I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Sunday, November 30, 2014


It's videos like that which make me want to travel with carry-on only. I have done so in the past... once for a 5 week trip. I managed quite well with what I took, actually. But this time I want to check a bag with my snorkeling gear (doesn't all fit in carry on), my liquids (sun lotions, hair products, bug repellents, perfume etc), and the 8 rolls of McVites digestive cookies I am taking (don't ask). As well as some clothing... whatever won't fit in my carry-on.

Also, I recently purchased the most beautiful set of luggage I've ever laid my eyes on.

I mean, can you stand it?  I saw it from across the store at WINNERS when I was in Kelowna this summer helping my daughter paint her new condo.  I HAD to have them.  I didn't buy the big one because I tend to go overweight if packing a big bag and I am done...DONE... spending hundreds of dollars on an extra 10lbs of stuff, but I walked out of there with the other two and a huge...HUGE...smile on my face.

I didn't just buy new luggage because I couldn't resist the colour (although who could blame me if that was the reason?!)  in fact, the last time I dragged a heavy bag on two wheels through miles of airport, the stupid thing sometimes twisting off the wheels and wrenching my arm, I watched others blithely stroll by with their 'spinner' bags, upright, just gliding along beside them.  I determined then and there that I would have bags with FOUR wheels on my next trip. 

And now I will.

But I don't want that gorgeous finish to get scratched, dented or *gasp* cracked.  And if the baggage handlers treat it like the bags in above video, or pitch it down 20 feet or so to the tarmac below like in another video I saw, then my gorgeous bags might not survive (not to mention what would happen to the aforementioned biscuits packed inside!!).

So what to do?  

How about a little 'sucking up' to the baggage handlers?  Let them know that they are appreciated.  It couldn't hurt, right? 

This is what I came up with:

On both sides of the bag.

Let's hope it works and that I don't end up with something like this:

But get something more like this instead:

Well...without the 'HEAVY BAG' tag, and the poor spelling.

Here are some tips on how to get your bag safely to your destination:

Buy a four-wheeled bag.
With a four-wheeled bag, the only time your luggage will be airborne is after takeoff.
"When we load a plane, we have to slide that bag along ... the cargo floor," Henry said.
"With four wheels, they can just roll that bag," he continued. "Now if it doesn't have the wheels, they'll throw it, kick it, toss it."
Pack your items in a sturdy bag.
(Let's hope this gorgeous new bag is sturdy)
Make sure your bag won't crumble under pressure.
When shopping for luggage, look for bags made out of strong material. There are even bags available for purchase made out of the same material that the NFL uses for its shoulder pads.
"You should assume that this bag is going to be handled in the worst way," Henry said.
Don't check in for your flight too early.
(I am bad for this... part of my nervous traveler thing.)
Ironically, to ensure your bag's on-time arrival, don't check in too early.
"If you do it more than two hours early, they don't even have things set up for your flight yet," Cigelske said.
Your bag could get lost in the shuffle if it's set aside.
Skip the curbside check-in.
(Never done this)
Even if you're rushing to catch your flight, avoid checking in at the curb.
"It does add one more layer to the process, more people to the equation," Cigelske said. "More hands, more things, means more things could go wrong."
Instead, head to the ticket counter, especially if you're past the cutoff time to check your bag in.
"You can ask the ticket-taker to have the baggage handlers come and make one more run," Cigelske said.
Buy traveler's insurance.
(I have it through my Credit Card. I DID have it with the first insurance I bought for this trip but don't have that anymore!!!)
Airlines are only liable for $3,400 for loss, delay or damage to luggage. Some airlines don't even cover certain items, such as electronics or jewelry.
Travelers agree to this contract automatically when they purchase their flight ticket. Purchasing traveler's insurance can protect the contents of your bag in the event it is lost, stolen or damaged.
Buy a bag with anti-theft technology.
(Ooops.  Gorgeous luggage has zippers)
Even if your bag is locked, a person can still get into your luggage by cutting the zipper open.
Luggage without zippers can help deter would-be thieves immediately, as people will be unable to easily use scissors or knives to cut it open.
Invest in a tracking device.
(Hmmmm...tracking device huh?  I do always pack my info and itinerary inside, along with a list of everything the bag contains and a note saying I have a copy of the list with me)
Be sure to remove old routing stickers from your luggage. In case your bag goes astray, add a tag to the outside with your information, and pack an itinerary inside.
If your bag does indeed get lost, it might help if you have a tracking device. Certain devices can message you the location of your bag once it's landed.
Use a carry-on bag.
(Right.  See above.)
It's recommended not checking any bags.
And if you are forced to check your carry-on at the boarding gate, remember to remove your valuables before handing it over.

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