Help my friend pack better!!
November 2, 2011 12:17 PM   Subscribe

Four gals going to Vegas for 4 days. Just one wants to check her baggage. How do we/I convince her it's just not necessary and will be a PITA if just one of us is doing this.

It's not the outbound trip that has me miffed, but the return trip. As it currently is, our return flight doesn't land until 8 PM and after four days away I'll be eager to get home, which is 90 minutes from the airport, plus the stop we have to make to drop one of us off about midway. Add a stop at the luggage carousel and we're probably looking at an extra half hour or more. I just don't think it's necessary for an extended weekend trip. The other gals agree with me, but one is insistent that she simply cannot pack everything she needs into a piece of carry-on luggage.

I spent 3 consecutive days with this one gal where she wore the same sweater each day, so I'm not getting the need for so many extra clothes or whatever she's going to pack in luggage that must be checked.

Does anyone have any suggestions of things I could say to inspire her to pack lighter/more practically? Thanks!
posted by SoftSummerBreeze to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (44 answers total)
Sounds like something pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. I'd just let it go.
posted by downing street memo at 12:19 PM on November 2, 2011 [19 favorites]

Yeah, I say let it go. When I went to Vegas with seven of my girlfriends all but one brought two checked bags AND a carry on bag. Excessive, yeah, but not too unexpected for Vegas. Just relax and let her check her bag.
posted by Marinara at 12:23 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Add a stop at the luggage carousel and we're probably looking at an extra half hour or more.

That seems a little on the long side to me. But say, okay, sure, for the sake of argument, let's say it's a half hour. Your concern is that your friend's desire to check a back is going cost you 30 min of extra airport time. A question to ask yourself is: How much time to you really want to spend thinking about this? If it takes you a half hour of thinking/talking/arguing to solve it, is it really worth it? As downing st memo suggests, you might be best to let it go.
posted by ManInSuit at 12:24 PM on November 2, 2011 [9 favorites]

It could be either that she doesn't want to haul her suitcase around the airport, or that she uses alot of liquid beauty products that won't fit in one ziploc bag. If it's the latter, you could either offer to split up her products amongst you, coupled with a trip to Target for travel size toiletry bottles.
posted by cabingirl at 12:25 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you tried asking her why she actually needs to check the luggage? Maybe she has big medical equipment that you don't know about. Maybe she thinks she needs thigh-high boots to go to Vegas. Maybe she doesn't own a carry-on sized suitcase (this would be my issue, in the same situation). Maybe she never travels without a vibrator, and doesn't want to take it through the scanner. Maybe she thinks Vegas is freezing this time of year and wants to pack wool sweaters. Maybe she doesn't know where to get travel-sized toiletries. It's hard to address her concerns without knowing what they actually are.

If you and your friends are really intent on saving that half hour at the luggage carousel, maybe you could each offer to put one or two of her things into your carry-on luggage, so she can fit everything into hers. But like others are saying, it doesn't really seem like that big of a hassle. If one of you is checking luggage, maybe you all could, and then you'd have room for your thigh-high boots too.
posted by vytae at 12:26 PM on November 2, 2011 [7 favorites]

Sorry, I know it will be annoying, but I also think you should let it go. In my experience the best travel companions are the ones who can flex and adapt to other people's quirks and needs, even if they don't understand or share those needs. People who refuse to allow other people these things are really unpleasant to travel with.
posted by Dilemma at 12:26 PM on November 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

(If you are dead set on getting out early- You might see if the three of you can offer to each carry a little bit of the extra stuff she wants to bring, and get her to the point where she's okay with just carry-on)

Oh! On preview: what Cabingirl said... And what vytae said...
posted by ManInSuit at 12:27 PM on November 2, 2011

I really don't know what you could say to her that wouldn't end up sounding bitchy, and that isn't a great way to start a fun vacation with friends. Maybe tell yourself that you're going to spend the extra few minutes it takes for her to get her bags checking your email or getting a snack from the airport.

If it helps, I've checked bags recently and they come down the chute much faster than they used to because airlines have now begun to charge for bags, so many fewer people are checking them. Our bags have usually arrived within five minutes of getting to the carousel, if not sooner. Have fun!
posted by wrinkle at 12:28 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whatever hassle you face claiming the bags will be far less than the hassle you will face from the drama which will occur if you don't let this go.
posted by bondcliff at 12:29 PM on November 2, 2011 [15 favorites]

With four adult women going on a trip together, not everyone is going to agree with everyone else's decisions for 4 days. And especially not in Vegas.

Are you all driving one car to the airport, or are you taking a taxi? If you're keeping the car in the lot over the weekend, the rest of you can go get the car, while she gets the bag, and meet you outside.

There has to be some compromise, generosity and love. Really, you want to bully and shame your friend into saving you 15 minutes after a 4 day weekend? Take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Then email your friend with, "I'm sorry I was being a jerk and trying to overschedule our return trip. You always look fabulous and who would I be to deny Vegas the opportunity to see you at your best? Pack what you like, we'll get some coffee or go get the car, and it's totally not a big deal. Can't wait to get outta here, so excited!! xo"
posted by barnone at 12:30 PM on November 2, 2011 [13 favorites]

Well ask her why she wants to check it in, listen to her answer, and then probably let it go. I don't see what's to be gained from making this into a thing.
posted by mleigh at 12:32 PM on November 2, 2011

If she's only checking the bag on the return trip, what's stopping the rest of you from just NOT waiting for her? Rather than one joint trip home from the airport, all of you just say your goodbyes at the airport and each person gets home under their own power, that way no one has to wait for anybody.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:38 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

It could be that she's planning on picking something up in Vegas that won't make it through security. I picked up an extra-nice bottle of scotch one time and had to check a bag I'd kept with me on the way out. Considering just how little one can actually bring through security these days, it could be almost anything.
posted by valkyryn at 12:51 PM on November 2, 2011

I hear you, but I think you have to let this go. You're flying to Vegas. She wants to pack a lot. I understand you want to get home right away but... it's part of the compromise one makes for the pleasure of other's company.

Buy a trashy magazine in the airport store, save it for when you land, and spend a leisurely half hour enjoying some alone time with your magazine. Have them find you when the baggage arrives.
posted by amicamentis at 12:53 PM on November 2, 2011

I just don't think it's necessary for an extended weekend trip.

I just don't think this amount of fuss is necessary for perhaps half an hour's wait at the airport. Blimey O'Reilly.
posted by holgate at 12:54 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I agree with everyone who suggests you drop it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:05 PM on November 2, 2011

You're talking about losing like 15 minutes of one of your days in Vegas. Come on, now... let the girl check her darn bag.
posted by fusinski at 1:12 PM on November 2, 2011

If it helps, I've checked bags recently and they come down the chute much faster than they used to because airlines have now begun to charge for bags, so many fewer people are checking them. Our bags have usually arrived within five minutes of getting to the carousel, if not sooner.

Yeah, checking bags is really not that much of a hassle. You are probably walking by the carousels anyway, and there is a decent chance the bag will already be there by the time you are. No way it is a half hour.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:13 PM on November 2, 2011

Following on from Empress Callipygos - don't wait for her, and pay for her cab (or whatever) fare home from the airport.
posted by desjardins at 1:15 PM on November 2, 2011

It sounds like she wants to pick up souvenirs that will make the bag too heavy or planning on buying liquor that makes her unable to carry on her bag.

As suggested by many above, it's only 30 min. Best to let it go.
posted by littlesq at 1:17 PM on November 2, 2011

Just adding to the chorus of "let it go." This is not worth making a thing out of, and it's little things like this that can really add resentment to a trip with friends and generally make things less fun.
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 1:26 PM on November 2, 2011

Another vote in the 'let it go camp' - in addition to the points above, even if you planned to bring only carry-on luggage, if you're in a fully-booked flight where umpteen other passengers had the same plan, the overhead bins will fill up and some of the carry-ons will end up having to be checked in at the gate anyway.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:32 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, gotta agree with the "let it go" camp on this one. I mean seriously, does it really matter?
posted by Cosine at 1:44 PM on November 2, 2011

If you guys start doing Mean Girls with something as petty as checked vs. non-checked baggage, the Vegas trip is going to be miserable.

Drop it.
posted by schroedinger at 1:48 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's been at least two years when I been on a flight where some people didn't have to check what they planned to carry on. So perhaPs that's what she's thinking.

Let it go.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 2:01 PM on November 2, 2011

It's not the outbound trip that has me miffed, but the return trip. As it currently is, our return flight doesn't land until 8 PM and after four days away I'll be eager to get home, which is 90 minutes from the airport, plus the stop we have to make to drop one of us off about midway. Add a stop at the luggage carousel and we're probably looking at an extra half hour or more.

This is what you ought to work on. Why are you thinking about the return trip when you should be thinking about the trip itself - it hasn't happened yet! Use the time approaching the trip to focus on the present, the experience of the trip itself - you'll have more fun.
posted by RajahKing at 2:02 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry, you're the one who sounds unreasonable here. Yeah, you can fit 4 days' of clothes in a carry-on if you're careful, but you can't tell anyone else what to pack unless you're their parent.

Not to mention it's really hard to fit makeup and deodorant and toothpaste and shampoo and conditioner and whatever else in a quart bag, even if you use the travel bottles. I have enough trouble with toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo.

And you're going to need patience and rolling-with-it skills on this trip anyway. Four friends for four days? There are going to be rough spots in those 96 hours no matter how carefully you plan. A half hour at the carousel is nothing compared to that, even if it is the end of the trip and you are exhausted.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:24 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I was going on a trip and I said I wanted to check my baggage, and you asked me not to, and I said I really wanted to, and you came back at me with packing suggestions, I'd be bummed out. I'd feel like my comfort on a four day weekend was less important to you than a 15 minute wait at the baggage carousel.
posted by pazazygeek at 2:28 PM on November 2, 2011 [6 favorites]

I hate traveling with people that check luggage for short trips. It's not worth fighting over but it's annoying and rude. Learn how to pack. And you're going to Vegas not Bora Bora, if you forgot something pick it up there. It sounds like the start of special snowflakiness on her part.

I went to Hawaii for a week with a friend who checked her luggage because she brought just a super unreasonable amount of clothing, most of which wasn't worn. Thirty minutes on either was a pain.
posted by shoesietart at 2:33 PM on November 2, 2011

Here's another idea: to avoid the return trip airport luggage hassle (and if the home airport has baggage claim like LGA or JFK here in New York, a half hour would be the lucky outcome), suggest that your friend give the bag to FEDEX or UPS to ship home. I've started doing this with my hiking gear on the return leg of my hiking trips, and it makes everything homeward bound much, much easier. Also, hotel concierges can often do this for you, eliminating the need to find a shipping outlet.
posted by cool breeze at 2:33 PM on November 2, 2011

Like many of the others I can never see the big deal at waiting at the carousel for my bag, I travel a lot and hate the people that try and bring a huge bag on the plane to save 10 minutes. Let the poor girl check her bag.

If the wait really means so much , you could all offer to take some of her stuff in your bags and you bring less so she can still have all the stuff she wants for her vacation and you don't all have to wait.

Or think of it this way if she brings her bag and you guys want to bring back souvenirs or stuff you have to check like liquids, you'll already have someone with a bag big enough there and won't have to buy another.
posted by wwax at 2:35 PM on November 2, 2011

Wow, you 'let it go' people are weird. It's okay to disagree with your friends and try to change their minds, especially when they're suggesting madness. Waiting at the carousel with a bunch of losers who just got off the last plane from Vegas stinking of smoke and dashed hopes? She must be joking.

My approach would be to give her a verbal checklist, with more or less busting of chops depending on how well that fits in your relationship - Something like 'Hot dress, bikini, hot dress, bikini, hot dress, bikini, hot dress, bikini, toothbrush. Shove it in a bag. Anything else you need, Vegas has it. Let's go. Oh, and to teach you the error of your ways, when we get there, you're taking the $25 I saved you on checked bag fees, sticking it on red and buying the first round with your winnings'
posted by IanMorr at 3:18 PM on November 2, 2011

Maybe she doesn't relish the thought of dragging 4 days worth of stuff through the airport, and then trying to jockey for space in the overcrowded bins, all the while smacking fellow passengers on the shoulder.

Checking bags is a standard part of flying. If you can get away without it, awesome. If you can't, it's just ... normal.
posted by gjc at 3:36 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Should you convince her that you do not want to wait for her for half an hour, you will have to be sure she never has to wait for you during that vacation.

I'm sympathetic to not wanting to wait for luggage pickup, but I think that steaming about this during the trip -- either you because you need to wait or her because she couldn't bring the stuff she wanted -- is just going to make the trip not fun. Plan to nap in the taxi home and chalk it up to the vagaries of vacationing with other people.
posted by jeather at 3:42 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Unless you're boarding early, there's no guarantee you won't end up checking bags anyway. Most planes I've been on recently have to end up checking carryons because everyone is trying to save a few bucks.

For that reason, I _always_ check my bags, even for a couple day trip. While you worry about carousel annoyance, I worry about security lines (digging all the stuff I have to pull out of my bag -- toiletries, laptop, etc) and lugging my carryon around.

But how much / how you pack is one of those personal things that no one agrees on and has no "right answer".
posted by wildcrdj at 3:43 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here's what you do.

Have your friend go to the carousel to wait after you get off the plane.

You go directly to the car at whatever airport parking spot, pick up the car and pay for the parking. Bring the car back to the airport (presumably the parking place is less than 5 or 10 mins away) and pick up your friends. By the time you get there, she'll be waiting at the curb with her bags (or you can call her cell/text her that you're waiting outside). You minimize wasted time, and she gets to be happy too.

Have fun in Vegas!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 3:43 PM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

If you really want to do this, buy her a decent sized cabin bag (most people who always check luggage don't own one) AND offer to buy her anything in Vegas that she finds she needs but couldn't fit in her bag.

In those circumstances, do you STILL want to convince her?
posted by lollusc at 3:44 PM on November 2, 2011

I recently went away for a 3 day weekend with a friend and I had carry on and she had this behemoth of a suitcase that, of course, had to be checked. We waited 10 mins for it to pop out at the other end. It wasn't a big deal for me because I know my friend - she wasn't going to be happy if she didn't have all the things with her she felt she needed. Who was I to say you can't bring your squishy pillow and hair dryer?

You should focus on this trip being FUN rather than fixating on the one half hour that may or may not be inconvenient to you. If this friend has caused issues in the past and this is just the boiling over point for you then you need to address the other issues, not focus on checked baggage... I really hope you all enjoy your trip!
posted by latch24 at 3:45 PM on November 2, 2011

I just got back from a four week, two continent, nine country trip with nothing more than carry-on baggage, I'm that anal about it.

And I agree with the "drop it" consensus. You could even look on this - if there's no extra cost from your airline - as an opportunity to check bags yourself, and luxuriate in your ability to pack full-size toiletries, more shoes, an extra outfit; hell, pack something totally ridiculous, like an inflated beachball or a small styrofoam cooler.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:29 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm a very light packer and I still usually check my bag. I just hate to carry it through the airport. Giving me packing tips would not change my mind.
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:54 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

My husband and I pretty much check our bags no matter what, even if they are carryon sized because it doesn't mean we have stress about packing and squishing things to fit just right, we dont have to haul an overstuffed carryon through the airport, we don't have to worry about it going through security with an accidental forbidden item in it, we don't have to find an open spot in the overhead bins and we don't have to heft it up and down there. Recently some airlines even let people with no carryon board first!

Get bright/ unique ribbon to mark her bag so it's easy to spot, and maybe go get the car while she grabs her bag from the carousel. Relax and realize in the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes isn't worth starting a vacation out on a point of contention.
posted by HMSSM at 11:00 PM on November 2, 2011

I hate baggage claim and I never check anything, not even for month long trips. I get what you're saying because on the return trip I just want to get home. Watching suitcases do the loop de loop around the baggage carousel is not my idea of fun.

Even I am telling you to let this go. If you really cannot endure the wait, then get another ride home. We're talking about the difference between getting home at 10:45 and 11:15. With that of a tight time constraint, maybe you need to book an earlier return flight.

The other thing is even good friends aren't always great travel companions. If she's a "high fuss needs to pack everything" and your a "whatever fits in my backpack", then maybe you aren't going to be great travel buddies.
posted by 26.2 at 12:23 AM on November 3, 2011

Lugging a carryon bag through the airport and then figuring out where to put it in the overhead bins and then getting it down when you've stored two seats behind you slows you down. I once timed it, and the extra time it cost me was about the same amount of time as waiting for my bag at the carousel. Let this one go.
posted by bluefly at 7:05 AM on November 3, 2011

Ok. I get it. I had considered the 'go get the car and pick her up at the curb' idea and I think that's what I'll go with. It will alive me of having to stand at the carousel when I really don't have to or need to and will get us all on the road to home that much sooner.

Thanks for the confirmation of what I knew was the likely answer. Vegas here I come!

posted by SoftSummerBreeze at 8:16 AM on November 3, 2011

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