Stocking Up

I’m going back to the states in less than two weeks (just for spring vacation) !! This year I am trying to be frugal as possible so I am going to try to curb my spending while I’m there.
Japan doesn’t sell a lot of things that can easily be found in America- antiperspirant, sun block that does not have whitening cream in it, and of course black hair care products. Moreover, America seems to have (in my opinion) a better selection when it comes to simple things such as razors, toothbrushes, and lotion. As a result, living in Japan has made become an over -stocker. I buy way more things than I need while I’m in the states because I am so afraid I am going to run out. Unfortunately, I later find myself with five bottles of expired sunblock. I have learned the hard way that is better to buy just one or two bottles of something rather than five.

Here are a few of my overstock bags.

There are four bottles of sunblock in there! What was I thinking?

Razors, toothbrushes, and five bottles of sunblock. What was I thinking?

Do you think I am just an over-stocker or a hoarder?

Stocking up on stuff means my luggage is always on the verge of being too heavy. I fortunately bought this at a Target a few years ago and it has saved me from the awful stress of hoping that my luggage is not over the weight limit.

A luggage scale

My luggage scale, my life saver

I highly recommend this for all ex-pats who need to stock up on annual trips. Its way more accurate than trying to hoist your suitcase on the bathroom scale.

Side-note: Want to hear a luggage horror story?

I am at the airport, heading back to Japan. I give my dad a hug and a kiss good-bye and go to the check- in counter. I know that my luggage is heavy but I am ready to pay the $100 fee. As the clerk is checking me in he says “Sorry honey, but we can let this suitcase on the plane.” I try to explain that I know that my luggage is heavy and I am willing to pay the fee but he cuts me off. It turns out that my luggage exceeded the maximum luggage limit on my Japanese airline which does not allow you to pay a fee if your luggage is heavy. I asked if I could sort it out once I got into Tokyo, but the clerk said no. The rules are that I can’t have my luggage on the plane if one my airlines I’m flying on does not accept it. I was at a total loss as what to do. In the end, I had the clerk call my dad (I didn’t have working cell phone) and my dad had to drive back to the airport. While I was waiting for my dad to come back I picked through my luggage and took out the heavier things I could live without -mostly shoes. My dad picked up my things, and I got on the plane right before it took off.

So travelers, beware if you have heavy luggage. The bigger American flights are fine taking your heavy luggage for a fee, but the smaller international ones may not.

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