2017-10-13 / Commentary

A Two Bag Trip

I’m just saying...
Julia Rogers Hook

My husband is a genius! He truly is.

I’m going to New York this week on a yearly trip a girlfriend of mine and I have turned into a bit of a “tradition.”

We stay at the same hotel every year and have gotten to know the staff, so it feels very friendly and safe. It’s a great location for sightseeing or just walking around the city. It’s become something we both look forward to and usually start planning the next trip on the plane home from the current one.

There’s just something about New York for me…I have always loved it. It’s a city with its own heartbeat and pulse. I dearly love everything about it…the hustle and bustle, the fast pace, the subways, the taxis…if it’s in Manhattan, I’m smitten.

The problem for me when going on a trip always has and probably always will be the packing. As I’ve said before, I’ve always wanted to be the “elegant traveler” you see in the airports and train stations. I want to breeze through the huddled masses pulling my one snazzy carry-on suitcase with my big oversized yet very fashionable purse over my shoulder and if needed, a smart looking overcoat on my arm. I want to project the image of a seasoned traveler… a woman in charge…a woman who knows how to make the most of life and who can exist for a week on seven articles of clothing.

I am not that woman.

I try. I really do. I start by checking the weather and reviewing our plans, specifically where we’ll be when and what we will be doing. Now, if I’m going to someplace tropical, I can pretty much accomplish at least appearing to be a “light packer” because all you need are shorts, swimsuits, and sundresses because you’re either on the beach or walking around the hotel.

But New York is fickle… one day can be in the high 70s and sunny while the next is in the 50s and blustery. Or it could rain. You just can’t be sure, even with the weather forecasts. So I pack for it all.

I pack layers. The undershirts, the tank tops, the sweaters, and the jackets. I take boots and shoes and of course something for the rain. Who wants to walk around in suede boots in a downpour? And galoshes and raincoats are heavy. As are the jackets and sweaters.

And of course when one is in one of the world’s fashion meccas, you have to shop! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been there and suddenly hated everything I brought and just “had” to get a new outfit for some play or concert. And that always means your bags will be heavier coming home than going, no matter how good a packer you are!

On one trip, our driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal at the airport, and while the skycap was more than happy to get our bags to the right plane, mine was something like four pounds over the weight limit.

Since my girlfriend and me had to sit on my suitcase to zip it that morning at the hotel, I wasn’t about to open it in the middle of the airport sidewalk. We’d never get it closed again and probably miss our flight to boot. The poor skycap had no choice but to charge me the $100 fee for being over the limit.

I spent the better part of this past weekend in my pre-packing mode where I go through the outfits and pick and choose which one I’ll wear when. I pick out the accessories and shoes and whatever I need to get the “look” I’m going for.

Naturally, my suitcase was once again over the weight limit. I began to winnow it down piece by piece. I’d take this out and put this in…then I’d want to include that shirt or these shoes…basically it was a total disaster to try to stay within the weight limits and pack what I thought I might need.

I joined my husband Marty on our back porch and sat down with a discouraged sigh and began my melancholy tale of travel troubles. I was literally exhausted from hours of packing, unpacking, repacking, and then having it still weigh too much.

And that’s when it happened.

“Baby…I can solve your problem in one sentence,” Marty said.

“HOW?” He had my utmost attention.

“Take two bags,” he said with a smile.

“Two bags?” I was flabbergasted. The thought never occurred to me. The heavens opened, a bright light appeared, and angelic music began to play in my head as the wisdom of his suggestion began to slowly dawn on me.

“Two bags,” I repeated in a reverent whisper. “What a concept.”

“Well if you try to get it all in one, you’re going to be over the weight limit and you KNOW you’re going to shop while you’re there…you always do. Pay the $25 for the second bag to be checked and forget about it. That beats paying $100 for too much weight in one doesn’t it?”

Yep. My husband is a genius. He truly is.

And now I can take my rain boots too!

I’m just saying…

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