Many of you have probably never seen me pack. Let me say that I have inherited at least these skills from my father, if none else...I know what is necessary and what isn't and I know how to make things fit where they simply shouldn't.
Luggage restrictions on flights have never been a problem for me. No checked bag? Fine! My backpack can fit two weeks worth of clothes; my briefcase can hold my laptop and all additional items. (I have made obscene amounts of things fit in my "briefcase/purse" that goes under your seat in US flights.)
Heading out of the condo, I was not too concerned. I have a beautiful expanding suitcase and rolling briefcase given to me as graduation presents from my Granna, Uncle, and Aunt. Clothes, toiletries, and the necessary items I had to keep in the condo go in the suitcase. The disgusting amount of computers, DVDs, and paperwork I am taking go in the rolling briefcase. Everything fits.
(I should take a moment here to explain that two months ago, I shipped off several other cases of clothes, shoes, and living equipment via the Marshall Shipping Container. So I will have more for two years than one suitcase worth, but I had to be able to live out of the suitcase and briefcase for about three months.)
Come Thursday, we receive a letter about our flight itinerary and final details. So. Virgin Atlantic. I'm sure you're delightful. BUT A THIRTEEN POUND LIMIT ON TOTAL CARRY-ON HAND LUGGAGE IS JUST NOT GOING TO CUT IT.
Thirteen pounds. I don't know if you can visualize that. Thirteen pounds is what the average five-month old baby weighs. It's nothing, in terms of luggage. It is my briefcase and a laptop. A single laptop. Power cord, wallet, movies, other computers, camera equipment, paperwork, books, candy, Kindle...nope. One Macbook. One briefcase.
So tonight has been some fun scrambling. I'm apparently leaving a bit of a bag at Franna and Leila's in DC, to be retrieved someday. Because while I can make everything physically fit in my suitcase (again...I want it to fit, it's going to fit. It doesn't have a choice in the matter), I can't magically make two laptops and a ton of DVDs weigh less. And, of course, checked baggage has a weight limit of 50 pounds. (This is reasonable.)
Five hours of packing and repacking later...it's close. My suitcase is right on the edge. I have taken out all of the clothes, etc. I can reasonably bear to part with (part of the problem is that I need to be clothed appropriately at fancy receptions on the way...). The briefcase is going to be close. I have two ideas: one, either they'll be nice (I did some research online to see if they actually weigh the things. Apparently they do), or, two, I will happily rooming with some other Marshall Scholar who magically has a lot less and is happy to take ownership of a computer and case of DVDs for a few days.
Hope springs eternal.
I am also allowed a "purse," which may only be used for "normal" purse items, not things that are actually luggage. I am going to consider heavy candy, DVDs, and several other items "normal" for my "purse." Since I never carry a purse, I think I get to define what is normally in it the day of. I'll also be wearing a hoodie with some rather bulging pockets that day.
This is how they keep flights within the EU cheap. I applaud them. But I would have preferred to know a bit earlier in order to have made other arrangements. Alas.