Travel Luggage: Weight Counts or Ode to An Aging Suitcase

Struggling to pack and getting under the 50-pound weight limit is a challenge for me. Why, you might ask?  She is is supposed to be practicing the meditation of “traveling light.”  I haul back and forth to/from Mexico a six-plus pound projector, a weighty camera lens, usually a tripod, paperwork, a couple of pairs of shoes.  I think my make-up and sundries bag weighs eight pounds.  This is all packed within a woven bamboo basket with sturdy sides that I use for added protection.  This requires an elephant-size suitcase.   After almost 20 years of trusty service (bought it in 1993 for a trip to China), my 21-pound TravelPro suitcase is about to be retired because with that inherent weight, this leaves me little more than a few pounds of clothing to add.  

It wasn’t THAT long ago that international travelers had a 70-pound weight limit.  No more as airlines try to squeeze every dollar out of the travel experience which has become a nightmare unless you are a top-level member of some affinity program. The Huffington Post just announced that United Airlines has raised the fee for a second piece of baggage on international flights to $100 and did away with the online discount.  I can’t imagine what they will think of next.

Despite the broken handle, this trusty friend has been to Thailand, Australia, France, Italy, Panama, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, the Caribbean, Malaysia, Singapore and back, plus frequent family visits to California.  It has been my shipping container for many treasures, including Federico Chavez Sosa‘s glorious rugs which are not of insignificant weight.




So, I began my quest for a replacement, found the site and ordered a TravelPro replacement with the latest lighter weight technology, only to hear the next day from Don that it was backordered and was not available to ship.  I asked Don, who  was immediately responsive, if there was a comparable.  Yes, he said, Delsey will ship from Maryland on Monday afternoon and you’ll get the luggage (weighing in at 12.6 lbs.) on Tuesday.  Perfect.  In time to pack on Wednesday and leave for Mexico early Thursday morning.  The bonus was that the online price of the luggage was $169.99, a big discount from the $400 retail price and shipping was included.  I had such a great, personal, customer service online shopping experience with this site that I want to recommend it.  I’m happy.

So, I’m hoping for no glitches.  The bonus is that with a really big suitcase, I’m hoping to get everything I need into it to avoid the second bag fee!  Yes, I can do it.




4 responses to “Travel Luggage: Weight Counts or Ode to An Aging Suitcase

  1. Good luck on your packing, Norma! Harry and I are gearing up mentally for our flight home after a 5-month sabbatical in Sweden. I’ve set aside donations to the library, the second-hand store, and the owners of our house, and we’re thinking of things we can throw away, like threadbare undergarments, to make room for all the things I’ve bought over here (and on the UNC Alumni cruise that Julia and I took to Spain and Morocco). We were overweight coming over, so it’ll be a special challenge getting back home within the weight limit. (If you want to check out MY blog about our Swedish Adventure, the website is

    • Melissa, you remind me that one way to “lighten the load” once you are there is to give what you don’t need/want away. A great tip. I used to advise that people bring clothes to give away in their second bag — but with the new airline bag costs, this might not be possible for most of us. Thanks for sharing your Swedish Adventure. It’s a great blog!

  2. I travel from the US to France to Morocco to France to the US and all over again and I kick myself when I bring clothes from Here to Over There. I now start out from the US and first stuff my suitcase to the hilt and immediately then start unpacking and am left with what I really need: some cosmetics, sub block, a linen hat, underwear, and a few clothes that I totally definitely love and can’t replace…and when I arrive in France or Morocco I always go to flea markets and buy what I end up wearing… Clothes from the US rarely fit into the world I go into, and that world has plenty of charming wonderful things to wear that are cheaper and more interesting. So leave your things behind and leave room to bring back what you discover…much lighter at least one way. Bon voyage.

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