman.com

 

A lost luggage story...

I was returning home from Paris and I checked two bags full of all new clothes from Paris. In Detroit, before customs, I was paged and told that my bags did not make it on my flight, but would be delivered as they knew where they were. That never happened. I was back in the US to do some speaking on my research in France and to attend a conference. 12 airports later, I was in Portland, OR and I was checking the luggage holding area - as I had done since Detroit. And sitting there, were both of my bags. Unattended and 14 days later. I picked them up and left for the conference. No one asked, no one checked, no one notified me that the bags were there.

Pam, Boulder, USA

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