The One About Turning Packing Into a Game
You know that moment when you are at the check in desk, when you place your bag on the scales & hold your breath. You see the numbers rolling over rapidly, the staff serving you watch the sweat starting to appear on your forehead & decide now is the time to give you an evil smile, then that moment arrives.
What was your baggage allowance again? 20kg, 25kg, 30kg? Every airline is different & even change frequently. I was hopelessly prepared to move my life to the other side of world. I had packed everything, except furniture, & had to carry it all with me.
I was flying Emirates from Brisbane to London & my baggage allowance was 25kg. So I packed 25kg. That was my first rookie mistake. It turned out that my allowance was 20kg with an additional 5kg for carry on. Then came the confusion. My backpack, according to the airport scales, weighed 28kg. The cost the staff member told me that I would need to pay… AU$750! That is another seat on the plane.
The fifteen minutes that followed contained many expletives & a mini tornado of clothes, toiletries & shoes been thrown violently across the Brisbane Airport International terminal.
I had my weight down to 20kg and avoided my prison shower soap experience. Once I made it to London, I got lost after getting the tube to Hammersmith, all the while carrying around a fat child on my back. From that moment on, I would be the best packer I can be.
Flash forward two years…
It’s the morning of our flight to Sevilla. I haven’t packed & need to be out the door in one hour.
After spending a good twenty minutes rearranging everything under the stairs to get to the old trusty backpack, Katie & myself rush around the room, with every drawer and cupboard open, throw what we need for our week in Spain.
A quick pat of the pockets for keys, wallet, phone & passport, I give myself the all clear to depart. But with the door in sight, my imaginary pal Tim Ferguson reminds me to quickly go back to the bathroom and grab my toothbrush*.
We get to Gatwick Airport, I throw the backpack onto the scales & the staff member asks, “Is that luggage for both of you?”. “It sure is”. Cue the high fives!
10.5kg for TWO people, spending a week in Spain. And do you know what? I know we can do better!
Flash forward six months…
We have gamified packing for holidays. So much so that we are averaging 10kg for the both of us on every holiday regardless of the destination & weather. Then the challenge took a turn for the weird.
While on the “express” train to Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, I strip down to my underwear & proceed to dress in my exposed seat with my heaviest & warmest clothes, solely to bring the scales down below the magical 10kg on the ever-accurate airport scales.
That is the random stuff I love to do while travelling to soften the monotonous task of having to pack each time you are about to set off on holiday. But sometimes, the packing game has to take a back seat for two words that when said together make many a would-be packer shudder. Festival Camping.
Having to carry everything you need to survive three days of an amazing festival is back-breaking. The entrance is miles from where your campsite is & if you are attending a festival in the United Kingdom, you have to contend with the legendary mud.
I love throwing my backpack on, heading out on my next adventure. The only thing that has changed since the beginning is that the good old backpack is a hell of a lot lighter!
Stay tuned to the blog this week, as I will have another post with my tips on keeping that luggage weight low enough so you can still walk when you turn 40.
*For anyone who watched television in Australia on a Saturday night in 1995, then they will remember the awesome travel prize game show titled, “Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush”.