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Wet Luggage

Wonder if anyone has a suggestion for future reference. We arrived home in LA last night from Paris after a stop in Miami. Plane was delayed 30 minutes in Florida while ramp personnel were pulled in due to lightening strikes within 5 miles of the airport. Apparently the luggage was out in the rain on the tarmac at that point. After being up for over 24 hours we just crashed last night. I went to open luggage this afternoon to start unpacking and to do laundry and found that the interior was pretty well soaked to about mid-way down. Our passport copies (which were in plastic), folded shopping bags that I'd planned to put gifts in and anything else in the inside pocket were wet beyond use, and the top layers of clothes were also wet. A red flannel scarf had gotten wet and transferred color to a cream colored jacket. Being from mostly dry Los Angeles it never occured to us that we might encounter enough rain anywhere to soak the interior of a suitcase. Luckily we were on the homeward leg of our journey. But what do people do who travel to or from wetter locales on a regular basis? Do you use hard-sided suitcases, or is there a trick to packing? In one of the suitcases the laundry was on top in a plastic bag and it was dry, but clothes under the bag were wet even though the bag was spread out over the entire contents of the suitcase.

Posted by
4362 posts

I keep large garbage bags in my suitcase pockets. If I absolutely must check a bag, everything in my bag goes into a plastic bag, then that bag gets put into another bag (rotating the open ends of the bag), then if I have another bag, lather-rinse-repeat. I usually have some tape with me for packing (along with my bubblewrap). Then, I pray my bag doesn't get chosen for a random search...so far, so good. Or, much more often, I pack only things in my checked luggage that's OK if it gets wet/lost - underwear, tennis shoes, maybe jeans (very faded) or khakis, etc. along with whatever offending item HAD to be checked (kitchen knives, corkscrew, 98oz bottle of shampoo from Salzburg). Nothing will fade on anything else. (each tennis shoe is always in a giant ziploc) And pray. Sorry about your stuff, but apparently the cough medicine made it just fine...

Posted by
21243 posts

Everything in our suitcase is packed in another bag generally zip lock bags. Even lost a bottle of wine on the last trip and only some dirty underwear that had been used as padding around the wine was socked.

Posted by
2349 posts

Frank, you pack your dirty underwear around a nice bottle of wine? Eeewww.

Posted by
21243 posts

Got to pad it with something. And, beside, the wine bottles are sealed.

Posted by
11798 posts

I keep water sensitive stuff in ziplocks in case I'm caught in rain with bag on back. My worst one was getting on a cruise last summer in Copenhagen. We dropped our carry-ons off at the ship then went back into town. I had a liter of Russian Vodka in my bag that got broken between dock and berth. I had put it in a ziplock but the broken bottle put a hole in the bag and soaked the load. I guess I should have thrown in my dirty socks.

Posted by
2193 posts

The only experience I can share regarding "wet" luggage is quite nasty – business trip, lavatory leak into cargo hold, luggage smelled like sewage coming around carousel, bag was wet but contents dry/unharmed, unloaded everything and stuffed in laptop bag, left bag right where it sat by carousel, washed – decontaminated hands, left airport. I remember an elderly passenger once didn't quite make it to the lav in time...nasty accident, but this lav leak actually affected my own stuff. Sorry, it's gross for sure, but this thread reminded me about that trip. I don't even want to think about the possible diseases floating around that night. My immune sytem must have been up to snuff. I had some expensive clothes in that bag, but if the moisture would have penetrated, I would have left everything right there as a complete write-off.

Posted by
1259 posts

Miami airport eh? We were there for nine hours this past Saturday before they cancelled our flight and told us to come back Sunday. We watched luggage left out in torrential rain for much of those nine hours.

Posted by
864 posts

I actually travel now with a ultra lightweight hard sided wheeled suitcase. Pricey but effective. That said I still put anything breakable inside zip lock bags and wine or liquor purchased overseas in a "Wine Skin" (widely available at good wine and liquor stores Stateside).