Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Carry On, One Hand Bag

"Two short sleeved shirts, two long sleeved shirts, one cardigan, two pairs of pants, one pair of capris, a skirt and three pairs of shoes."
    "That's less than my daughter brings home for a weekend from college."
    "We were gone two weeks."

It can be done - one carry on bag and one hand bag and you can survive for two weeks.  Why would anyone want to attempt this?

  1. No baggage fees
  2. No waiting around for your baggage or wasting time checking it in
  3. Why do you want to carry around dirty clothes?
  4. The London tube stations, Britain trains, buses and taxis
  5. Less laundry to do when we arrive home
  6. Less baggage makes it easier to maneuver and explore
  7. Because you can and really don't need more
I'll admit that we did unzip to add a couple inches to one of the carry ons when we left Scotland for London.  But by that time half our trip was over and we only had the overnight train, tubes and our final flight to go.  But even before we were in Britain 24 hours I was so thankful that we packed light.  After hauling our bags through Heathrow airport from the plane and not having to wait to pick up baggage, then easily wheeling them around the tube stations and into crowded tube cars and then rolling them to a bus station to our hotel, I actually thought that maybe I had packed too much.  

I saw one unfortunate girl in the tube station.  Yes, some have elevators but not all of them are easily marked like the one we were in.  When I came to a set of stairs, I grabbed the handle of my carry on and carried it.  This girl was huffing at the top of the stairs with a very large suitcase.  She ran down the go get her second very large suitcase.  I felt very glad we didn't have two suitcases each.  There may be some cases where you need two suitcases.  But if you do, plan before you go to make sure you can get you and your things where you need to go without a fuss.

Here's some tips to packing light:
  • Plan on doing laundry every 4-5 days, research where the nearest one is or if the place you stay in has service available
  • Pack like colors so it's easier to throw all your clothes in one load
  • Pack like colors so everything matches 
  • One pair of walking shoes, one pair of nicer but comfortable shoes and one pair of sandals if you need them
  • Bring things that can do double duty - a vest that can become a neck pillow, pants that can be folded into capris, you get the idea.  
  • You can always buy something when you get there.  Bring along only what you need to get you going, then when you run out of lotion, find a new one to try at a shop.  Of course bring what you need for things that can't be replaced and that you absolutely need.
I did discover that I packed too much.  I could have gotten by with two pairs of shoes instead of three.  I shouldn't have brought my pink shirt because it never got washed with the blues.  Other than that I was very happy that we had chosen to pack light and never wished we had more.


Anonymous said...

I did 14 days of vacation this summer with one bag and my purse! It really made you think about what to pack. Since we were in the pacific northwest. I packed layers. Of course the top layers were hats, shawls/cowls, and mitts. Lifesavers on numerous chilly evenings! I have also found packing cubes for your baggage to be essential to help with packing light!

Julie said...

Yes - packing cubes are great, it's what we used too. They are like "drawers" in your bag. Good job on packing light, it's wonderful!