32. Settling on a Suitcase

I own a piece of carry-on luggage that meets all my traveling needs.

It spins on four sturdy wheels.
My stored electronics are safe inside its hard exterior.
Although I check it on long international flights, it serves as a convenient carry-on, easily fitting into the overhead compartment on shorter domestic trips.
Best of all, it opens like a clam shell, so there’s very little layering.

Yet it won’t work for this trip.

Linda and I will be taking short domestic flights while in Africa.
Due to the restricted storage space in smaller planes, soft-sided bags are a necessity. Hard shell baggage is not permitted.

undefinedSo long, favorite bag.

First: Meeting the Soft Sides Requirement

In the far-back, deep-dark, up-high part of my closet, I located my old cloth roller.
It’s in great shape and seems to be a possible solution to my baggage problem.

I hate to give up the clam shell opening, but this is something I can overlook, as packing cubes have taken some of the hassle out of organizing a single, deep base.

That solves the soft-sided problem.

Next: The Maximum Dimensions Test



We’ve been told that the maximum luggage dimensions
are 24″ X 12″ X 10″.
My bag is 22″ X 14″ X 9″ – wider than allowed, but also shorter and shallower.
According to our travel agent, “As long as the total linear inches (all sizes added together) are within range and you are within an inch or so on any dimension, you are fine.”

Another hurdle overcome.

Finally: The Weight Restriction

The weight allowance on our domestic flights is 33 lbs per person, inclusive of hand luggage.
My old roller weighs over 7 lbs. That’s more than 20% of our allotted weight.

If I spring for a new duffle-type bag, I can save approximately 3 pounds. But osteoporosis and sarcopenia (the medical term for “age related muscle loss”) are now part of my health history. I’ll have to find just the right bag before I’m inclined to give up on wheeled luggage.

The cheapest, and perhaps the smartest solution is simply to pack less.
I’ll still keep an eye out for the perfect bag though.


In the meantime, I plan on borrowing the neighbor’s bolt cutters
and removing the lock with its long-forgotten combination.