Islanders like this Pacific Woman in Philly (PWIP), understand all too well the dilemma and challenges of packing for a trip to our lovely islands and especially if one is travelling from the East coast of America. From trying to find the best deals on flights, without the hassle of catching ten flights, right down to the intricate details of packing one suitcase so it can weigh exactly 50 kilos and not over that. I think the new airline rules were made up for Pacific Islanders.
I remember flying decades ago, seeing the boxes and suitcases that islanders like myself, would take on the plane. It’s a wonder the plane was able to get up into the sky with all that cargo.
Another challenge in travelling to the Pacific is the price of the flight. I’ve found that the most economical way is to fly with an US airline that works with the international carrier I’m flying with because than I’ll be paying one fee for excess luggage (should it happen), which is often paid at my original destination. If this PWIP flies US airlines that are not affiliated with the international airline…. no matter how cheap the flights are…I’ve ended up having to pay more for my luggage if it has surpassed the 50 kilo mark. Often times I’ve pleaded and begged the international airline staff or have had to take stuff out and placed them in my carry on bag.
Besides the packing and the price, the length of the flight is one I usually find very daunting and stressful. For those of you following this blog from other parts of the world, here’s a brief description of my flight schedule to the South Pacific leaving from the East Coast of America. If I leave on a Monday, I arrive at my final destination on a Wednesday. It takes at least 21 hours or more of travelling time from the moment I leave my house in Philly to arriving at an airport in Australia, Fiji or New Zealand. I’ll most likely board three or four different airlines, if I make connecting flights within the US and if I’m trying to travel the frugal way. At this time of my life, I’m more interested in taking the least amount of airlines to get to my destination.
I believe that the excitement of travelling, learning about new cultures and meeting new people, far outweighs the challenges I’ve written above. Hoping that you will be making some great journeys this year.