Recently I’ve had two friends come to me for advice on packing. Neither had ever done backpacking style travel and both were convinced that there was “NO F*$*ING WAY” they could go on their trip with only one carry on and one “personal item’, however they didn’t want to have to check a bag and spend extra money. It took some convincing and some demonstrating but they both succeeded and set me thank you emails from the road.
It seems people are afraid of packing light, afraid that will mean they won’t have something they need or they will have to give up something important to them like hair care. Some people think packing light will make them look like one of “those backpackers” with dirty clothes, unwashed hair and overall poor hygiene – let me promise you that’s not what packing light is about. I would never knowingly send people into the world to dress as a hobo.
Lets start with off simple: what do I mean by packing light and why would you want to pack like?
What is packing light?
Everyone will have a different. For me, packing light means not having to check a bag for flights, feeling comfortable carrying my bags while getting lost in an unfamiliar city, and not having my body ache after a day of waiting in train stations, running for trains, storing my bags and finding a hotel. What that boils down to is one carry one bag under 25 lbs (with any luck under 20 lbs) and a purse.
Passengers on most major irlines are allowed one carry-on bag (45″ in total diameter example: 22″x14″x9″), and one personal bag (35″ in total diameter) such as a purse, brief case or small bag. With in this you are allowed liquids that fall under the 3-1-1 rule: 1 quart container, one per passenger, filled with all the liquids in 3.4oz (100ml) max containers.
Why Pack Light?
No Luggage Fees! More and more airlines are tagging on $20+ in luggage fess for each item you check increasing the price of that amazing fare you found
Ease of Movement Moving from city to city on trains, planes, and buses becomes increasingly complicated with each additional lbs and bag you bring
Decreased Wear & Tear on Your Body Not everyone was build wrong like I was but no matter how well put together you are, dragging a heavy suite cases behind you putts your body out of balance, and running to catch a train with 30+ lbs on your back is never good.
Packing light isn’t as hard as it sounds, it doesn’t mean depriving yourself of what you really want to bring or not looking like yourself while away from home. To help you pack light my next couple of post will give you tips on how to accomplish your goal.