Nigeria 2010 recap: getting out of Canada

From the entries I’ve written on traveling to Nigeria over the past two years, you’d think I’d be an expert in packing for the trip. You’d think I’d pack in good time and manage to get a good night’s sleep.

You’d think.

Instead my sister and I stayed up until the early morning, laughing hysterically over the sheer amount of things we wanted to take with us. We had gifts for family members and some of our grandma’s tenants but thanks to KLM’s reduced weight restrictions (likely caused by people like us who like to overpack), we were working with a combined 54kg/120lb reduction from two years ago! Can you imagine: two years ago we were each allowed two pieces of luggage, each weighing 32kg/70lbs and this time around the weight per baggage was 23kg/50lbs! Two years ago, each of us had one luggage that was over 32kg, and we had to pay a ridiculous amount for the overweight luggage. They are very strict and even one kg over will have them telling you to redistribute your items. The first thing that my mom determined this time was she was going to bring an extra piece of luggage, full mostly of gifts, and pay extra for that one. All our other luggage had to be the correct weight because none of us wanted to pay extra. My mom kept telling my sister and I not to pack too many pieces of clothing or shoes this time around, and I naively thought she was planning to do the same…until I discovered she ended up bringing 7 pairs of shoes and she needed space in our luggage for some of them!

(Incidentally, the shoes she wore most often were her mom’s shoes…that were already in Nigeria, and five pairs of shoes did not get worn even once!). In the end, I ended up leaving almost 40 pounds of stuff that I had wanted to take with me at home due to lack of space.

Our route from our corner of the world to Nigeria was the following: bus from our city to a city two hours away, plane from that city to Amsterdam, wait seven hours in Amsterdam, then make the last part of the trip from Amsterdam to Lagos.

At the bus station there was a scale for us to weigh our things. My sister had weighed her bags by standing on a scale to get her weight, then carrying her luggage and getting back on the scale so this was how one of her pieces of luggage checked out:


I didn’t bother and my luggage was predictably overweight:


After doing a bit of this:


only a few pieces of luggage were a bit overweight, and in the end most registered the correct weight:


Once we took care of our luggage we posed for some pics with our dad (who wasn’t joining us on the trip). I had to deal with some mockery for my purse which was larger and heavier than my mom and sister’s carry-ons (and I still had a carry-on). When we reached the airport we said goodbye to our seven pieces of luggage, happy that we wouldn’t have to deal with weighing them again until our return trip!

  1. Do you travel heavy or light?
  2. What item can you not pack enough of? (For me it’s moist wipes)
  3. Do you know airlines with more generous baggage allowances than KLM?

If you want to do more reading, your input on praying for a spouse would be appreciated.

9 thoughts on “Nigeria 2010 recap: getting out of Canada

  1. Travel heavy, only because most of the time I travel, I am moving somewhere else.

    Pata, you can never have too many briefs

    Arik has a very generous policy BUT they have serious k-leg.

  2. Happy to see the first update!!! Is that actually a picture of YOU???? Has the world come to an end??? Lol… Nigerians are always overpacking. Over here, usually someone who is not going on the trip follows the travelers to the airport with an empty luggage to take all the things that won't fit. I'm guessing your dad had to do that….

    I don't travel often, but I tend to travel on the heavy side too. Reminiscent of your mom and her shoes… Lol…

  3. I generally travel as light as possible… I like the freedom of not having to lug heavy bags around…. I once flew back to Nigeria with only my laptop bag.. :)

  4. I usually travel light to the complaints of some around me but I don't have power or money for airline stress seriously, lol. I thought I weighed in my stuff well at home but turned out to be a few kilos over. And you're right, even with Ikg, I had to put something in my carryon. But something lucky happened, we were delayed and they pacified us with free check-in for carryon bags. :)

  5. I travel very light. As light as a 23kg suitcase when i'm travelling abroad and a cosmetic bag hand luggage when i'm travelling inter state.

    Lol @ you taking out stuff from your bag at the airport. To think I used to shake my head at Nigerians who have a habit of doing that. Myne's example also buttresses your point.

    I hereby apologise to all and sundry i shook my head at in the past. Please forgive me:)

  6. I have a system when I travel. In fact I am so good at packing and being underweight that I insist on packing for my family so I won't waste time waiting at the airport for them to check their bags.

    Tip: Use your bathroom scale. Step on it, take your weight, then carry a luggage on your head, take the weight with the luggage and then subtract. It never fails.

  7. lol @ lucid-carry it on ur head

    so funny.i do tht too but carry the luggage on my hand instead of head,too heavy to carry on my

  8. Hi, I've been researching wedding clothing suggestions this morning, because my fiance is Nigerian (Yoruba) and is having an outfit made for me before coming to the states. I enjoyed reading your pages today, and will be coming back for more! You are a wonderful font of information for me…Thank you. This woman (me) will be traveling to Nigeria to meet her new in-laws, so I hope to glean anything I should know before that momentous trip. P.S. I, too, am "voluptuous", and concerned about the way the traditional fabrics drape, and the voluminous styles not too flattering to my type of figure… I hope my Oluwaseun can find a dressmaker who knows how to "disguise" flaws while adhering to the traditional! Thanks again! And I did subscribe… Liz

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