No, really, there are lots of humorous stories involving luggage out there. Discovering things we thought were lost; having to lug a large bag around awkwardly; getting stopped at security for a strange, unexpected reason… these things happen. And if you have the right attitude, after you get over the frustration, it’s helpful to laugh about it and be happy you have a story to tell at parties.
NJS Kaye, author of “Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler,” shares a fun story about something that usually isn’t funny—losing your luggage. In 2000, Kaye lost her luggage while traveling to Morocco.
“I wasn’t an optimal packer at that time, so the most useful thing in my carry-on bag was a sweater—which, in August, was not very helpful in North Africa,” she says. After several calls to the airline turned up nothing, she bought some extra underwear and lived with “very, very little” for a few weeks, until she was at the airport in Casablanca.
“I passed through the baggage area on my way to departures,” she says. “There, in a corner, in a sea of other luggage, was my bag, with all the tags torn off but the lock still in place. I ran for it and made a flying leap to land on top of it, yelling, ‘That’s mine!’
“Nobody even blinked an eye at me heaving it up and dashing to make my flight home—this was pre-9/11. When I got home, I unpacked my perfectly packed bag.”
Since then, she tries to make due with carry-on luggage, but that can backfire.
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“On one international trip, my 5-year-old twin boys stuffed Star Wars Nerf blasters in their backpacks without my knowledge. (They) look remarkably like sawed-off semi-automatic rifles. That did not go over well at security.”
Sophia Dembling, author of “100 Places in the USA Every Woman Should Go” once had her checked luggage searched, and the officials used a plastic-pull-through locking tab to close it. That led to a tricky situation.
“Since I couldn’t carry anything sharp on board, when I got to my hotel late at night and realized what had happened, I also had nothing to cut the tab off with,” Dembling says. “I finally found a book of matches in my carry-on and managed to melt it off.”
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Candace Johnson, of Change it Up Editing and Writing Services, has a cute, and touching, memory about her grandmother’s engagement ring. After Johnson’s grandmother moved into a nursing home, her engagement ring went missing. A dutiful search of her room, including her suitcase, didn’t result in the ring, and an insurance claim for the 55-year-old ring was made.
“A decade later and after both grandparents had passed away, my brother was sorting through their few remaining personal items in preparation for donating them to charity, and he decided to search through my grandmother’s suitcase one more time,” Johnson says. “Between the fabric lining and the suitcase, he found her engagement ring; apparently, it had been tucked away in a fabric pocket for safe keeping but had slipped through a small hole in the lining. Today, the diamond sits on the hand of his own bride of 22 years; I think that would have made my grandparents so happy.”
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What do you do when you need to go to the bathroom, but can’t get your bag through the door to the bathroom?
This recently happened to Megan Stetzel, who blogs about travel at ForksAndFootprints.com, when she was at a bus station in a town on the Mexican border.
“I was traveling solo, which meant I needed to bring my luggage with me to the bathroom like I had done many times before,” she says. “At the time my luggage was a 40-pound backpacking backpack and a small day bag. I got to the restroom and there was a fee to use it, which is not uncommon in Mexico. However, the challenging aspect was the gate to get into the bathroom was a rotating, revolving door that I could not fit into holding my bag.
“After a failed attempt, or five, I wound up having to throw my large bag over the top of the 10-plus-foot metal gate and then run to hurry through it with my small bag before someone could swipe it. There was no air conditioning in the station and by the time I finished with the bathroom and made it back through the gate, I was completely soaked in sweat from the exertion of it all and had to sit down because I was laughing so hard at the outrageousness of the situation. It made for a hilarious snapchat!
But let’s face it, losing your luggage is rarely funny. Keep track of your bags with the LugLoc luggage locator.
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