After nine months of travel, it finally happened to us. We were beginning to think that without Sofi to provide endless airport adventures, we were destined to have pain-free travel for the remainder of our trip. But alas, there we were at the baggage claim in Manila, Philippines, without our luggage. Our bags had been left in Vietnam and we had taken the very last flight coming from Ho Chi Minh to Manila. Just perfect, right?
One thing we have always done on this trip is pack all of our “we would cry if this broke, was lost or got stolen” items into our carry-on bag. We have eyes on this bag at all times and are the only ones to blame if something in the bag is in fact lost, broken or stolen. But do you know what we failed to pack in our carry-on in the event of a lost bag? A toothbrush, Karen’s contact lenses case and…an extra pair of underwear. It took the airline two long, stinky days to reunite us with our bags. During those two days of bag-free travel (which was glorious, by the way) we spent time reflecting on travel tips we’ve received or have learned during the past nine months. Some of those tips have turned into travel habits while others, quite frankly, we are still learning the hard way. To hopefully prevent you from finding yourself walking around on a vacation with an outfit aged three days and smelling like one of the castaways on Survivor, here are some items you might want to consider having at your fingertips:
Chargers– Adam had his computer, but not the charger. That made the last few uses of the computer pretty intense as the battery continued to drain!
Extra clothes– even just one extra outfit will do. If you’re traveling in the heat of summer in Asia, one pair of clothes is usually not enough to last you ten minutes (if you sweat like we do).
Valuables– it seems obvious, but make sure your passports, credit cards, and any other valuables are directly on you and never in your luggage. We’ve seen too many friends lose luggage throughout the year, and some don’t get it back!
Long sleeves– if your extra outfit doesn’t include a long sleeve, you may want to add that to the list. Airplanes and cafés with air-conditioning can get really cold for some people (*cough* Karen), even if the temperature outside is blazing.
Emergency snacks– Though you can always purchase food at the airport, keeping emergency snacks in our carry-on is something we plan to from now on (although we promised to always have emergency snacks after our debacle on the mountain in Peru, yet here we are). Arriving late at an airport and waiting for your bags for several hours can certainly work up an appetite.
A good sense of humor and a positive attitude– as we filled out our forms for lost luggage, one thing became clear to us: the employees working at those desks tend to get mistreated. They are in a “thankless” position so to speak, because most every customer they talk to is upset about not having their bags. We saw how others treated them and decided that we were going to be patient and as friendly as possible, because mistakes happen and they weren’t the cause of it anyway! And what did that end up doing? It got us a decent compensation for our bags, which ultimately got into our possession days later.
Do you have any lost luggage stories of your own? How many of the items we listed do you already include in your carry-on? Any other airport adventure stories you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!