I’m headed out for a week long vacation. I have to fly, which I hate. I have to change planes twice in each direction, which I hate even more.
To make this process as painless as possible, I’m packing light: a bookbag for my carry-on, plus my “everyday carry” bag (don’t call it a purse) with a few extra things inside. With many airlines now charging for checked bags, it seems like lots of people who were never interested in carry-on only travel are now all for it.
The thing about travelling carry-on only, though, is to remember why you’re doing it. You’re not just trying to shove as much crap as you possibly can into the largest suitcase you can pretend is a carry-on. It’s about reducing what you need to carry for, you know, a week.
I’m taking four shirts and one pair of jeans. I will do laundry.
I’m taking two paperbacks – I’ve got a dozen more novels on my PDA, and I can buy another one in the airport if I run desperately low.
I’m taking a PDA. If I had a small laptop, I’d probably bring that. I think I’ve got room for an eeePC in my backpack, actually – it’s not full. But I’m not lugging a fifteen-pound laptop with me.
My “toiletries” are tiny. I know some people will disagree with what is a “need” in this area, but that’s fine – you can argue I don’t need my Game Boy, too. The trick is reasonable. For a week, you ladies probably don’t need a full size makeup case. You can buy a disposable razor when you get there. Hotels have blow driers. It’s not that hard.
So next time you want to try simplified travel, by all means, avoid checking bags (and the fees associated with it!) and just carry it on. Just make sure you’re really paring down and not just cramming in.
The person sitting below the overhead bin you’re trying to shove your giant suitcase into will thank you for it.