Up until now I've been going on general hearsay and outdated notions regarding baggage allowances for overseas flights. Up to now I've squeezed my eyes tightly shut, pressed my hands over my ears and sung, "La-la-la-la, I don't want to know the truth..." I know, I know -- travel light. Everyone from Rick Steves to the grocery store bagger has been telling us this. But hey, we're going for a freakin' year!
I finally mustered up the nerve to go the the Swiss Airlines website today, to get the scoop on the luggage restrictions. Wow! We're screwed. I think our suitcases weigh more than the total weight allowance -- empty. Here it is: one suitcase and one carry on per person. I'll spare you the math, but the total weight of everything we can take -- checked bags, carry ons, family of four -- is 246 pounds. That's 61.5 pounds per Redpath human. It may sound like a lot to you, but it's frightening to me. My lunch weighed more than that today (Brenna made lasagna last night!)
In recent years we've traveled mostly by minivan. If we thought we might want to take the crockpot or entire World Book Encyclopedia set with us, what the hell, pile it in the back. Now we have cameras, tripods, computers, hard drives, microphones, and Brenna's shoes to take with us! The good news is, we can pay a "little" extra if we go over the allowance. $20 per pound extra! We're planning on a "practice packing" session soon, but now we'll have to add a bag weigh-in to the protocol. I'm thinking about making everyone wear six or eight layers of clothing and maybe stuffing shoes and toiletries in our pockets. I even considered hiding a five pound tripod in my pants, but then I had a "Spinal Tap" nightmare and thought better of it.