Monday, May 02, 2011

Luggage

For the past 16+ years Dave and I have been using the luggage sets we got during our college/mission years. Thanks to the mice not one piece was usable any longer. We trashed all of them. Over the past few weeks during my free time (LOL) I've been shopping for new luggage for every member of the family.

Almost every airline has really cinched down on their baggage policy over the last few years.  Hawaiian airlines is  no exception.  On Hawaiian airlines flights to any Hawaiian island each coach passenger (we are coach) is allowed one carry-on which cannot measure any greater than 45 linear inches (length + height + depth) and weigh any more than 25 pounds. Each passenger is also allowed one personal bag such as a purse or backpack or camera bag or computer satchel.

Well that's just great for a one week vacation but we're not going on vacation.  We will be living out of our luggage for four and a half weeks before we ever get on those planes.  Everything we need for those weeks, if we want them in Hawaii, will have to fit in that luggage. We will need to pay for extra bags.

Each passenger is allowed, for a $25 fee, an extra bag weighing no more than 50 pounds and measuring no more than 62 linear inches (length + height + depth). If you want to take two bags the second is $35.  The third bag is $100. Though those prices are steep they all beat the cost of shipping the items by UPS or Postal service. We will take four bags.  Each will be checked by a different passenger/member of the family so we will pay $100 in luggage fees.

So, considering all of the above, I have been shopping for 6 small carry-on bags, 6 large personal bags (backpacks or the like) and four 62 linear inch bags. I have shopped online.  I have shopped at Costco.  I have shopped Target and Walmart and Macy's and at several luggage stores.  I purchased bags from Marshall's and Burlington Coat Factory and Sports Authority.

For Dave we got a really nice set at Marshall's.  Dave needs quality luggage because he will be travelling about every other month for work. His set is a  Delsey Helium Lite set: a carry-on express suiter trolley and a 25" express suiter trolley.  Both are made with a super light fiberglass and graphite frame system, high strength zippers and have extra long trolley handles and inline wheels. The set is highly rated on both Consumer Reports and Amazon customer feedback and cost only $100.  Yes, both pieces for $100! Dave already has a nice bag that he will use as his personal bag.

For the girls we found some cute cheap carry-on's at Burlington Coat Factory.  The girls will be travelling once a year at most. They need something that will get them there and that is easy to spot and comfortable for them to use.  Their carry-ons are hot pink with adjustable handles and inline wheels.  Not a lot of extras on these but they will be perfect for their needs.  They were $20 each. The girls each have lightly used JanSport backpacks that they will use as their personal bags.

The boys too will be flying infrequently and don't need anything too fancy. For them I found some rolling duffel style carry-on bags. I like these a lot because they will be very easy to store, other than the frame of the trolley handles the whole thing is completely collapsible. I found two aqua blue rolling duffels at Marshall's for $25 each.  Kirkham will use his school backpack as his personal bag.  Heath's school backpack is falling apart so we will get a new backpack for him to use as a personal bag.

62" bags are hard to come by and cost quite a bit more than carry-on's and take up more storage space on the other side of the flight. So instead of purchasing luggage I opted to purchase duffel bags. I thought about making them but spent a few bucks more I bought three already made from Sports Authority.  Each was $29 and I had a $10 off coupon.  The capacity on these duffels is great, the handles and zippers are strong and it has a nice padded, adjustable shoulder strap.  And they came with a simple stuff sack for easy storage on the other side.

Besides missing a new backpack for Heath you may have noticed that I too am without both a personal bag and a carry-on. I am hoping to have all three of these items sourced and purchased within the next two weeks.  TWO WEEKS! Wow, time is flying by.

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