A quick trip to RDU otta fix things

We all have it! It comes in all colors, shapes and sizes. Is what we have right for this trip?

Checked luggage vs Carry on

Last week, Alan and I were trying to figure it out. What luggage we are going to bring with us on our move to Spain? There is a limit to what we are capable of carrying as well as what will fit in the rental car when we arrive. In addition, we want luggage that will be easy to store in Spain and not take up too much space in our likely small apartment.

Checked Luggage vs Carry On

The general plan is to bring clothes, a few books and some electronics. The airline also provides us with nice restrictions; 1 free checked bag (50 lbs or less), 1 carry on (size matters) and 1 personal item (purse, small backpack etc) per person. Each additional checked bag is $100 ! As you may have guessed, we are trying to stick to the restrictions and avoid the extra fees. So, in doing this we want to maximize what we carry on and what is checked.

Time for the reality check. We brought out all of our luggage into the living room, inclusive of suitcases, duffle bags, hiking back packs and day back packs. Yes, we do have just about all options, but are they the right options? We opted for the largest ones to be the checked luggage and were left with the hiking packs and the day packs. We were thinking the day packs may count as a “personal item”. We were hoping that the hiking packs would count as a “carry on”. They don’t carry as much as a suit case, but they may be the right size for carry on.  These will be of good use to us in Spain when we go on short trips, so we would prefer to use them but don’t want to check them.  Alan and I went back and forth wondering if they would fit for well over an hour.

It won’t fit in our checked luggage

Then the light bulb went off….we just live a couple of miles from the airport. Let’s bring all of the bags there and see if they fit into the “carry on”.  That way we won’t get the “you have to check that bag and pay $100” when we are at the airport.  BRILLIANT!  We load up the car and the kids at 7:30pm and head to RDU.  I drop Alan off at ticketing with all of the bags and in he goes.  The kids and I are “parked” out front and I have a close eye on the security guard in my rear view mirror.

About 10 min pass and here comes security. “Ma’am can you explain why you are waiting here? You are going to have to move your car.” I explained what we were doing and he laughed and said I could go ahead and wait a few min longer.   I guess this isn’t standard protocol for the average traveler. About 5 min later, Alan pops out and said that all of the hiking packs count as carry on!  Providing we don’t “stuff” them.  In addition, our day packs are fine for the “personal item”.  Yeah!   So we think we are set and will put the measurements to the test on the 25th. Fingers crossed!

Would you have done the same?

2 thoughts on “A quick trip to RDU otta fix things

  1. I have never gone to the airport to test carry-on. I have looked up the dimensions online, but testing seems better. Plus, I’ve learned carry on can be fudged. On several occasions Rick (husband) has negotiated (via email) the agreement that he can carry-on his banjo (bigger in one dimension that the official carry on size). We print the email and carry it with us.

    • That’s a great idea! We looked on line too, but we figured they would let it go as long as it fit. Some of the items were different sizes, so the guess work was driving us crazy.

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