We’ve gotten pretty good at packing our packs in a timely manner and we thought that since we got rid of our cloth diapers that our packs would be way lighter than usual! Little did we know, they were actually heavier…
They ended up being heavier because we weren’t planning on wearing as many layers of clothes as we previously had. We knew that Taiwan would be hot when we got here and we wanted to be comfortable so Scott planned to wear shorts and flip flops and neither of us were going to wear jackets like we usually did in transit.
When we weighed our bags at home and realized we were way over the alloted 7kg per bag we decided to do some maneuvering. Scott changed into his jeans and closed toe shoes, we both put on button-up shirts, and we carried out jackets on the outside of our packs. We knew were we allowed one 7kg carryon and one personal item each so we packed up our side bag (or diaper bag) with essentials for Carter and we packed our smaller back pack with all of our heavy electronics–this took out weight from our main packs.
When we got to the ticket counter at the airport to check in for our flight, they asked us for a copy of our ticket to leave Taiwan. Scott and I both stammered nonsense for a minute while looking at each other a little panicked and then confessed to not having tickets departing Taiwan. The woman behind the computer double checked the requirements for entering Taiwan and confirmed that we definitely needed a copy of a ticket departing Taiwan.
Yikes! We explained that we didn’t have one because our original plans were to go to Thailand after Taiwan but because of the things going on there right now we weren’t able to get tickets. She kindly excused herself to ask her supervisor what the next step for us was. She came back telling us that we just needed to sign a document stating that we were aware that we could be denied entrance into Taiwan without a departure ticket. She said that according to her supervisor, with our USA passports we have a good chance of being accepted into the country without departure tickets since the US is on good terms with Taiwan. We were estatic with the news!
Here’s a picture of us with the wonderful employee who helped us out, her supervisor, and another employee that was super helpful.
Before we got our boarding passes, they checked the weight of our carry-ons and said that they were just a little over and that security double checks the weight. They advised us to rearrange our packs a little more with our personal items to get the weight of the carry-ons down. After we rearranged, getting through security was a breeze. One of the officers even commented, “You must’ve done this a few times before” because of how efficient Scott and I are with getting our stuff sorted in bins and down the line through the scanners. We have a pretty good system.
Once through security and at the comfort of our gate about an hour before departure, we rearranged our packs… again… to minimize the loose items.
Scott changed into his shorts and flip flops and we stuff our button-up shirts and jackets back in the bags. We made sure we had essential items for Carter, pillows and eye masks for Scott and I, and needed electronics all in one bag for the plane to keep at our feet. We then smashed everything else into our two packs. Carter was having a blast crawling around and seeing his reflection in the window!
Just as Scott was zipping up the second pack to finish the consolidation, Carter had a massive blowout. It was bad enough that it had got all over my arm and hand, but on top of that, the bathrooms didn’t have a baby changing station. Luckily, our previous host found a nice changing pad at a thrift store for us and we fit it in our packs. I grabbed the changing pad, a diaper, wipes, and a plastic bag and went as far away from people as I could. I laid Carter down in between two rows of seats and changed his nasty diaper and messy clothes.
I carried Carter (sporting just a diaper) back to Scott and our packs only to realize that we didn’t keep an extra set of clothes for Carter out. We had to undo all of the consolidation work that Scott just finished to find an outfit for Carter. We boarded the plan shortly after this minor fiasco… phew, what a night!