The pre-holiday packing panic
I’m not the best at packing for holidays at the best of times – not since I now have to pack for two small people as well as for myself. Long gone are the days when I could throw a few bikinis, some mini-skirts, some sparkly flip flops and a sarong into a bag and swan off to the airport to drink champagne.
When you travel with children it’s not just about clothes and shoes: There’s spare outfits for emergencies, spare underwear, in-flight amusements, books, toys, DVDs, nappies, mini cutlery, snacks, drink bottles and medicines as well.
And then there’s also a huge amount of chargers that never used to be needed. BlackBerry, iPad, camera, phone…
And although I do do lists, I don’t do Big Lists. I simply can’t write everything down a month in advance. My packing is far more organic – and when the cases are half full, I get to writing lists of last-minute things to be thrown in in the morning.
And I add to that list at 2am. And 3am. And 4am. Yawn.
Anyway, packing for our impending trip is proving to be even more complicated than usual. Emirates Airline allows us 30kgs of baggage per person in as many bags as we like. Once we arrive in London, 7kgs of baggage per person needs to spontaneously combust because we’re transferring to a British Airways flight which allows us just 23kgs of baggage per person – in one bag per person.
And the BA website is quite clear about this: Any bag weighing more than 23kgs will be charged as overweight, even if you’re under you’re total allowance.
So I can’t pack one bag for both children and have it weigh in at 27kgs – 19kgs lower than the allowance for both children and 5kgs lower than the UK’s ElfnSafety limit – without being charged extra for it. Oh no. I have to pack separate bags for each child and lug an extra suitcase half way around the world (thanks for that, BA – it’ll be Virgin next year).
Then we have the problem of the cruise. There’s not a lot of storage space in a cruise ship Stateroom, so I don’t want to carry all the boots, jumpers, fleeces, thermal undies and jeans that I’ll need to get me through July in England (just being realistic), let alone things like my laptop, so I need to pack those in an extra bag and somehow jettison them in London.
I’m sure I’ve aged five years in the last three days, not to mention grown 100 new grey hairs and 50 new wrinkles. Holidays? Sometimes I wonder if they’re more trouble than they’re worth.