Travel and Luggage
Travel Prudently. Luggage and Carry-On Worries.
The rules of travel have altered so much in the last few years, with strict regulation regarding air travel, questionable car searches that may vary in regulation from state to state, and the feeling of never really being ultimately sure what is appropriate or improper in the travel world any longer. In most cases, if you decide to fly the formerly affable skies, your airline or airport website will have an accurate and up to date list regarding what is okay and what is not okay regarding your luggage. As if packing for a trip wasnt difficult enough, now we all have to do it with cloudy and blurry regulations and a list we print out from the airlines. The first measure of travel complacency is simple; dont try to squeeze on a carry on that you know is not really a carry on. You will get yourself into the frustrating position of trying to argue your way onto the airplane with an large bag that just wont do. Youre not going to succeed.
Once upon a time you would, but not anymore. Now, you will simply be forced to check it and risk being charged an additional fee for having too many luggage items. Plus, youre going to end up travelling without your usual band of comfort items that you could have had if you just scaled down into standard sized carry on luggage. The simple fact is that there used to be wiggle room, and now, there is none. Most airlines limit luggage by the length of the flight.
A domestic flight may accept 2 pieces of luggage plus one carry one per person (sometimes including and sometimes excluding persons under 4 years of age) while others limit the baggage content to one piece of checked luggage and one carry on. Additional pieces of luggage run anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the airline and the size of the flight and while mess of miscellaneous stuff they dont release to the public. Airlines have been struggling since the disaster of 9-11. Some will make up the continued lost revenue anyway they can, including charging phenomenal fees for additional luggage. It is just cheaper to have your extra necessary luggage shipped, even overnighted, if you just cant do without it. World-wide flights often hold the same code, two pieces of checked in luggage and one or two carry on pieces per person. Again, the child may not be granted such grace if they are particularly little. If you havent purchased a seat for your small child (which is legal up until the age of three) then dont expect to have them counted in the luggage count. No ticket, no luggage. Most people who are taking a long term trip out of the country, or a permanent trip out of the country, find this limit a little exasperating.
However, from experience I can vouch for the frustration of arriving in a foreign country for the first time, negotiating language barriers and awkward gestures, while trying to lug around three hundred pounds of belongings packed carefully away in small and large luggage cases. Even with the help of carts on wheels (assuming the country you land in has them) eventually you have to talk over all of this material up a flight of steps or into a narrowed passageway. This can become a little more than merely discouraging. It can become downright risky. Again, the best thing to do if your luggage exceeds the international flight limit is ship everything that you can bear to part with in advance. Some nations take as long as 6 weeks to deliver your goods. If your trip is short, try merging. If you have to, purchase what you need to while youre there and then ship it back to your house. Youre not likely to end up waiting helplessly for your underwear from Australia or your pajama bottoms from Costa Rica. No matter how up to date or up-to-the-minute you are regarding flight contracts, always check in with the airline business the day before you go.
Policy changes dont always make it to the cyberspace in a reasonable length of time, and policy alterations regarding luggage and especially carry on material can change in a heart beat. Its always better to show up with the latest information than to believe your experience from even just a few months earlier will still ring true. Hindrance at the airport is simply twice as frustrating as the same feeling somewhere else. Its written into the literature that way.
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