11 February, 2022
“No one to see…I’m free as the breeze…No one but me…And my memories”
Those words of Johnny Mercer describe my method of travel, especially since I often travel solo, there is no one to take up the slack. I need to be nimble since I could journey via plane, train, lyft, bus, and taxi. You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap. Pick two.
Traveling light is a philosophy. It isn’t for everybody. That is fine. This is what works for me. The biggest key is to LOVE all of your clothes that you bring, because you will be eliminating choices. You aren’t bringing a closet with you. You need to be okay with not having choices when you travel.
My self-imposed limit is 25 pounds in a 9 x 21 x 14 carry-on bag (that’ll fit overhead on a trans-Atlantic trip) and a personal bag to squeeze under the seat in front of me. After all, I need to bring a laptop to have access for work. After you enjoy the mobility and freedom, you’ll never go any other way.
When you carry your own luggage, it’s less likely to get lost, broken, or stolen. When I landed in Rome, I was on my way while everyone else was staring at the luggage carousel. When I flew home after a twelve day trip, I was the first to climb into bed.
These days, you can also save money by bringing less. You’ll likely pay a fee for checking a second bag. Now with financial crunches of the airline industry, it is not uncommon to be charged for all checked luggage.
How do you fit a whole trip’s worth of luggage into a small bag? Oh, that’s easy! Bring very little. Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario. Pack for the best-case scenario and just buy yourself out of a possible pickle. On a cruise, between the ship and the ports, you’ll be able to purchase anything that’s critical. We won’t be sailing to the deepest part of the Amazon. If you can’t find one of your essentials, ask yourself how on Earth can the locals live without it?
What if it is a long cruise? As you are traveling, do one of two things. You can bring laundry soap and clean clothes and hang dry in the room or pay to have them laundered. Often times cruise lines have some laundry special during your voyage.
Pack your bag only 2/3rds full to leave room for souvenirs or bring along an empty featherweight nylon bag to use as a carry-on for your return flight, then check your main bag through.
Keep it Tight! Keep it Right! Keep it Light!
2 thoughts on “Trav’lin Light”
I admire you! And anyone else that can do this. I guess the Girl Scout in me “always be prepared “ can’t let go of that philosophy.
It’s just two different perspectives. The “always be prepared” philosophy is packing for the worst-case scenario. With a travel light philosophy, it means you pack for the best-case scenario, and I bet I can purchase whatever I need at my destination.