The Rock That Put Me Over The Limit - My Family Travels

I wanted my trip to Spain with my high school Spanish class to be unforgettable. As a high school student who didn’t have a job, other than mowing my grandmother’s lawn, my first issue was financing the trip. I saved for a year, but I knew I would still have to be thrifty while in Spain.

The weight limit for checked luggage on a Delta flight is 50 pounds. The rule is straightforward, if your luggage weighs too much, you either miraculously make it lighter, or pay a fee. I was well aware of this new rule when I departed from Minneapolis on my flight to Madrid. I didn’t have room in my budget for an $80 baggage fee. For this reason I was meticulous while packing, to say the least.

                Throughout the packing process I had kept the weight limit in mind. With every comfy walking shoe and travel size toiletry I considered the impact it would have on the overall weight. Finally, the night before my flight I brought the bathroom scale into my room. Zipping up my suitcase, I balanced the whole thing on the scale– beep! Perfect, enough underweight to fill with souvenirs.

                Throughout our amazing trip we traveled all around Spain. We saw archaic castles, ancient churches, and extravagant gardens; all of us Minnesotans were completely in awe. Each city we traveled to I collected a souvenir to remember the experience: Segovia, a bright red, hand-painted, fan; Toledo, a decorative metal sword (they’re known for their metal work); Madrid, three bottles of Spanish olive oil; Granada, a painted ceramic vase; and finally in Aguilas, a rock. Before you think that I was asking to pay the heavy luggage fee, let me explain. Everywhere my family has vacationed we’ve collected a rock to add to our garden. We have one from Lake Superior, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Itasca. So, when I went kayaking on the Mediterranean Sea and found a unique, football-sized rock I not only needed, but felt obligated to bring it home.

Our last morning in Spain came way too quick, but it was sure to be memorable. When we stepped in line at the airport to check our bags I started to get worried. I mentally went over all of the souvenirs I had acquired during our trip. I was more nervous than a wrestler who overindulged the night before weigh-in. 

My bag weighed in at a hefty 65 pounds. I was unsure if I should laugh or cry; I had almost expected it, but I didn’t know what to do. I grabbed my suitcase and frantically started unpacking while still in line. Shoes were shoved in plastic bags; olive oil was tossed into friends’ luggage; and toiletries were thrown away. Throughout this frenzy security was yelling at me in Spanish; apparently I wasn’t supposed to have my bag open in this area.  I’m sure it was quite comical for the rest of the people in line waiting to check their bags, especially when I pulled a rock out. How ironic, the girl with a rock has a bag over the weight limit! Once I had taken out a satisfactory amount I had my bag reweighed. Success, 47 pounds! I would have done a victory dance in the name of frugal traveling, but I was too weighed down with the four overflowing plastic bags, jammed carry-on, and purse that I now had to carry onto the flight.

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