1. #1
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    Luggage Tip for International Flights?

    I like fast trains. They feel roomier to me and there isn't a lot of drama when I take one. Unfortunately, that means I haven't taken a flight in something like 18 years and I'm kinda rusty on the quirks.

    Right now, many people are on some form of lockdown, but when that lets up there may be other folks that have an urge to travel. So, for those of you who are up on things, what are your tips?

    In my case, I expect to be moving to another country and what I can haul along may end up being all that makes the move. That means I'm particularly interested in advice on how to pack more. I get the impression that I can probably travel with 1 carry-on, an unclear limit of "personal items", one checked bag, and hopefully the chance to pay an additional fee for another checked bag. Is this about right? I just purchased two large, hard-sided bags and a hard-sided carry-on, all with wheels and TSA compliant locks. The sizes should be "standard" but I know there are some differences between airlines.

    That should cover the basics, but what are the finer points? For example, what counts (and what doesn't) as personal? Should I get luggage straps, or will that just be a useless hassle for luggage inspections? Stuff like that.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  2. #2
    It varies between airlines... check the guidelines of your airline.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    I like fast trains. They feel roomier to me and there isn't a lot of drama when I take one. Unfortunately, that means I haven't taken a flight in something like 18 years and I'm kinda rusty on the quirks.

    Right now, many people are on some form of lockdown, but when that lets up there may be other folks that have an urge to travel. So, for those of you who are up on things, what are your tips?

    In my case, I expect to be moving to another country and what I can haul along may end up being all that makes the move. That means I'm particularly interested in advice on how to pack more. I get the impression that I can probably travel with 1 carry-on, an unclear limit of "personal items", one checked bag, and hopefully the chance to pay an additional fee for another checked bag. Is this about right? I just purchased two large, hard-sided bags and a hard-sided carry-on, all with wheels and TSA compliant locks. The sizes should be "standard" but I know there are some differences between airlines.

    That should cover the basics, but what are the finer points? For example, what counts (and what doesn't) as personal? Should I get luggage straps, or will that just be a useless hassle for luggage inspections? Stuff like that.
    Remember to check weight limits and know that TSA locks don’t actually protect shit, they just help keep your bag closed. Everything else comes down to airline policies.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Everything else comes down to airline policies.
    I work at the Airport, and the worst Airline to deal with unanimously... is Moldova airlines. They're VERY lax on the weight restrictions, you can have a small hand bag weighing 40kg, for example. A lot of passengers carry [wet] foods, had a bag burst open with fucking potatoes and fish fingers in it... and another with car parts in it... -.-;

  5. #5
    Please wait Temp name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Remember to check weight limits and know that TSA locks don’t actually protect shit, they just help keep your bag closed. Everything else comes down to airline policies.
    And also worth noting that TSA locks are only required if you fly to, or from, the US. If you go to any other country you don't need to buy overpriced shitty locks.
    Probably. I don't know every other country's rules. But at least in the EU you can use whatever lock you want on your luggage, and if they need in they just call you over the PA

  6. #6
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    @Vegas82 That's why I asked about luggage straps actually. I have my doubts about whether they serve much purpose other than helping me find my bag on the conveyor belt, but it is potentially a second layer of security that discourages casual rummaging through my luggage.
    @Daedius Thanks! So, if I figure I can deal with the guy next to me munching fish fingers and potatoes, I might not have to worry as much about bag weights.

    Any flight would probably be 6-8 weeks off, that's why I'm looking for "rule of thumb" guidance. I'm trying to get stuff in order now because when I do make the leap it is apt to be on short notice. Visa's are a mess right now.

    Edit:
    @Temp name Thanks! Good advice, but unfortunately if I don't have TSA locks I'm going to need a second set of bags if I have to go back to the US for a family emergency. My parents are, all things considered, in good health ... but in their 80s.
    Last edited by shadowmouse; 2020-07-06 at 10:53 AM.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  7. #7
    Don't overpack.

    Retrieving your luggage and hauling it around will be much less of a burden if you pack one medium size piece of luggage or just a carry-on. The amount of time, money, and headache you will save yourself in the long run by just having a carry-on will go a very long way toward actually enjoying your trip.

    When I was young, I packed a bunch of luggage for my first trip abroad alone. My family traveled aboard a few times when I was a child and I had seen my mother and aunts pack everything and the kitchen sink. So I thought this was necessary. But as a kid, I was not carrying or dealing with the luggage.

    It took one trip through the Heathrow airport to realize my mistake. Ever since then I have taken less and less on trips. I am sure that at this point I could travel with just a large enough purse.

    You don't need a whole new outfit per day. A vanity's worth of make-up or every cream and moisturizer for your daily routine. Stores exist in other countries if your really need something too. That doesn't mean you have to pay $30 for toothpaste at the airport ripoff prices either; or do you think people in Barcelona are only buying toothpaste & such at the airport? Come on now.

    Take clothes that you can mix/match and layer. Light, simple clothing is best in most cases.


    This is how I pack for a week:

    A pair of comfortable walking shoes
    A pair of flip-flops/sandals
    A pair of leggings (maybe female-specific IDK)
    A couple of pairs of jeans or 1:1 jeans/shorts if it's a warm-weather location. I always take one pair of jeans though.
    Three or so blouses
    A sweater/cardigan
    Foldable toothbrush, travel toothpaste if I have it laying around
    A Hairbrush
    Small toiletries bag with a little deodorant, tiny lip gloss, a little makeup and SUNSCREEN

    That's basically it these days.

    I went to Peru with just a Walmart backpack worth of stuff for like a month. Traveled through Jordan and Isreal with a canvas shopping bag as my "luggage". Don't sweat it. I have been to every continent except Antarctica and Australia and pack lightly always. It's a huge difference-maker.

    I have also traveled with my children, as babies and toddlers. Still didn't need to pack a huge suitcase or haul tons of bags.

    You. Can. Do. This.

  8. #8
    Fly with a company which can get you extra weight for an extra fee if possible, and get informed well in advance with both the airline and the country of destination if you're transporting restricted goods (prescription meds, guns and the like) and get your papers in order. It's difficult to land in the wrong place with a gun because there's paperwork to be filled, and if your papers aren't compatible with what you need at the destination you won't get on the flight to begin with, but it's very easy to find yourself where a med which is perfectly legal on departure and highly illegal on arrival, and a prescription won't save you. If in doubt, double-check local laws regarding restricted stuff with the local embassy or consulate.

    Store all valuables in the carry-on along with PPE and as much disinfectant you're allowed to carry along with the meds. If carrying fragile stuff, assume that the luggage in the storage hold is going to get treated in the worst way imaginable, thrown around and all. Bring enough cash/credit cards to replace the stuff that might get stolen or delayed (i.e. anything you don't bring on your person or on the carry-on). Keep documents handy at all times, and place photocopies of all of them in both your carry-on and regular luggage.

    If going to the US, leave your phone and laptop at home and get "burner ones" to be stored in the cargo hold if you can afford that. Detach the batteries and don't bring them along in the carry-on.

    And considering investing in a 1st or business class ticket even if it's a tad hard on your pocket, it puts more distance between you and others, also weight allowances are better on top of the other perks. Whatever the case may be, ask to be put near an aisle and an emergency exit. You'll be thankful you did so should you have to use the toilet often or in the case of an emergency landing.

    Liberally apply a DEET-based (at least 30%, preferably higher) repellent before departing and carry ear plugs or noise-cancelling ear buds. Ear plugs are for toddlers. A toddlers who cries 8 hours straight is probably worse than getting bitten by a mosquito and getting dengue or some other mosquito-borne disease.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adolecent View Post
    I'm getting infracted by an American moderator on an American topic promoting/advocating weapons on a childrens forum, what else to expect on an American forum. I'm done here and i'm going to leave you one thing to remember:
    [extremely graphic picture of dead children]
    Hope you sleep well. With the lack of empathy the majority of you show i guess that won't be a problem. BB

  9. #9
    Pandaren Monk Ayirasi's Avatar
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    Stuff already mentioned, and make sure your suitcase is easily identifiable with an ID tag or colors and whatever hidden shit you have to bust out as proof in case security gets involved, because some dumbasses tried to claim it's theirs and almost left the airport with it. I'm still bitter, nameless Korean family from almost 10 years ago! /shakesfist
    Need Roll - 1 for [Bright Pink Imbued Mageweave Banana-Hammock] by Ayirasi

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    @Vegas82 That's why I asked about luggage straps actually. I have my doubts about whether they serve much purpose other than helping me find my bag on the conveyor belt, but it is potentially a second layer of security that discourages casual rummaging through my luggage.
    I've heard about people shrink-wrapping their luggage before traveling. If you want another layer.

  11. #11
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    @Coolthulhu Well, at least I don't have to worry about transporting firearms.

    Some good miscellaneous tips there, much the same as when I used to fly (the caution about meds for example). You're right, I'll need to pay attention to the battery problem. I know my laptop was made to comply, the phone battery is internal though, and I do use a backup external battery. As for data, I won't even bring my phone to the US embassy these days because of data searches.

    Since I hope this may help other folks as well, I'd add to the advice on cash. Don't keep it all in one place, I also suggest investing in a money belt or equivalent for part of it (but do carry cash somewhere ordinary too, it can help if you encounter a shake down), and if traveler's checks still exist -- get 'em for the majority of your cash on hand.

    For long flights, I would also recommend Dramamine or an equivalent just in case. [Usual disclaimers apply, check with you doctor to make sure what is suitable for you.] I remember a flight where we hit bad weather that had even the flight attendants ill. I took some when we got the initial turbulence warning and got to skip the joys of air sickness.
    @Fencers I agree, but this is going to be a permanent move and I may not be able to recover anything that doesn't go with me.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    @Fencers I agree, but this is going to be a permanent move and I may not be able to recover anything that doesn't go with me.
    I know. I read your OP but there isn't much of a tip I have on that end. A move is a move, frankly. So I addressed general travel tips that might benefit someone outside of your specific situation too.

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers
    So I addressed general travel tips that might benefit someone outside of your specific situation too.
    Last line threw me off, with the "You. Can. Do. This." Yeah, for general travel, and I recall you as having done quite a bit, that's great advice and I hope people will continue to throw stuff in to help others. Thanks!
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmouse View Post
    Last line threw me off, with the "You. Can. Do. This." Yeah, for general travel, and I recall you as having done quite a bit, that's great advice and I hope people will continue to throw stuff in to help others. Thanks!
    I lived abroad in London for a short time. But it was set up through my employer and there wasn't much of "mine" in the rental. I barely got to make use of the space because I was traveling a lot for work at that time too.

    But I did want to make the move permanent at one time. On that end, my advice is basically the same, move with as little stuff as possible. I feel people carry way too much stuff with them in general. Only move the stuff that you can not easily replace down the road or that is of particular unique value. It's expensive.

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