Please sign in to post.

5 pounds too heavy

This is more a comment than a question. 11 sleeps to go, just finished the first trial pack. 20" suitcase, 20.7 pounds.

ALL of the extra weight, nearly 5 pounds, is due to the branded clothing I have to wear on the group choir tour part of my trip (2 weeks out of 4.) 4 ill-fitting baggy T-shirts, 2 heavy bottoms (thick leggings and golf skort), 2 big shirts promoting Canada as a land of lumberjacks (checked flannel) and cowboys (plaid Western). Not to mention the two big boxes of 40 white Smithbilt cowboy hats I'm assigned to wrangle (yes, we are from Calgary, whatcha gonna do.)

Well, it's different from my independent travel, but it will be fun. I've been anticipating this for a year. I just wish I could magically get the extra clothing to and fro without carrying it around the extra two weeks I'm traveling before and after the tour. I may break down and get out a bigger suitcase and just check it, rather than fighting to get the zippers closed on my favourite little bag with every move for a month. Which undoubtedly means another pound or two will sneak in...after all my efforts to find 4 ounce shoes, solid shampoo, mesh panties...

The one thing I refuse to do is wear that plaid shirt outside of choir tour days. Can't hardly masquerade as a local, temporary or otherwise, with a giant Canada maple leaf logo on the back of your plaid shirt 😜 . But if you happen to be in North Wales on July 6, come see us proudly strut our plaid and cowboy hats in the Llangollen Eisteddfod Parade of Nations.

Posted by
3109 posts

Hi Nelly. Have a fabulous trip! Are there people from the group going home after the performances who could give you some help and take the extra wardrobe and prop items home? Otherwise, what about using some tour funds to mail the 40(!) Stetsons home?

Posted by
293 posts

Well, I think I would just bite the bullet (cowboys, Calgary, Stetsons, wanted to continue the mood here) and just take a little bit bigger suitcase. Tell us more about "how" you are going to wrangle two big boxes of hats, though?

Nelly, about the Canadian Maple Leaf.....back in the 70's, Canadians were happy to wear that dang Maple Leaf on their backs whilst backpacking through EU, so people didn't mistake them for, you know, people from the south 48.

My BROTHER IN LAW won the Tenor Competition at the Llangollen Eistedfod in the early 70's!! Have fun!

Posted by
923 posts

Wow, Shelley, that's awesome about your brother-in-law. Rumour has it (per the Eisteddfod website) that Luciano Pavarotti sang there as a young pup. So your BIL probably had stiff competition! We're hoping our girls do well in their competition categories.

The boxes of hats...well, that's a story. The person who obtained the donation for us got them packed into two large cardboard boxes with a few lumpy bits on the tops. Sadly, the extra clothes did not fit in the boxes with the hats, I tried. My husband wrapped rope around them for handles, then covered them in miles of plastic and duct tape. They should make it there in fine shape. Getting into the boxes will be an adventure. Resealing them for the trip home will be another adventure. But anything is possible with some determination and a credit card.

I'm flying to Frankfurt first for 5 days on my own. Due to too much flying for work last year, I have a baggage allowance on Star Alliance flights of 3 free large bags. I plan to leave the boxes at the left luggage place at the airport (not free, but worth every penny) and pick them up on my way to England 5 days later. Yes, someone else will have charge of them on the way home, while I skip off to Ireland. They're not heavy, just bulky.

Mona, I'm definitely going to try to convince someone else to take the choir clothes home, but I assume they will have full bags too with all the same gear. I'm currently staring down a 24" bag which looks like the Empire State Building to me after my usual carryon. I apparently don't even own a 22" bag. I'm just too cheap to pay for shipping when Air Canada will take it home for free. After I lug it around the extra weeks, of course.

The moral of the story, I'm trying to convince myself, is that it's not a crime to check a bag. Especially when I've earned it by flying to Georgia, North Carolina, and Saskatoon for a year! Luckily this is a trip without many train segments. It just feels slightly embarrassing after all my proselytizing about and practicing packing light.

Posted by
5697 posts

Nelly, checking a bag is not a sign of eternal damnation -- it's just a bag! We routinely check one bag each, both going and returning; except for the latest trip, they have all been carry-on size and weight.

Posted by
923 posts

Laura, I agree. I have to go to the baggage carousel anyway for the hats. It's more the land part of carrying along a bigger bag that I'm worried about. But we'll have a coach bus for the group in Wales, and a rental car most of the Ireland segment, so I'll manage. I think I'll love being without it in the airplane (with a change of clothing in the daypack for insurance.)

Posted by
4688 posts

Nelly,
Just wondering... have you considered giving each performer their hat to pack in their own luggage?
This would help get rid of the large 2 boxes, at least.

Have a fun trip!

Posted by
13063 posts

Nelly, I cannot help with the weight problem but I really like your attitude!

Posted by
923 posts

Priscilla, yes we did consider hat distribution but they’re very crushable. Flat straw boaters is not the look we’re going for! Might fit in better in England though. ;) We decided the hats have a better chance of survival stacked together in boxes than in teenage girls' crammed suitcases. We'll see.

Thanks, Lola. I just have to look at it differently than usual. And at least it’s not a band trip! Choirs have far more portable instruments. How many more sleeps till your trip?

Posted by
9692 posts

Nelly, no advice except check it and move on BUT hope the choir has a fabulous time at the Eisteddfod! What a fabulous opportunity! Please let us know how the trip goes!

Posted by
7596 posts

Nelly, checking a bag is not a sign of eternal damnation -- it's just a bag!

Indeed!!! Check it, this sounds like too much to handle for carry-on!!!! It doesn't have to be an enormous bag - just enough so that you can handle what you need to handle.

Anyway, what a cool opportunity. Have a great trip!

Posted by
8889 posts

Flat straw boaters is not the look we’re going for! Might fit in better in England though.

I wouldn't make a statement like that when you get there, Llangollen is in Wales, definitely not England.

Posted by
923 posts

Well, we're staying in Chester, but point taken. I’ll wstch my “phraseology”!

Posted by
3491 posts

Go ahead and check things. It's OK in this situation.

I'm one of those "if it don't fit in my small carry on, I'm not taking it" type of people. But when traveling for business I go ahead and check what I have to. It's just easier.

Posted by
523 posts

Nelly, we just returned from Llangollen, along with other towns in Wales, it is a very neat town. Hopefully you will have time to see the waterfalls and take a canal ride.

Posted by
2463 posts

What about a luggage forwarding company. There are a few different websites. You could have them forward from Llangollen to the hotel at your last stop.

Posted by
923 posts

Barbara, great idea. I’ll look into it, thanks

Posted by
1817 posts

Can each choir member not wear their own hat enroute? . Maybe the hats would end up too crushed, though.