Travel Lightly My Friend

As a regular traveler and someone who loves to fly, I started to think about where that love came from. I am thankful that my earliest mode of transportation was the airplane. Before I could speak full sentences I was traveling back and forth to the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago with my great-grand-parents. The comfort I get from a plane is in stark contrast to the stories I hear from people who are afraid to fly.

Unfortunately I was weened on airline travel in an era when a checked bag was standard with all flights, not just international and you could lock those things to avoid sticky fingered baggage handlers. Now, thanks to extra fees and the inability to lock checked bags, (even if you wanted to pay for them on a domestic or are going internationally and get a free checked one but want to avoid theft somewhere along that long bag handling chain) I’m forced to retrain my brain and make it ALL fit in a carry-on. This is a huge dilemma for someone like me who wants to pack a different shoe for every outfit.

In my quest for retraining I was proactive. I joined a large travel group. I’m making travel plans with far-flung family members. I’m evaluating the fact that the ticketing agent on the recent return trip from Montreal asked if my bag was “pregnant.” Thankfully he didn’t make me do the fit test nor did he charge me or worse, force me to rearrange it in the middle of the airport with my personal items exposes to all nearby travelers.

I am committed to retrain my brain and I’m starting with realizing that:

  1. Heavy packers always want to be prepared but preparation happens mostly in your mind. We don’t need to take every possible think we would like to wear just choice items that you love and be prepared for spontaneity as well.
  2. Shoes weigh more than clothing so planning outfits well in advance and with advice from those who pack light and still look the way you want to look is invaluable.
  3. If you are a heavy packer you are not leaving room to bring back treasures. It is rare that you will travel somewhere and not bring back a thing. If it’s somewhere you travel regularly you may bring back favorite food (someone asked me where to find hot sauce because they were visiting) or you may find that hand crafted special item and can’t leave the destination without it. Those treasures, sourced on vacation won’t fit if you are overloaded with unworn outfits and 7 pairs of shoes.
  4. I want to be team Carry-On! Less wait time. Less risk of theft, loss or breakage. The #teamcarryon is prominent in the  Travel Group I’m new to. I trust the seasoned travelers and believe the benefits of the carry-on craze is far more than I currently know.

So if you are like me, heavy handed in the packing department for any reason, and want to reform. Join me and let’s travel lightly together!

I’ve added some resources I think will be helpful in making this transformation a reality. See below. Also, please leave a comment with your own travel light tips Trust me, I could use them.

Inga O,

Thought you should know.

This was the first video that inspired me. I was in awe!

This next video helped me find tricks to getting more shoes on board.

This post by Adventure Girl laid out items I would wear realistically according to my style and what I have in my closet. She packs 3 weeks worth of outfits that I would wear.

Finally, this post by Buzz Feed is another example of packing light. 13 items for two weeks worth of outfits.

2 thoughts on “Travel Lightly My Friend

  1. When I was 23, some friends and I went to Jamaica. I used all 4 pieces of my luggage set to pack this, that and the other. While Jamaica proved to be beautiful and a distant experience from its stereotype, the biggest lesson I learned was if you pack it, you got to carry it. On my second trip there and on all subsequent trips, I continued to streamline, until it hit me: vacations are a vacation from my routine, including dress. Now, even my carry-on is light because I pack to reuse. If my trip is 10 days, 6 everyday pieces is enough to mix-n-match. While touring, my eyes are peeled for great sales to add 1 or 2 items to my wardrobe. No doubt my bag is heavier on the way home, but never pull-your-arm-out-of-its-socket heavy.

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