Let’s take a moment and write a little post for those who will go after me. (Like on their #fulbrightteach in January!) Currently for international flights each passenger gets one 62″ suitcase. Which means you add length+width+height and the result is 62″ or less. Suitcases can be 50 lbs. You may have additional weight for extra fees or a second bag for about $100. That means that space is at a premium. In our family, our plan was to bring 3 checked bags: 1 hardside for the gifts we brought and 2 traditional suitcases-the kids share and Dan and I share. Then we packed a softside “Tote-a-ton” for the way home. When we left Maggie had her arm in a sling so we didn’t want to depend on her to carry anything. We also brought 3 backpacks and I brought a carry-on with our overnight things.
Well, that was the plan.
When we started packing, we were overweight. 🙁 So we broke out the tote-a-ton and tossed in a few plastic things, clothes and winter coats. Final weight count: 50 lbs, 49 lbs, 32 lbs (tote a ton) and 52 lbs (Oops! They let us through though). When we got here, we then evaluated things that we were glad we got and things that we wish we had. Here is a little list in the tradition of packing lists:
Things I’m glad I brought:
- The tote a ton. Wow. This was meant to give us a little buffer on the way back (because I fully intend on bringing back more than I took!) but it was very handy for that last minute oops!
- Batteries – we brought not 1 thing that requires batteries, but have 3 things in the apartment that do!
- Handheld Luggage scale – which is how we knew we were overweight!
- Kindle readers (the old kind, not the tablet) – we have an unlimited supply of books on a light easy to carry device (one each for us!) Will can even take it to school because it doesn’t have games.
Things I wish I had brought:
- More ziplock bags – They are a little pricy here. I brought what I had left over in the box at home, but I could use tons if I had them. We use ziplock bags for EVERYTHING! Conserving is irritating.
- Plastic cups – everything here is glass or ceramic. And they are all so little! I would kill for 4 of the THOUSANDS of Newk’s and Ichiban cups we have at home!
- Swimsuit – Yeah. I packed swimsuits for every member of my family but not me. 🙁
- Swim towels – because I send the kids to swimming class with bathroom towels every week.
- School supplies – This one I should have thought about. It would have been so easy to pack a set of markers, pencils, erasers, notebook paper, highlighters, post-it notes, etc. If we made 1 trip, we made 10 trips to the school supply store. Which, I might add, is a taxi ride away and we have to carry everything home. None of these things are heavy and I could have easily fit them in.
- Crock-pot – Ok, I would have never packed this. But it would be handy to have!
- Sharpie – File this under school supplies. I have 2 boxes of these in my desk at school. I come from a family of labelers. My grandmother labeled her scissors, along with everything else. On my 8th trip to the school supply store I got a permanent marker, but it isn’t a Sharpie. 🙁
- Corn holders – My kids refuse to eat corn without these.
- Board games – This we meant to bring. We even laid one out. They just got left. Board games are super expensive here. Like $65 for Monopoly. Dan and the kids play weekly and they would have been fun to have.