I know they look a tad childish but I least they could be spotted out in a sea of luggage. The two key elements when buying these were that they could be rolled and they could also be used as backbacks and these fit the bill. These look a tad full but keep in mind that I took this photo when we got back from our trip. I also bought cute labels from Target to put our address and name just in case they got lost. When it was time to pack I used this list as a template of the things we would need. I made some adjustments to the list to fit our lifestyle. One IMPORTANT thing that I didn't take into consideration when we booked our flight was the weight limit for our carryon luggage. It turns out that although our carryon was the right measurements it did not meet the weight requirement that Virgin Atlantic has. There goes my idea of not checking in our luggage but at least we didn't have to lug a big bag around. One of the best purchases I made before our trip was buying these Brita bottles because as it turns out drinking fountains are nonexistent in Europe. Another great tip that I found on several forums was the use of a money belt which we didn't go anywhere without. I purchased ours at Marshall's for less than $10 each and it was an investment that gave us great peace of mind especially after seeing all the "Beware of pickpockets" signs everywhere. Besides our "carryon" bags we also took a small messenger bag where we kept important things like medication, our 3-1-1 bags, and our folder with all our reservations. In my purse I took my camera, my money belt (I put it on once we were past security at the airport), and my 4 SD cards (I took a lot of cards since we didn't take a computer to offload the photos into).
Once I quadrupled checked all our paperwork which included the countless reservations I had made and I checked that we had copies of our passports deep inside our luggage we were on our merry way. Before we left home we checked in online and filled out all the necessary paperwork that was required of us and I went so far as to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to cover all our basis while we were away. To prepare to go through the security scan I made sure to pack our belts in the luggage, I wore a sports bra, and I told my hubby to take everything out of his pockets and put it in the messenger bag before we went through the line. Once we went through security and were waiting for our flight we realized that we had gotten to the airport too early. We left four hours ahead of our scheduled flight because we didn't know what to expect. Next time around we're planning on leaving two hours before our international flight is scheduled to leave. We bought a few snacks for the plane and we waited for our flight to leave. Once we were on the plane I was glad that I had used SeatGuru to pick our seats.
Our flight left right on time at 9:15pm local time and was set to arrive at Heathrow at 3:50pm local time. Overall we had a good flight with the exception of the cranky lady sitting behind me that kept hitting the back of my seat . I do have to admit though if I could do it again I would have gotten a layover somewhere in the middle of our flight since we felt that 10+ hours is much too long to be on an airplane.
We both thought that Virgin Atlantic was a great choice for our first time flying overseas. All I have to say is that the food was good, the staff was friendly, the entertainment was great, and the goodie bag they gave us was a plus.
...To be continued...
Day 2, Day 3 (Pt. 1), Day 3 (Pt. 2), Day 4 (Pt. 1), Day 4 (Pt. 2), Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10,