Most of my business trips are only for a few days, so I usually can squeeze enough gym clothes (always the first thing to go in!) and work outfits into a carry-on suitcase. That saves me time and money–both of which are in short supply these days! When we travel as a family, though, we usually check bags, especially if my 20 year-old
clothes horse daughter is with us. On our recent vacation, I learned an important lesson about checking bags:
When you check in as a family, make sure that the agent tags each person’s bag with their own ticket.
That way, when your 20 year-old daughter decides–after checking in, going through security, and buying some magazines for the flight–that the prospect of spending the next 8 days on a boat with her parents is simply unbearable, and announces–through very convincing tears–that she just can’t go, it will be easy for the baggage crew to locate and unload the correct suitcase.
Otherwise, when all you can do is present four claim tickets to the gate agent and explain that hers is the smaller blue bag–not the nearly identical but slightly larger bag from a matched set that your husband used–and give them permission to open the bag and verify that it is full of “girl things”–you will be at the mercy of a non-English speaking baggage handler receiving the information second-hand through a walkie-talkie, and will have to say a prayer and keep your fingers crossed that they unload the correct bag.
(Which they did. Thank you KLM for your very calm, professional response to our very emotional situation.)
*This post crosses the line I usually draw against writing about my kids, but this story just had to be told, especially since I am (almost) “laughing about this later.” If you know my daughter, you are hereby sworn to secrecy and not permitted to breathe a word about this in her presence!