For a Florida trip, I made my first mistake by not taking my own travel tricks and tips advice. I had packed a large suitcase instead of the size accepted onboard airlines. I was flying alone on Southwest, and I wanted to avoid asking for help lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin. Instead, I checked my medium bag that was loaded with books, shoes, and clothes.
When I tried to check my luggage curbside, the baggage handler weighed it and said that it was two pounds over the 50-pound limit, and I had two options: I could open my suitcase on the sidewalk and let the travelers waiting in line view my underwear collection or pay $75.
“What are two pounds?”
“A pair of jeans.”
I had set my bag near the curb and unzipped it while everyone watched the “Dorothyadele Victoria’s Secret Show.” I was happy that my husband wasn’t there to glare, then roll his eyes and ask if I had ever traveled or packed a bag before.
Luckily, my suitcase was not a merged mess when I had unzipped the left compartment and pulled out my camera, makeup bag, and books.
I unzipped the other side where I had my Nike running shoes wedged. In front of my audience, I pulled out a shoe and twirled it in my fingers testing its weight. I decided that it was too light and shoved it back in and zipped my case.
When I returned to the attendant, he asked if I had removed some items. I lifted my bulging beach bag as proof. Without weighing it, he accepted my suitcase, and I wondered if removing the books would have been enough.
I headed inside the terminal lugging my tote that contained an iPad, an iPhone, a writing journal, socks, a purse, sunglasses, a book, and the articles that I had pulled out of my suitcase. I was happy that I didn’t have that black and white Nike waving out the top.
When I approached the unsmiling TSA PreCheck agent and presented my boarding pass, she smirked, grabbed it, and said, “This is a mobile boarding pass, get back in line over there and get the correct one. You have time.” I felt like she resented that I had skipped the long line as a TSA PreCheck traveler.
“What about the boarding pass on my phone?”
“You can use that, but step out of line… honey.”
I scanned through my emails looking for the Southwest boarding pass confirmation. I found it, and I sweated and wondered if she would reject it. I stepped up and presented it to her. She scanned it, and to me, it looked exactly like the one that she had confiscated two minutes before. I proceeded through security and made another mistake.
At Subway, I ordered a breakfast sandwich. When I had set my bag on the counter to pay, I knocked the metal coffee-creamer receptacle off. It bounced and clanged on the tile floor. The other customers and I watched the empty creamers roll around. The clerk didn’t seem to trust me to pick them up; he quickly gathered them and placed the creamers back in the container out of my reach. Since I delayed everyone, I apologized and paid my bill.
I boarded my flight and sat in front of a screaming baby for 2 1/2 hours whom I heard regurgitate. Though I felt sorry for the child, I smiled when I thought about my morning mishaps.
My husband had joined me on vacation and we flew together on the return flight. When we had packed, I had placed several of my items in his small suitcase to avoid an overweight bag, hoping to dodge another Dorothyadele Airport Trunk Show.
As we waited in the airport baggage line, I watched the lady in front of me hoist her bag on the scale and tip it at 65 pounds. She left the line and rearranged her contents between two suitcases. We approached the handler and my husband, the gentlemen, pulled my bag, though he told the agent that he had my luggage, not his. I held my breath when the clerk heaved my bag on the scale and I watched it hit 50.5 pounds. He waved us through.
In addition to our standard tips, we paid an extra $15 to the Hertz bus driver and the hotel valet just to lift my bag. Consequently one of the best money-saving-travel tips is to pack light.