Guerilla Edit: Just to be clear, I am not expecting to fill these to capacity, either by bulk or mass. I expect each of the check-ins to be half to three quarters full, which is fine. But his Noodley Appendage help us if we are actually bringing 84 kilos with us.
Every game has its rules, and here are ours (a combination of state and self imposed):
- Carry-on – 55 cm x 23 cm x 40 cm (9″ x 14″ x 22″), 8 kg
- Checked – dimensions add up to 152 (60 inches), 20 kg
Honestly, looking through all of the standards, I’m reminded of the Moxy Fruvous song, Highest Lowest Point. Cannot the airlines get together and agree on something? Apparently airlines are cracking down on this; it sure would be nice to have some consistency.
For all three of us, if I’m reading the regulations correctly, this amounts to 84 kg, not including Ellie’s booster seat and computer bags. This is the goal we shall work towards, and here are the tools we shall battle with:
The two identical Big Boyz are our new Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30s. Just got them today after a one week love affair and Internet search-a-thon. I could not find a single negative review. 102 litres of love, with some mighty fine technical features to boot. Locally, they were available for $375 Canuckian, and I was just going to call up Atmosphere sports (where we saw them first) and ask for a price match when I noticed their annual Scratch-and-Save even. Guaranteed to save at least $37.50. In fact we scratched a 10% and a 15%, so we did better than that, and with free immediate gratification.
The darker blue back up front is my old backpack from my 2004 trip through eastern Europe (Helsinki to Istanbul). 80 litres with a 12 litre removable day bag. It’s an original MEC purchase from ten years ago,and it’s been in constant use since then.
Together with the two ORVs, these will be our checked baggage.
The small green-khaki bag in Ellie’s hand was my very first travel purchase in 2001. I lived out of this one (and a leather satchel bag) for 24 days through northern Thailand and Laos. A great travelling bag, and one I’m nostalgic about.
The bright blue bag in Ellie’s left hand is also a new purchase, an Eagle Creek Load Warrior 25. It’s a wheeled duffel that should qualify for carry-on, even though it’s 2-3 cm longer thatn some airlines will permit. Its a gamble, but I’m confident that we’ll make it work.
We’re missing one bag, and it’s to be a future purchase. La Fille ™ covets a new backpack, one that can be squished small enough to bring on board, but while might suffice for our week long excursions from base camp. That’s still a work in progress.
As we get closer to the departure, we’ll see if our well laid plans will work out. Our ace in the hole is that we can (with our special Air Transat ticket) bring three additional checked luggage with us. So if E’s Load Warrior proves too large, fine. My hope is that we are able to keep it to six pieces in total so we don’t look like total nOObs as we walk the backstreets of Ko Lanta, in search of our beach hut.
Of course much of our luggage conversation loses context without knowing what exactly we’re in for, and otherwise planning. “Luggage first, planning later”, I always say! In short, we plan to try the “base camp” approach, where we sit tight for a few months at a time, and use that spot as a launching-off point to nearby destinations.
(Of which ore, later.)
The great thing about our new tools is the flexibility. With seat prices so high (they aren’t really – I’m still getting across to Europe for the same price I did ten years ago) we might have to economize; an extra checked piece costs less than a seat.
And she fits.