How Many Pieces of Luggage

July 14, 2013


[ UPDATE: Voting is now closed. ]

By Gabrielle.

On Monday I felt like a basket-case. And that feeling continued off and on all week. One minute I was focused and practical and packing up like a boss. The next minute, neighbors would come to say farewell, or we’d visit our favorite bakery for the last time, and I was weeping elephant tears! It’s been quite a week. But miracle of miracles, we are now packed and ready to go. We finished up last night, and we’ve been able to enjoy the local Bastille Day celebrations (Happy Bastille Day, Everyone!) with only a few small items on our to do list.

To commemorate this epic packing job, how about a little trivia? When we came here, we brought 7 large duffle bags, 7 carryon-size roller bags, 7 backpacks, an iMac in the original box, a trombone in its case, a guitar in its case, a stroller, and a car seat for Baby June (she was 9 months old at the time). That’s a total of 26 pieces.

Anyone want to guess how many pieces we’re bringing back to the U.S.? You can make your best guess above by clicking a check mark.

P.S. — Our flight has strict luggage weight restrictions. 20 kg (44 lbs) for checkons, and 5 kg (11 lbs) for carryons. (Oddly, from what we can tell, personal items like purses and backpacks have no weight restriction.) As you can imagine, we’ve been weighing and double weighing every piece of luggage like mad men! Discovery: Our books simply add too much weight. So we’re shipping a few boxes home. When we moved here, we also shipped a few boxes of books and miscellaneous items, so I figure it’s pretty much a wash.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christina July 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Good luck and a smooth flight back to the states!
Your post reminds me of our luggage when we moved to germany last year…
hubby, 2 kids and myself… I bet we made a sight in frankfurt with our pile of 4 backpacks, 4 carry-on luggage, 4 suitcases, a pile of 9 duffle bags and 2 more or less conscious kids draped around it… even funnier if you know the luggage carts they have there…
That said, I wish you and your family lots of fun settling into your new
surroundings and just as much fun re-discovering stateside living :o)


2 angie July 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

oh good golly! what a packing nightmare!! moving makes me a basket case (with a side of crazy town!). i’m sure you’ll be glad when this is all over…except for all the sweetness you are leaving behind :(
glad you got to soak up a day or two before you left!


3 Anne July 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I know each airline is different, but when we flew from West Africa back to the states (through CGD) on Air France, we were allowed a total of 12 kg/passenger in cabin baggage (so your carry on bag and your personal item are essentially weighed together). I remember, like you said, that they were super strict about it. I definitely think it’s worth a call to the airline to make sure.

Also, one thing that helped me prepare for my trans-Atlantic move was buying a luggage scale. I weighed every single bag and wrote its final weight on a piece of tape by the handle. I then had the agent check them in from heaviest to lightest, in case my calculations were wrong and I had to do some reshuffling. It has helped me on many occasions.

Have a safe flight!


4 Meg July 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

We took the Queen Mary 2 home, only because they have amazing rates for last minute bookings. You were allowed one ton per passenger. Something to think about…It was amazing and not to mention a nice transition for the family when returning state side.


5 Meg July 14, 2013 at 11:23 pm

P.S. Once stateside it was much cheaper to ship our belongings. We also looked at taking a cargo ship back home, honest!


6 Summer July 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

Doh, I can only see these voting options half the time, and today it is a white screen. Anyway, I’ll guess around 45ish (I feel like the number 50 – and essentially doubling your number – would do you in ;) ). Good luck! I’m impressed you keep it together as much as you do! Safe travels!


7 Katie July 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

I’m excited to see what things you find beautiful here in CA. Safe travels!!


8 Karen in Ireland July 16, 2013 at 3:27 am

I’m going to guess at the largest number of 37, because I always seem to return with more than I started with! Just to add to the advice, I always make sure a few of our carry ons are not totally packed to the brim, just incase I need to reshuffle things and even out the weight allowances. Safe Travels to you and your family.


9 Alison Chino July 23, 2013 at 8:36 am

Wow! We are moving next month from Arkansas to Scotland and we are TOTALLY in the middle of this crazy packing puzzle!

I can’t believe you’ve moved already! I will miss your adventures in France, but look forward to reading about the next phase of your family’s journey.

One day, when you are all settled, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see a packing list for what you should take when moving abroad. Or what did you take to France that you wish you’d left at home because it was easy to buy there? What did you leave at home that you wish you’d taken.

Cheers to a new season!


10 Andrew LAng July 24, 2013 at 7:39 am

My wife and I are planning to move to France soon for a few years. You mentioned you brought over an iMac in the original box (I’m guessing you brought it back too). How exactly did you travel with it (carryon, checkon, ship it)? We are planning on taking a 27″ iMac. Did customs charge VAT or taxes on the computer? Thanks so much.


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