How much do you carry on journeys?

Everytime we make a journey, a lot of work has to be done. Evaluating and selecting clothing that we’d take with us. Thinking about the accessories and toiletries that should also be brought along…

We were inspired to write about this after reading ths post. Now you might have read of our tirade on the payment for checked luggage in the past especially on journeys across the US. And we have also shared how you can try to sneak up more as carry-on luggage here.

Perhaps we are biased, but our own observations were for a gradual decline in the amount of luggage “allowance” a passenger gets on flights over the past 20 years. Only in recent years have we witnessed a slight turnaround in our national carrier. Not that we are advertising for them, some of their peers are also doing the same. It might be that elsewhere in the world the trend remains in motion to have passengers granted less kilos…

But today we revert to the considerations in the first paragraph.

That is – to the question we posed in the title of this post. How much luggage does one carry when embarking on a journey. Sure, for shorter journeys we’d expect a lot less. But are there basic things that you will find ‘compulsory’ to bring along regardless of the length of the trip?

Cat in a bag

Wow. The things that they keep coming up with. You know animals have rights too (to some folks and not all). You cannot simply keep your pets in shabby conditions (absolutely agree). Afterall, it is part of your responsibility when you have a pet. But what about pampering your pet?

Now if you want to give your little kitty a view as you lug it around, perhaps buy one of these bags (here). Can you imagine buying this bag for your cat? It ain’t cheap btw and we spoke with one owner as we waited for the taxi one day.

But today we are not focused on getting the bag. Or the cat.

Well, ok sort of related. We are talking about folks bringing their pets with them on a journey. Did you know that as many as 56% of US pet owners have driven their dogs around at least once a month? Sure the regular visit to the vet is important, but quite some bring their pets with them on a road trip. Does the image of a dog sticking its head out of the window tongue drooling pop in your head?

How about air travel? Now that’s less frequent (phew) but still at 6% is quite high. Imagine this percentage of the 78+ million dogs in the US getting on a plane every year. Did the math in your head? Remember our piece on emotional support animals? Some of them actually have jobs too you will know. Which do you think is easier to bring along? The cat? Or the dog?

Do you have a pet? Have your brought it with you on a road trip or onto a plane?

It’s your case!

Something funny today finally. And it will be a short one.

You all know about luggage cases that all look the same. Some folks put on straps, others stick to using tags. Of course the more enterprising ones will use case covers. You know, the ones that strap over the luggage case. Originally intended to protect the case from scratches, one company has upped the game and determined to print case covers in your liking (read here)… heheh.

Funny case

Would you have your face printed and strapped on your luggage?

Making packing your luggage an art

Packing. This is one acitvity that we all must do when going on a journey. Even if it is an overnight trip for work, one needs to pack the necessities and niceties. Don’t want to forget the toothbrush, you might not find a convenience store to buy one!

If this article is true, then we all need a ‘training’ on packing. LOL.

We all might have been there before. Struggling with bags left and right, too heavy on one side that it tips over if you don’t hold onto it… Now we can spare you the reading of the above link. Essentially the gist of the story is that if one wants to harness the most space & weight out of your luggage, sign on with the men in fatigues for a workout! What workout we hear you ask?

To pack your bags!

It’s an art, and also a discipline. When soldiers head out for missions, they carry all they need. Imagine carrying too much. Or disorganized. Worse, unevenly packed that the weight is assymetric – ie unequally distributed. This leads to haste, waste and frustration. You don’t want to be opening up all of your packs searching for that one thing, out in the field. Especially not in the dark, wet and cold. Those who backpack should know!

In one word, compartmentizaion. This is a fantastic post evaluating an example of such a product that will help you make the most of the limited space you have in your suitcase or backpack. You might just want to consider it! Who knows? You might be able to squeeze a lot more than you imagined…

Will you sign up for boot camp to learn about packing?

Wearing your carry-on luggage?

Do you have a peeve about the limited amount of carry-on luggage you are allowed to bring onboard the aircraft? What if someone tell you that the jacket you wear can hold up to 15kg worth of stuff?

Getting to SFO airport
That was just her luggage.

And combined that with a reall carry-on bag, you could almost double the weight of things you can bring with you? Especially in the throes of winter when you already have lots to carry with you…

Look no further. Here’s the ‘airport jacket‘.

If you read the article in the link, you will know that this is yet another ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. With lots of carry-on stemming from traveling with a small child, the inventors tried stuffing all of their things in their pockets to avoid paying extra.

So with 14 deep pockets, this product is said to provide you with the option of stuffing enough things and avoid checking in luggage altogether. Though in our opinion there will be certain things you simply cannot bring with you…such as scissors or shampoo bottles  that exceeds the customary 100ml limit. And so we note that this is probably a product more adept for folks who are on short travel stints.

One practical thing though is that you do not sit with this on throughout the flight. Sure you can, but it will be very very uncomfortable we think. You will still fold it away like any clothing into a “bag” and tuck it beneath your seat in the overhead compartment. Unless you bought a ‘basic economy’ ticket (read here), which would bar you from the privilege of using the overhead storage…

This unfortunately is only at the conceptual phase of development, so cannot run out there and buy one. Venture capital support is required to get this off the ground. Do you think this is a commercial viable product? Would you buy one?

Sweep across Japan and don’t bring your suitcase on the Shinkansen

OMG! This must be one of the most hurried travel itineraries I had for a long time!

Arriving on Sunday evening, I had made the dash for central Tokyo to be able to have a dinner with a business partner. Then it had been a morning meeting the following day (Monday) before catching a Shinkansen to Kyoto, the ancient capital of the country.

Just realize that there is no large luggage compartment on the Shinkansen (not even the first class cabin). Thus I had my large suitcase stuck in front of my legs in the seat area for nearly 2.5 hours! Not a nice experience. What a yoga position! It would have been ok if there were unoccupied seats but sorry not today!

Then I reminded myself that we (Suan and myself that is) had planned to send our luggage via the Sankyu courier service should we do the same trip.

We had observed many locals do this when they arrive at the airport and also seen some do the same at the various hotels we stayed in. These services courier your large suitcases or items to your home (if you are living here) or to designated destination points that can receive them on your behalf. Sending the luggage to the next hotel is a good idea.

Mental note and recommendation to all : don’t bring your large suitcase on the Shinkansen!

Now in Kyoto, it has been yet another hectic day as we spent the morning in business meetings (followed by a very nice lunch, which normally never make it in the complain column). It was a mad rush to the train station with barely minutes to spare after buying tickets for the 1415hrs train at 1405hrs!

Two hours later was at Kansai airport and buying my last confectionery for office and home. Another two hours later I am now in Seoul, home for one night…

It is a miracle I finally found some time to do a blog post. Now I am taking some time to “cool” off and relax before getting to serious work. Tomorrow’s yet another long day of dashing from office to airport and hotel. Next stop – Shanghai.