Time to hit the road once more...off in search of big animals in Mexico and Dominica.
Though I won't be staying in the US, my itinerary takes me in and out of the US a few times.
Security concerns are understandably at an all-time high given the Christmas Day fiasco last year, and airport personnel will probably be stressed out and on edge. US air carriers are also raising checked baggage fees, and quite of few of my friends who've flown to and through the States recently have had bags go missing.
Travel is stressful in the best of times; we are, unfortunately, in anything but the best of times.
To minimise the risk of encountering problems, I've consolidated down to one suitcase to check-in and one Think Tank Airport Antidote backpack that I'll carry on...the lightest and most compact configuration I've travelled with in many years.
In my non-descript, normal-looking suitcase (i.e., not a case that screams "Expensive stuff inside. Please steal me!") are clothes, a wetsuit, mask, snorkel, fins...plus one Zillion 5D MkII housing, a Pro-one dome port, and some associated tools and parts.
More importantly, in my backpack are all my cameras, lenses, a Zillion 5D MkII housing, a Pro-one dome port, extension tubes...plus all the things I need to make my cameras and computer work. My laptop goes into the backpack too.
So, in the worst case, if my suitcase disappears, I'll have no clean underwear or toothpaste, but I'll still be able to shoot as long as I can borrow a pair of fins, a mask and a snorkel. One has to have appropriate priorities after all.
My only concern is that my housing requires a metal handle set, pictured below:
Normally, I doubt this would pose a problem, but someone pointed out that if I pack the handle set as-is, an overzealous airport security person might decide that it's a weapon.
Yes, it sounds silly, but I've found myself having considerably more ridiculous "discussions" with airport personnel in the past (see the Travel Silliness section).
So, to hedge this risk, I've disassembled the handle set to try to make it look more innocuous, and I've packed a spare set in my suitcase, plus another spare in a co-traveller's suitcase.
Time to go...I'll guess I'll know shortly whether my packing protocol works or not.