When Tiffany and I went to Guatemala, I learned a valuable lesson about packing appropriately.
I’m going to skip the flight down. That was trauma enough. Then there was the most confusing layover of my life in Mexico City. Also, let’s not dwell here.
Eventually, we landed in Guatemala City. We arrived in the middle of the night and waited for a long time for our luggage to arrive at baggage claim. Except it never did. Eventually we had to concede that it just wouldn’t be arriving that night.
We took a cab to our hostel. The thing is, they didn’t want to let us in the hostel gates. We’d told them we were coming late, but apparently that didn’t matter anymore. We were terrified that our cab driver would desert us in this dark road outside the hostel gates in the middle of the night in Guatemala City, when neither of us speak Spanish. Call me crazy, but that seemed a bit on the unsafe side. We refused to let the cab driver take our carry-ons from the trunk until they opened the gate for us. That night we laid in the dark on two semi-clean (emphasis on the semi) twin beds, listening to airplanes fly overhead, just counting down the hours until morning when Amber would come pick us up and bring us to Antigua.
Now, here is the deal. I knew that you should pack certain things in your carry-on suitcase in case your luggage gets lost. However, I learned a valuable lesson about how much to back in your carry-on. In attempts to pack light, I’d brought a backpack as my carry-on and I had just one or two changes of clothes. That doesn’t help in the pajama-ing, showering, or climbing a volcano situations.
Amber called the airport every day as our fearless interpreter. Every day they put her off. I quickly ran out of clothing, but Tiffany-the-wise-packer did not. She showed off on a daily basis, putting on her new, clean, cute outfits 🙂
When it was time for us to climb a volcano, I had nothing appropriate to wear to accommodate for the shifting temperatures so I bought this sweet long sleeve t-shirt at the market. A moose. Abercrombie. And a Sesame Street tag. That is class, right there.
After our trip was half over, it was discovered that our luggage had indeed arrived. If memory serves me right, it arrived the day before, but was sent to the hostel in Guatemala City, not to the address of our hotel in Antigua where we had asked for it to be delivered and we would need to go fetch it.
If you are ever headed to Antigua, be forewarned that I checked with a lot of people, and it turned out that everyone and their brother loses their luggage on the way to Guatemala, and on average it takes 3 days to be reunited with your belongings.
Now, if I’m in a situation where I am going to check luggage, I make sure and pack a lot more in my carry-on. Like a boyscout: be prepared.