web Musings of The Global Traveller

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Travelling light

I rarely check bags, even on trips of a few weeks. Over the years, and more particularly lately with tighter restrictions on carry-ons, I have been getting better at packing light.

There are many advantages to packing light, but to me the best one is the extra flexibility afforded by not having checked bags. On a tight connection on separate tickets the few minutes (or many in the case of arrivals at London Heathrow for example) spent waiting for luggage can mean the difference between making the connection and not. In irregular operations not having checked bags can be the difference between being able to be put on alternative flights ("if you hurry to gate X you can just make it") and being stuck with everyone else.

The Brave New Traveler has 7 more reasons to travel with one bag.

The 2 tricks I have been using most successfully to travel lighter is to:

  1. take more stuff that is versatile and worry less about extremes of weather conditions or dress codes (eg have something smart casual instead of more formal, make do with just a couple of pairs of footwear to cover all occasions)
  2. bring stuff that I can leave behind, not just old clothing or footwear but also a couple of books (and before the liquids restrictions some bottles of drink) - not only will this lighten the load but also makes space for clothes, souvenirs etc bought while away

For more expert advice and tips on travelling light, check out One Bag.

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