3 Tips for flying back and forth from the boat

I’ve just made the “shlep” again – I flew to the US for Christmas to visit family and just flew back to the boat in the Bahamas yesterday loaded down with boat parts. Over time, I’ve found three little things that help.

luggage_scale1. Luggage Scale

A simple luggage scale makes it easy to weigh each bag and make sure you don’t exceed the airlines’ baggage weight limits.

I realized my Mom truly understood my vagabond lifestyle when she gave me a luggage scale for Christmas one year. She bought it from a travel gear catalog but now some WalMarts even carry luggage scales for about $10. They can weigh bags up to 75 pounds and even have a built-in tape measure for checking bag dimensions.

I always pack the scale with me now so that I can weigh my bags before flying. Many airlines now charge an extra $75 to $100 per bag if your bag exceeds their weight limits (commonly 50 pounds). Small regional airlines often limit you further.If you are just carrying clothes, you are unlikely to bump up against the limits. But if you find yourself flying back with a bunch of cruising guides for a new area, an alternator, boom vang, or perhaps your boat’s rebuilt transmission, your scale may save you a bunch of money in overweight charges by helping you plan the organization of your bags.

And some budget airlines seem to be hoping that you will accidentally exceed their very minimal baggage and carryon allowances. Their overweight charges can easily exceed the cost of the ticket!

travel_vest 2. Travel vest

Several years ago, I got a travel vest (one of those dorky looking vests with 20+ pockets inside and out) and now I often wear it when I travel.

I carry my travel documents in it, plus any small electronics that I want on the plane or bus.

Then if an airline makes me check my carry-on, I transfer essentials from my carryon to my vest’s pockets, and thus can still keep with me items that I absolutely would not want to lose. The makers of my vest claim that the back pocket can even hold a full size laptop, but I have never had to get that crazy.

I occasionally wear my vest when I am out in big crowds and want to take lots of photos. I can travel light without having to worry about protecting a backpack from pickpockets. Between photos, I can tuck my camera into a protected pocket and not worry about a clever pickpocket slipping away with it.

The vest is too warm for roaming busy streets in tropical climates however.

No one has ever accused me of being fashionable.

pda_ewallet 3. EWallet program

Several years ago, I bought a little software program called EWallet. It stores all my important numbers, reducing the papers I have to carry to and from the boat. EWallet is super easy to use and customizable.

I store in it all the account and policy numbers for

  • bank accounts
  • credit cards
  • frequent flyer numbers
  • license keys for software
  • serial numbers for important equipment
  • login usernames and passwords for all my accounts
  • health insurance
  • passport, drivers license
  • boat documentation, radio call signs and numbers

… and the phone numbers, email addresses, and websites for contacting customer service at all these institutions.

EWallet is so easy to use that it’s easy to keep it up to date. The information is encrypted and password protected and can be easily synced between a computer, PDA, or smartphone, IPhone, etc so that I can look up my important numbers on any of these.

There are other programs similar to EWallet, but since choosing EWallet I haven’t had any cause to look at the competitors since I am very happy with it. EWallet costs about $20.

Happy cruising!

Related articles:
Pin It

1 comment to 3 Tips for flying back and forth from the boat

  • Another tip for coping with the one-way schlep of boat parts pack to the boat is to buy suitcases from thrift stores. Often gotten for just a few dollars, you won’t feel badly about using them and then abandoning them at your destination. the good news is these cases are usually those heavy duty old Tourister-type that protect your parts; the bad news is they weigh more than you might want in this age of restricted luggage allowances. Even so, they are surprising popular with locals who use them for storage.

Leave a Comment




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>