Mrs. Deals, Amatuer Traveler

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Another blog post from Mr. Deals…

With baby deals in the mix, it’s been awhile since Mrs. Deals and I have had a chance to travel like the young spring chicken we used to be. We’ve enjoyed some family trips and I’ve had a few business trips solo, but those are totally different than when Mrs. Deals and I used to hustle through airports, pack like pros and be ready for the bump at a moments notice.

Well not too long ago Mrs. Deals and I had an opportunity for a rare baby free excursion and we jumped on it. The grandparents were more than happy to babysit for a few days so we were off.

Now when Mrs. Deals and I travel we have a strict no checked bags policy. We did 18 days around Southeast Asia twice with just a carry on with room to spare. Shouldn’t have been a problem for a 5 day trip. WRONG. Mrs. Deals just made an amatuer move and had to gate check a bag.

I’ll say this, those bag sizing things at the airport are a load of crap. I see laptop bags and girls purses that are bigger than those things. I mean if I put a sweatshirt in my backpack its probably not going to fit. Well Mrs. Deals got caught at the gate and boom she was checking a bag.

She probably had a couple too many shirts in her bag and easily could’ve pulled a few out but a bit of a battle ensued with the gate attendant and I knew Mrs. Deals was done for and the bag was going under.

There is simply nothing worse than waiting for a carry on bag at the carousel. So with that said, I’m wondering if people have tips on how to avoid this. Short of buying the tiniest bag on the market, here’s my typical approach to avoiding this mess:

  1. Pack the bag strategically – I like to throw the big bulky items in the bottom part of the carry on (the part that would lay on the floor), softer stuff on top. This makes it a bit easier to shove in those stupid size things if need be.
  2. Do NOT give the gate attendant a full view of the bag and take the overly friendly approach. Always ask how they are doing, crack a joke, whatever it takes to prevent their eyes from heading down to where that bag is
  3. Drape your backpack or a sweater/sweatshirt over the bag to “hide” it. Not the most effective but they may just ignore it because it’s covered.
  4. Walk up with headphones on, smile, give your ticket and keep walking. Pretend you don’t hear them calling you back to measure the bag. Let’s face it, the way they pack flights these days there is no way they are going to hold things up and run down the bridge to get you to measure it.

I’m usually most successful with #2 and have seen people do well with #4. Mrs. Deals wasn’t good with any of these last time around. I’m going to have to teach her a thing or two on future trips.

Share your tips if you’ve got them!

Comments

  1. Perspective also plays a part. If her bag is larger than yours, trade bags so the taller person is carrying the larger bag. A smaller person with a large bag emphasizes the bag size. I swear this is how tons of the taller/bigger travelers get on with larger bags than my five foot self. Some people are just not as good at spatial reasoning than others.

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