I had a challenge: pack lightly for one adult and two children for a trip to Florida for nine days. And mostly, I did just that.
We knew we’d have access to a washer and a dryer at my grandparents house, and most of our clothes just needed to be acceptable for the pool and beach, so we didn’t need a ton. I still found it hard to whittle down the stacks… that was until I saw Spirit Airlines baggage fees. Are you kidding me? It was $45 for overhead bin space, so I knew our bags needed to fit under the seat and we were only going to check one bag.
The one checked bag was the issue. With all of our clothes, it needed to come in under 40 lbs and it needed to hold everything we need. It was still about $20 to check the bag, but we needed to take sunscreen, toothpaste and some hair products in bigger-than-flight-sized containers.
I started with what we would wear on the plane. We were headed down in 80 degree weather, very unseasonable for Michigan this time of the year, but we managed. We each took a sweatshirt in our carry-on bags. Everyone wore tennis shoes. That meant we were set for the way down and the way back and anything we would need long pants and tennis shoes for in between.
I started going through the summer clothes and packed each girl four shorts, four tops, a couple of bathing suits, a swim cover-up, one pair of PJs and a pair of sandals. I had several pairs of pants, shirts, too many bathing suits (hey, I had no idea what would fit), PJs and sandals. Plus, we all had a few pairs of socks and underwear. Couple this with the cosmetic bag full of sunscreen, toothpaste, baby wash, hair spray, mousse and other things, and we were maxed out. I had no idea how all of it was going to fit in my suitcase.
Then I had an idea.
So I shoved all of the clothes in the bag, with the exception of what we would need that night: our PJs. All of the clothes went in and were shrunken in the bag. That allowed for extra room for the cosmetic bag, sandals, and a few toys we were carrying down. And I was still under weight.
The obvious flaw in this plan was that everything was a bit…smooshed…when I opened the bag. However, it was mostly shorts and tank tops so once I opened the bag up and refolded everything, it was pretty much back to normal. My husband also pointed out that the TSA had every right to open the Space Bag and that might have been an interesting feat.
There also happened to be a flaw that I never saw coming.
A hole in the Space Bag.
When I went to pack the bag up to leave, I had a few extra clothes that we purchased along the way, but I was actually going home with fewer toys, which I will explain later this week. So I figured we were safe. I shrunk the bag down with the vaccuum and proceeded to pack around it. I soon realized my bag was expanding and I was going to have to pack quickly. But we packed in the morning, and later in the afternoon when I need to throw a few more things in there before the flight, the bag had expanded even more. I opened the suitcase, vaccuumed in down, refilled the suitcase and zipped it up tight and just prayed to God that it didn’t explode on a TSA officer and that it wasn’t over Spirit Airlines STRICT bag policies.
It wasn’t. We made it back home with our suitcase in one piece.
I can’t say the same for our carseat, but you’ll have to read about that later this week!