Prior to our Europe Honeymoon, we had not taken trips together that lasted beyond a week. In more ways than one, the Europe Honeymoon was special. Logistically, especially. We thought hard about how we should pack so that moving around would be easiest. The mister, being the doting husband that he is, didn’t want to tax me over luggage. Eventually, we bought a large hard shell Samsonite luggage (could had been the largest available in the retail shop) and packed our clothes and stuff together. We also each carried a duffle bag to serve as our carry-on.
While our other group mates were struggling with their two to-be checked-in luggage (the husbands had to help their wives) at the airport we were flying out of, I watched on and marvelled at the pure genius of the mister. I will go as far to admit that I even sniggered a little.
It was their turn to snigger when it was time for us to return from London Heathrow, after a long 16-day of holidaying, amassing many souvenirs on the go. Our luggage was about 1-2 kg over 32 kg, which is the legal limit for luggage weight. Be careful not to mix this up with the baggage allowance (which differs from airline to airline). If one’s luggage exceeds the baggage allowance, one might be requested to repack and transfer some of the items into another bag, or to pay for extra baggage allowance. 32 kg (or 70 lbs) is the limit. The airline counter staff will not allow it even if one is willing to pay through the nose for extra baggage allowance. And there is a very good reason for this – luggage weighing beyond 32 kg is deemed too heavy for the baggage handlers to lift.
We had to, on the spot at the counter, open up our luggage, and transfer some items into our carry-on (which were already bursting at the seams). It was very, and needlessly, embarrassing for us because it being London Heathrow, the queue was long behind us. With nothing else to do while queueing, most people just looked at what we were doing while scrutinising our luggage contents. I’ve had many embarrassing moments my entire life (including walking up a bus with my pants’ zip undone as a teenager) but this experience topped it all. Nobody should be made to go through this harrowing experience, and we needn’t have, if we had read up (or had someone advise us accordingly).
After we emptied the contents in the luggage when we got home, we weighed the luggage empty. It weighed a freaking 13 kg on empty! Naturally it was banished to a dark corner in our storage room. All these years, the luggage has been left there and never used again. We know it is a white elephant but we just can’t bear to throw it out.
I daren’t say we are very seasoned travellers, but we have left home often enough to know what works for us. In essence, I have summarised some useful tips: