Wednesday night our family went shopping for new luggage. Sounds like a fairly easy task. No trying on needed. No worrying "do they have this in my size". Just pick it out, roll it up to the register and pay. Maybe for your family it is easy, however for this picky family of five it turned into a three hour journey.
Our first problem was we had not yet decided exactly what we needed. Since we will be doing alot of traveling over the next three years we obviously needed something decent that will withstand the massive beatings airline give it. But how many and what size? Heck if we knew. Our biggest issues are our initial move, home leave and when we return stateside.
Since we will not have all our stuff for over a month when we get to Japan or get back to the states, we need enough clothing and items to last us several weeks. Plus we also will want room to carry some food (Caterpillar won't ship food with our belongings and there will be things we are unable to get while in Japan) and to bring back our "must-have" items from the US. (Mainly health and beauty items as I have this fear of thinking I am buying shampoo and instead it is some Japanese face cream with bleach) Then you have the shopping we will do when on home leave to think about.
With our Northwest tickets, unless the policy changes, we are allowed three pieces of checked luggage (plus Cat will pay for one more per person when we initially leave and then when we return stateside). But as Matt pointed out, can you imagine me traveling next summer with the kids by myself with 12 pieces of luggage? I can't stop laughing at that picture. I have a hard enough time taking my one suitcase and hooking my laptop bag to it, let alone 12 pieces.
So we wandered from store to store writing down features, sizes and prices. All while Sami was begging us to let her have a pink suitcase and Emily was informing us that she will not have a black or poop colored suitcase and Chris danced around in circles telling the girls since he gets the one black set we already own and he wants a black suitcase that he is obviously our favorite. We had debated not taking the kids with us to shop, but decided that allowing them to go would help them feel a part of the process. Next time I say screw the process and Matt and I go alone.
After three long hours we finally made our decision. We bought from this Ricardo Santa Cruz line at Kohls. Our deciding factor was the design of the wheels and the "Self-repairing, nylon coil zippers never go off track or tangle." Zippers on suitcases are my downfall as I am always breaking them. We let the girls each pick their color (Sami picked the baby blue and Emily picked purple) and bought three of the 28-inch expandable suitcases and one of the 25-inch expandable (I picked baby blue too). We figure once we get closer to our departure I can always get a few other 25-inch ones. However between what we just bought and the two Chris will be using and then the two Matt will be taking with him should be plenty. We will then use our remaining checked luggage allowance to pack actual boxes and fill those with dry foods and our must-have items.
Who would have thought picking something as simple as luggage would have been such a chore. If you think this was bad you should have seen us when we bought a basement dehumidifiers at our old house.You know with us Jacobs' nothing is ever easy without added drama.