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The Trip South

One February when I was living in New Zealand (reminder: February is Summer in the Southern Hemisphere) I decided to go visit the South Island.

I developed a fairly complicated itinerary that would make the most of the two weeks of vacation I had. The trip was kicked off by a ferry ride from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South. Since I was living in Auckland, that meant a seven-hour drive to Wellington.

What I had not reckoned with, however, was tourist season. By the time I went to go rent a car, I could not obtain one for essentially any price. Since I was planning to fly back from the South Island once my tour was complete, I didn’t want to drive my own car since I would have no way to get it back from Wellington.

However, there were plenty of seats on one of the many Air New Zealand flights from Auckland to Wellington. In fact, it was so cheap that even if I had been able to find a rental car at peak season from a company willing to let me pick up in Auckland and drop off in Wellington, the flight would have been competitively-priced!

So instead of a stressful seven-hour drive, it turned into a fairly relaxing hour-long flight (and yes, it was relaxing. Flying domestically in New Zealand is a much better experience than US domestic flights).

There was one amusing experience, though. I had packed two weeks’ worth of clothes and supplies into my duffel bag, which I brought as a carry-on since I refuse to check bags if I can at all help it. It was not a particularly large bag, but it enabled fairly dense packing so it weighed quite a lot.

As I wasn’t checking a bag, I checked in using a kiosk. Once I got to the gate, they told me that the weight restriction for my carry-on was 7 kilos. I told them quite honestly that I had not weighed this bag but it felt like it was approximately as heavy as a Volkswagen Polo. Being an American I don’t weigh things in kilograms very often, but I strongly suspected it was more.

The gate agent told me that they didn’t actually have a scale there, so it was up to me. I elected to keep my bag (pro tip: always elect to keep your bag if you can) and he smiled and waved me on.

If you want to read the whole saga of my South Island trip, I wrote no fewer than nineteen posts on my other blog about it. But I believe this is the first time I’ve told the story of my overweight carry-on 🙂


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