Vacation plans weigh me down |

Vacation plans weigh me down

Janet Urquhart

Vacation Planning Tip No. 1: Do not book a kayak trip if you’re a chronic overpacker.

What was supposed to be a relaxing, margaritas-on-the-beach kind of spring getaway started stressing me out the second I learned all my personal effects for four days and three nights of sea kayaking had to fit in a 9-by-15-inch drybag. There’s not going to be room for a blender, let alone three pairs of shoes. I can’t go anywhere without multiple options in footwear.

And then, I was advised, a drybag would really more aptly be called a “damp bag” once it has been dumped in the water. I found this out only after spending money on two of them – one for a woefully inadequate supply of footwear, clothes, etc., and one for the damp sleeping bag I’m going to be saddled with after I overturn the kayak that I don’t know how to paddle.

Even if I manage to keep my watercraft upright, it’ll probably sink, since I’m pretty sure I lied about my weight on the registration form.

That’s assuming the plane doesn’t fall out of the sky on the way there. I just read

that the feds want to start weighing passengers because hefty travelers plus luggage are exceeding aircraft specs. No, really. One crash was blamed in part on the fact that the plane’s rear section was too heavy, presumably because many of the passengers’ rear sections were too heavy.

I think I should get a break on passenger weight. God knows the scant luggage they’re letting me take on the kayak won’t be dragging the plane down.

Still, what a stressful way to start a trip: You take off the only pair of shoes you get to take so they can be checked for automatic weaponry, and while you’re standing there in your stocking feet with everyone else seated in rows 15 through 30, they make you step onto a scale. Then an airline attendant shouts out your weight to someone with a calculator who keeps a running tab on the amassing load factor.

I have nightmares about getting bumped for a thinner woman. “Sorry, we only can only accommodate another 115 pounds,” the apologetic scale monitor will tell me, letting some wafer-thin woman through in my place. She will sit on my beach in her bikini.

Actually, I started fretting about this trip the minute it dawned on me I would have to go swimsuit shopping. What the heck was I thinking?

I’m not sure what’s worse – shelling out $67 for the dreaded piece of nylon or actually wearing it, which I’m going to have to do, since it’s not like they’ll be any spare room in my damp bag, what with those six canisters of shark repellent in there.

Janet Urquhart is getting sunburned, even as you read this. Her e-mail is