Moving overseas--strategy for bags?

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  1. I will be moving from Europe back home to the US next month. Initially, I am flying with my family while the bulk of our belongings come in a shipping container about a month later. I have two kids and I am trying to cram as much as possible into our luggage.
    I have picked up five Chanels and some SLGs while living abroad. I also have jewelry and other rather expensive items which definitely need to come along with me in carry-ons. And then there´s the sentimental or important financial documents that need to be with me, on my person...So you see already there´s a lotta stuff vying for room in my luggage.
    I want to move my beloved Chanels in the most protective and yet cost-efficient way possible. I would really like to keep the boxes. I am willing to pay for one or --maybe-- two extra pieces of luggage but I am not traveling like J.Lo here. Going economy.
    So, cutting to the chase....Do I pack them all, with boxes (that takes up a TON of room) in my checked luggage? Pick out my favorite for carry on and pray for the others? Do I box them up and ship them all off at the post office (with insurance?) or entrust them to the moving guys putting them on a shipping container (gasp)?
    I take super good care of my stuff so kind of freaking out here for my Chanel bags (probably just to avoid freaking out about the bigger issues that come with repatriating, honestly).
  2. I would not store valuables in my checked luggage, even while traveling first class or economy. All valuables stay with me on the plane. I don't trust the movers to pack my valuables or anything of sentimental value. That leaves me with the only option of packing them myself and shipping them with insurance. I don't even trust DH to pack my stuff so why would I trust a stranger, YKWIM?
    missie1, Doodles78 and tannim44 like this.
  3. Could you nest the smaller bags in bigger bags and place all valuables spread amongst your suitcases and your family's? Also pack the sentimental and documents with you.

    Nest the boxes within each other and ship them with your shipping container. Hide them within the linens and clothes. The boxes aren't as important as the actual valuables which you should try to bring with you as much as possible.
    missie1, Vanana and Doodles78 like this.
  4. Hi Sweetie, long-time lurker here. I've never posted before, but felt compelled to answer. I just went to India from the US (and back) with tons and tons of jewelry and bags, so I feel your pain. (5 purses & 5 diamond sets). I had 2 grand weddings to attend & a ton of events so I wasn't traveling light. And I was traveling in economy class (not even premium economy, lol. Yeah, don't ask why. Sometimes life is just complicated).

    Use your favorite Chanel as your personal item on flight, but bring dust bag to protect it on flight (or empty shopping bag). Divide rest of Chanels into each family members' carry on rolling suitcase. Make sure each carry on is smaller than airline allowance and pack an empty, large zip-top bag in each carry-on suitcase. (Something like a cloth grocery bag but with a zip top).

    If the flight attendant says that there is no room in economy for your bag, take out your valuables & put in that bag. The flight attendant won't mind. Technically you will end up with 3 bags, not 2, but you will be able to get away with this. I've done it many times.

    Pack the empty Chanel boxes in the shipping container & let them come later. You can always store other non-valuables in those boxes temporarily.

    I try not to put valuable purses in checked baggage. I have done so, though, with LV & Chloe bags. But it is playing Russian roulette, so I wouldn't advise it.

    Also, you could try the insured shipping route. I've never done so, but maybe someone else has?

    Good-luck, dear :smile:
    lilacto, Elaine1904 and Doodles78 like this.
  5. ^ That's might work. You can practice packing them to see if they all fit. If you spread out the bags and jewellery between your family's carry on you can certainly do that. Just make sure that you keep an eye on them. I don't know how old your children are but mine can be quite absent minded even with their own back packs.
    I've shipped items once when DH came back from working overseas. His company took care of the shipping cost which was by container via sea. I think it took at least 4-6 weeks to finally reached us. We don't live near a port. The valuables were couriered with full insurance prior to us leaving. They were sent to my parents' house. Take pictures, document everything.
    Doodles78 likes this.
  6. All fantastic posts; thank you for the advice. I am definitely not putting any valuables in checked luggage. I will look into shipping with insurance and, of course, using carry-on luggage as best I can. Thank you, Mama doodle, for the detailed advice.
  7. I can share my recent experience when I went on holiday in Paris and bought 4 handbags (Chanel CF, Dior diorama, YSL WOC and balenciaga le dix for MIL - I mention the bags for an indication of the size.)
    I was not willing to check any of these bags into luggage - instead we put them all into one carry on piece. The bags were stuffed with their tissue and placed in their dust bags. Since the bags were all similarly sized, I was not able to nest them. All 4 bags fitted perfectly in one carry on luggage. All the boxes however were different sizes so we nested them in each other the best that we could and checked that into luggage.
    We flew on several connecting flights between destinations and had flew Ryanair for most of the flights.
    This worked well for me, except 2 incidents.
    1. We were at the CDG airport to board a flight to Madrid. Unfortunately there was a flight to Rome that had problems which meant that all these people were allowed to check in before us. We were pushed to the back of the line despite getting there one hour earlier than needed. Anyway, clearing security took nearly 1.5 hour and by the time we went through the metal detectors, our flight was called as last boarding call. We RAN to the gate and got our boarding pass scanned, walked towards the door of the plane before I realised that my bags were not with us. :shocked::shocked::shocked: I broke out in cold sweat and me and husband turned around and RAN to the metal detector. There was a bottleneck in the bag scanning part so when we cleared the detectors, our luggage was several bags back. And in our panic to get to the last boarding call, we forgot to wait for that piece of luggage. Anyway, everything went well in the end, we got our bag which had only just cleared the xray machine and were the last passengers to get on the plane (Although I would have rather missed the flight than this piece of lugagge! it was nearly 10K euros!!)
    Lesson from the scariest handbag moment of my life: Don't do what I did. Still makes me feel sick thinking about it :sick::sick::sick:
    2. We boarded a full capacity plane in Madrid where everyone had a carry on luggage (Since carry on was free but you had to pay for check in luggage). When we were close to boarding, a ryanair employee approached us and told us that we had to check our luggage in and that we had no choice in the matter. I was furious. I had bought check in luggage and premium economy seats so I felt like I was entitled to board with my bags. Anyway - after a lot of arguing and threatening to complain to Ryanair about this policy - the guy still did not allow me to carry my luggage on. We quickly repacked - moving our pillows, food, jackets, handbag contents except wallet and phone into the carry on and putting the handbags in my le pliage tote and my husbands backpack. However, in the end, they forgot to get our luggage and we boarded the plane with our carry on anway :annoyed::annoyed: After all that stress, there was plenty of space above our seat to stow the luggage. :annoyed:
    Lesson: Depending on the flight operator, and how full the plane is, they may not allow you to carry on your carry on luggage. This has happened at other times to me with other airlines such as emirates. Have a backup plan in case they are full and have to check in your carry on. Maybe carry a le pliage or similar folded up so you can stuff stuff stuff

    I hope my horror stories help you in your packing. Good luck!!
    simplyhappy likes this.
  8. My husband and I went Europe a few years back. We bought a Hermes Evelyn PM, Chanel mini and a pair of Ferragamo shoes.:yahoo: I put them all inside a cabin luggage. Definitely not check in luggage. :no:
  9. For my last move, I pack my favorites into carryon and personal item.

    I use my tote for personal item and manage to place 2 m/l flap with some other stuffs in. It was quite heavy but I would prefer to have them with me. The other bags are in my and my bf's carryon bags.

    The rest was shipping by airline cargo though. My friends experienced massive delay with the shipping service that I would not want to try.
    Doodles78 likes this.
  10. OMG, the stress I felt reading this! Glad it all worked out in the end. I too get very upset when they don't allow you to take your carry on luggage, this has append a few times already and it always makes me nervous as I always pack my valuables in my carry on. When I and my luggage reunite I'm always very happy :smile:
    Btw congrats on your European haul!!
  11. I would recommend packing them yourself and having the movers take them or shipping. Will you have insurance with the movers? I do not recommend you let anyone pack up your bags and I do not recommend hauling around a extra suitcase. The movers shouldn't open a bag that you packed and they won't know what's in there. Definitely carry all jewellery but that's small and in some cases more valuable.
    Doodles78 likes this.
  12. It looks like I may be able to put four out of five bags in carry-on luggage/wearing on the plane. Since our movers are paid for by my husband´s work and they carry high insurance, I will pack a box myself containing the fifth bag and SLGs and close it up so the movers do not know what is in there. I also installed Sortly on my iPhone for inventory purposes.
  13. Can you break down the boxes and reconstruct when you get back-that will save a ton of room?
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