As I wheeled my little hand luggage cart well past midnight through the terminals at Singapore Changi Airport for a third time last night, it occurred to me that the way in which I travel could quite possibly drive someone else nuts. Because it’s certainly driving me potty.

The problem is, when you have convoluted travel arrangements, part booked by others, and not enough time to think things through sensibly, it’s easy to make one simple decision that has a ridiculously wearing knock on effect.

My flights to & from Singapore were booked externally, and I was responsible for getting myself to Bali & back in between.

So I booked an 0925hrs flight to Bali, thinking that would give me an extra day on the island. HUGE mistake: I was so tired from only 4hrs sleep (stayed too late at the dinner for Roland Mouret) that when I arrived in Bali that I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon. I should just have booked a later flight.

That one error was was then compounded as, instead of of flying later on KLM with its generous allowances, the early am flight was on AirAsia, the local budget airline, which only allows one hand item of 7kg.

When I arrived  at Changi for the AirAsia flight I knew I was already overweight in my big case (presents etc.), so because of the strictly enforced one case/7kg limit, I cldn’t do my normal trick of taking the heavy stuff and splitting it between my handbag & cabin case and hoping no one weighed them. That meant I had to leave my stuffed Tumi cabin bag at Changi Left Luggage.

That all makes perfect sense, right? Except that last night I landed from Bali airside in Terminal 1, Left Luggage is landside in Terminal 1, check in for Singapore Airlines to London is in Terminal 3, and the Transit Hotel I had booked for the night was Terminal 1 airside (because I wanted to use the Terminal 1 swimming pool in the morning).

So, instead of packing in the comfort of my W Bali hotel room, then checking my bags through to London from Bali, staying airside at Changi as a transfer passenger, and then taking the skytrain from the transit hotel in the am to my plane, I spent an hour and a half last night like a flipping hamster on a wheel.

I had to collect my big case, clear Customs & Immigration, retrieve my Tumi from two floors below in the basement, repack everything on the floor in a corridor next to the car park, cunningly stashing the heavy stuff in my handbag, – I was up to 40kgs, on a combined 27kg allowance after a present buying session in Seminyak, zoom over to Terminal 3 on the airtrain, check-in for my flight, go through Immigration again, catch the airtrain back to terminal one airside, then run for 10 minutes through terminal 1 to the Transit Hotel to check-in – arriving a hot & sweaty mess a mere 3 minutes before my booking expired. (Because I was wearing all my heavy jewellery, any accessory I cld drape over me, and a lot of clothing to keep my luggage weight down.)

All that hassle for one simple decision. Please: do not be me. Think about tired-ness, and budget airline luggage allowances and not trying to be flipping superwoman.

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18 comments

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I can understand your troubles but think of those who never get to travel to these great places you get to see. As lousy as this all may be, you are very lucky to be able to travel as you do. Plus, with a bit of craziness now and then, it would not be as much fun. Here is to smooth travels on your next fab trip!!

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@rosemary: oh not troubles! It’s all part & parcel of travelling. But my way of dealing with my sometime bad decisions is to write about them, air them…With a business to run at the same time as travelling, losing even three hours because of a thoughtless decision is an issue for me, so…

Anyway, I always hope that there’s a takeaway for the reader. In this case: consider ALL the options, and factor in time for sleeping! LLGxx

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Oh lord, makes me tired just reading it. Travel can be hell, and yes, one small mistake is magnified to heck when you are having to lug things about yourself!

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Its like saying I can’t ever vent when my daughter is being naughty because I am lucky I have her.

Wow sounds like a nightmare and the sort of bad luck that would happen to me. x

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I agree, troubles make the trip an even fonder memory when the time has pasted away some and you are thinking of the memories you had there! You even begin laugh at the awkward and annoying things that at the time just irritated you no end- I did laugh out loud at the image of you cramming on all your jewellery and as much clothing as you could! I hope it’s not all bad and you have some great memories so far.. LA

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I feel your pain, every November I travel back from UK to Tanzania with Christmas for 3 children in my cases, plus all the clothes I have had delivered to friends and family during the year. Despite buying extra luggage allowance I am always overweight, I am that mad woman in the repacking area at LHW T5 frantically re-packing. Then once in TZ I have to get the bags onto a light aircraft, Husband is always furious when our flight bill arrives and he discovers that once again I got round the 15kg allowance by buying extra seats (oops)

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I don’t enjoy travelling at all. That’s why I love your blog so much, I feel as if I can travel the world minus the effort. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.
I don’t envy you your travelling, but I do admire you for it. I’m a total homebody, it would quite literally break my heart to be away from home so much.

Just reading your post today makes my mind boggle. Hope your next trip is less fraught!
x

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Would love some luggage reccommends at some point too as you travel so much you will have a great insight into what does and doesn’t work!

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airports are so stressful.

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LLG, where is the gorgeous laptop bag/briefcase in the front of the photo from? I have been hunting for a briefcase for ages and looks like one I would like!

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I’m a regular reader of your blog and especially enjoy reading the details and logistics of your world travels. (In addition to life in London, your shoes and clothes, fashion, etc., etc., etc.!) I would love a post or two with details and photos of your luggage – checked, carry on, and handbag – including what you pack, how you pack it, what you’ve learned you need and don’t need, gadgets you wouldn’t do without; all the tips and tricks you’ve learned from so much traveling. (Loved reading your “what’s in my handbag” post on the other site before Christmas, by the way.) Love your blog!

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