Goal: To pack up our backpacks, get through security, and fit them on the plane with all of our gear safely on the other end. To practice traveling on a strict budget. (Also, to spend a few days relaxing on a beach)
Time Frame: 5 nights
We leave in less than 2 months for our year-long trip. Today Josh and I set out for our practice trip. We packed up our backpacks and headed to Ft. Lauderdale to use some free SPG resort nights that were expiring. We also had a companion ticket that allowed us to buy one airline ticket and get the second one free. Josh spent three months switching hotels each night to earn them, so we couldn’t let them go to waste!
Packing up was the easy part, we have our list of what we want to bring, our packing cube and long list of electronics. We are still figuring out the bag system and how best to carry everything. I like to have my DSLR easily reachable in my small bag but it gets very heavy quickly so we might need to re-think this! Josh’s daypack is a tiny 18L backpack from REI, which is difficult to carry while wearing a main pack, something we hadn’t considered prior to the trip.
With Josh’s Platinum status we went through security quickly and grabbed some tortas at the new Frontera Grill location at O’Hare. (mmm chorizo….)
2.5 hours later we are in Ft. Lauderdale. Our bags didn’t get stopped and questioned once, they fit perfectly overhead on the airplane (both together were about the size of a normal carry-on!) and everything we wanted to bring is with us. Traveling with our winter jackets isn’t ideal but we recently ordered these from Patagonia, during the REI winter sale and they fold up into a small pocket which will help.
We arrived late, and since we also had a $25 award certificate from SPG, we ordered room service at midnight. Josh got a cheeseburger (old habits die hard) and Care ordered a spicy chicken flatbread. Our mints were key-lime!
We still have 5 nights left and a long to-do list to get through for our upcoming trip. We are taking advantage of the time we have off from work to cross things off while still making time to get out on the beach and enjoy the 80 degree days!