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Lessons in Packing for 10 days

It was bound to happen. 🤣

I just returned from a 9 night quick trip to Austria with a friend and my daughter. I had a cheapo United-purchased ticket with all flights operated by Lufthansa. No checked luggage allowance, so I packed carryon (no problem with weight and size limits). However my friend had trouble, so when we got the offer from Lufthansa to check for free, we did (because she was 4k over the weight limit and we had a 1 hr change in Frankfurt).

We arrived in Salzburg after that 1 hr transfer in Frankfurt, which we made easily with 20 minutes to spare. Luggage did not.

After 48 hrs, my friend’s suitcase arrived. We had 3 nights in Salzburg and picked up a rental car on Day 4 - I still had no luggage.

With me I had a total of: 1 pr pants, 1 shirt, 1 lightweight dress, 2 pr underwear, 1 light jacket, 1 pr shoes (and of course all my meds, make up, toiletries). And although it would have been a hassle, I found that I could have gone the whole trip with that amount of clothes and managed with a beach-bag style over-the-shoulder bag to carry them all in. I was reminded of a recent thread where people talked about the amount of underwear needed (yes, you can be clean and survive with 2 pr) and another talking about light dresses that wash and dry overnight (yes, the ones I have do). What I had worked, although it would not be my first choice to travel with so little. 🤣

However after 3 days of the same dress, before leaving Salzburg just to make life simpler (and my pictures different) I went shopping and bought a few extra things that either Lufthansa or my insurance will pay for. This was a great experience with packing even less than I already do.

It was also very interesting in dealing with Lufthansa’s online process. They do not seem to have a good method of tracking things. Day 2 they showed my suitcase was in Salzburg (I called and they told me it was in Salzburg and I assured them I was looking at all the luggage and it was not). Day 3 it showed it went to Turkey (I have the sticker to prove it). Day 5 it again said it was in Salzburg. Day 6 it said it was probably lost and I should make a list of contents…..

I had asked the Salzburg airport office to hold it and email me if it arrived. They did not, so Day 6 instead of listing contents I emailed the airport office and they replied they had it. Eureka! A suitcase full of clean clothes on the afternoon of Day 9 after arriving back in Salzburg before early morning departure on Day 10!

However Lufthansa’s online system never appeared to know (after I picked it up, it showed as out for delivery). And of course this was the trip where I accidentally took my air tag out and left it at home.

It was a really nice trip with nice weather (not too hot), not crowded, and beautiful places. I came home with some fun stories, a local shopping experience I never have, and some souvenirs that someone else will have to pay for!

P.S. I went carryon on the way home, was 2k overweight, and would have been happy to have a conversation about that 🤣. But no one in Salzburg or Frankfurt cared. My friend accepted the offer to check for free again (mainly because of our wine - she carried my wine and I carried some of her clothes). All of us made it happily back to DFW together!

Posted by
7377 posts

I love your attitude, and glad it all worked out!

Posted by
2844 posts

TexasTravelmom, Thanks for your report. A very good reason why to never check luggage. You proved we can all survive on less. And that a good attitude makes life better.
On my flight home from Munich on United, I checked my carry-on. I made it home a day before my suitcase. AirTags are now an essential travel gear. I knew where my suitcase was which helped the conversation.
I'm seriously thinking of buying "under the seat" size rolling carry-on to force me to pack less. And not buy so many Christmas ornaments that I need an extra personal item!

Posted by
6774 posts

Ha, it sounds like the perfect storm - you forgot the Airtag and then your luggage is lost! But everything worked well and as Jean said, you had a great attitude about it, although I laughed very hard when I read about how you would have been "happy to have a conversation" about your overweight luggage! 🤣 I would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of that!

But it is a good lesson in turning lemons into lemonade, and how you CAN get by with minimal clothing and make do or buy what you need. Thanks for sharing this!

Posted by
1420 posts

Well done! And interesting that Lufthansa didn't care about the weight on the way home. Can you tell me what lightweight dress you have? I'm hoping to find one for my upcoming trip.

Posted by
3926 posts

I guess with all the travel you do each year, your lost luggage number was bound to pop up. It’s especially frustrating though since you usually only do carry on.
We have airtags but i notice my last Costco trip they sell a four pack for $89. When we go next week I’m going to pick up another set for my tote, etc,

Posted by
14150 posts

What a time you had! And yes, made lemonade in the heat of the summer, lol!!

It would happen on one of your shorter trips!

Glad you are home and really you don't have much wash to catch up on!!

Posted by
4274 posts

Thanks, Jean! I have given up getting worried about anything travel related. It is so much more fun to take it as it comes.

horsewoofie, I confess I will still probably mostly check…. I wrote a post about why not too long ago. But I also agree that my air tags are great - they have been really useful a couple of times!

Now now, Mardee, I would have been perfectly polite and cheerful at that counter! 🤣🤣 And happy to ask for a supervisor if necessary. I would simply have pointed out the error of their ways…. Lol.

Tammy, me, too! Although I had nothing irreplaceable and was already looking at getting new Teva sandals out of the deal…. Ha!

Barbara, it’s true. I think I can mitigate risks by not immediately leaving my arrival city - and that DID help my friend. And I had a 4 pack of AirTags - have 3 in various pieces of luggage and not sure how I managed to take it out of this suitcase since I leave them in. I thought I had checked that before I left, but it kept showing my suitcase at home so I was really confused and all I could figure was it ran out of battery.

Trotter, I have several dresses from Shein I use for summer travel. They are much better quality than I expected (I had low expectations), are very inexpensive, not skimpy, good sizing for me, cool, wash and dry easily, and don’t wrinkle. I have one that will be warmer for my next trip but I suspect it will not dry overnight. I bought 2 replacements in Salzburg from H&M which are cute but do not seem as well-made, don’t dry as quickly, plus more expensive even on sale.

Yep, Pam, not much laundry! 🤪 Actually, I think I prefer it happened on a short one….. I had less in my suitcase in case it had never arrived.

Posted by
7377 posts

@Trotter, I’m not sure if she was referring to my comment about by recent trip in June where this dress was the workhorse of my outfits, but I LOVE this one! Bought it in a solid color and accessorized with statement earrings or a scarf.

https://www.royalrobbins.com/us/en-us/women/dresses-skirts/dresses/spotless-traveler-tank-dress?recId=2671493738911

My review on their website:
“I purchased this dress to wear for a 4-week trip to Europe. I just bring a carry on suitcase with 4-5 outfits, but I still want to look nice. This dress is easily washed in the sink and dry overnight. I’m in my 60’s and like that the style looks nice for my age, too. I did order one size smaller than I usually wear, and the dress fit perfect.”

Posted by
1420 posts

Thanks TexasTravelmom and Jean! I will check both out. Hadn’t heard of Shein and didn’t think to check out Royal Robbins. I have RR shorts and pants. Why didn’t I look there for dresses??

Posted by
332 posts

That Royal Robbins dress has pockets! With zippers!!!! And it looks as if it would be flattering for most figure types. Thanks for the link.

Posted by
3288 posts

TTM - I really admire the way you rolled with the punches when your bag went AWOL.

Our next trip is to the UK in September. Since we are spending most of our time in Scotland, we are taking rain parkas and rain shoes. Due to their bulk, these will require us to check our bags.

I'm wondering if our exalted status in BA's Club World a/k/a Business will improve the odds of our luggage arriving with us.

Posted by
4274 posts

Estimated Prophet, I wish I knew….. But in April I flew business on BA, with top status on AA (where my ticket was booked). I had an AA flight DFW-IAD and my suitcase did not make the change for the next IAD-LHR leg on BA. I think it was because of the AA to BA change. I was required to get a new boarding pass at IAD and I suspect my suitcase tracking didn’t get switched. (This happened with a similar situation last year UA to Lot Polish.)

If you are on the same airline all the way, I bet you will be just fine. If at any time you are required to get a new boarding pass, just ask the agent to check on your luggage as well (I forgot to do that).

Posted by
4795 posts

Ok, so I'm starting to think that the lesson is to take only what you wear on the plane, plus a very few essentials. And then plan to shop on day one!!

I bet I can pull together a nice selection in Warsaw!

Posted by
4274 posts

Oh, CW, Warsaw would be MUCH easier to shop in! Sounds like a great plan! LOL! Let me know how it goes!

I am ok with giving them 48 hrs and pack accordingly…… 72 hrs and 9 potential flights - and leaving town….. just a few new clothes definitely a plus!

I was very interested in the contrast with my 2 previously delayed luggage experiences, arriving on BA and on LOT Polish. They were very up to date with online tracking and when it arrived respectively in Gdansk and Tirana, the airports actually stayed in contact. Lufthansa’s system left me wondering. Good news is that after an email denying my claim for reimbursement and my email explaining the error of their ways, they have said they ARE reimbursing me. I know my insurance would…..but I thought I should give Lufthansa first go at it. 🤣 And also I found the AirTag that I had somehow taken out - and it is safely back inside…..

Posted by
310 posts

Yay! Good to hear Lufthansa stepped up (with your additional convincing of the 'error of their ways,' 😆 that is).

Posted by
4274 posts

Well, min, I don’t actually have the reimbursement yet…. but at least it’s approved!

Posted by
4795 posts

Apparently my idea is not new, Japan has already thought of it:

https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20230730-are-luggage-free-trips-the-future

"In a daring move towards a more sustainable aviation industry, Japan Airlines recently launched a pilot programme giving overseas travellers the option to rent clothes for their stay in the country in advance – thus eliminating the need to lug and load.

"Running until the end of August, the "Any Wear, Anywhere?" stunt has been fashioned so passengers heading to Japan can check-in or carry-on minimal luggage, meaning the airline can better measure the environmental impact of handling less luggage, as well as lower airplane weight. Once travellers arrive in Tokyo, Osaka or Fukuoka, tailored clothes in a range of sizes and styles are delivered to the hotels where visitors are staying."

Perhaps the scheme is also cheaper than paying lost luggage claims!!

Posted by
18476 posts

I came home with some fun stories, a local shopping experience I never
have, and some souvenirs that someone else will have to pay for!

All about attitude.

Posted by
6774 posts

Once travellers arrive in Tokyo, Osaka or Fukuoka, tailored clothes in a range of sizes and styles are delivered to the hotels where visitors are staying."

Sounds interesting, but if the clothes are geared to Japanese sizes, my luck would runneth out. 🤣

Posted by
4795 posts

I might travel to places just to see the clothes I would get: Italy, Spain, France!!

Posted by
4274 posts

CW, New theme for travel! LOL! We might need a whole new forum heading.

And yes, Mardee, I lived in Japan for 8 years - this could be an obstacle to their plan. Ha!