I have long been an advocate of traveling and packing light. One of the main reasons that I design reversible/multifunctional clothing is because they make traveling and packing light much easier.
When you pack for your trips, the majority of the items packed is usually what you would wear, if you can pack less clothing, you will save a lot of space in your luggage.
Recently I read the book "The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light" by Erin McNeaney. Erin sold everything she owned and left the UK in 2010 to travel the world with her partner, Simon. They have travelled to more than 30 countries with just their carry-on backpacks while running a popular travel blog, Never Ending Voyage.
I absolutely enjoyed the book and thought it did a great job on explaining not only why you should pack light, but also how and what to pack, and where to buy travel friendly products. And Erin even included 11 interviews with frequent travelers who share the same sentiment and practice of only traveling with carry-on luggage.
The best part of the book is where Erin explains why you should travel with carry-on only. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would like to share with you.
Please note below are all quotes from Erin's book except where noted and highlighted with Italics.
"Traveling light was the best decision I made when I started traveling. I’ve saved myself money, time, stress, and backache. Most importantly, I’ve gained freedom—I can pack all my belongings in ten minutes and head off on the next adventure." - Erin McNeaney
1. Less Stress
Life with less is simpler. One bag is easier to keep track of on hectic travel days than multiple bulky suitcases. You can move faster and navigate new cities without standing out as much. You can walk around searching for the best accommodation, squeeze on a crowded bus, and run to catch a train—tasks that would be stressful, or impossible, with a large amount of luggage.
2. More Security
When you only have one bag to worry about, it’s easier to keep it safe. My backpack is never out of my sight on transport, whereas large luggage is usually stored away from passengers. Whenever you check in luggage, especially when you have flight connections, there’s a risk the airline could lose your bag—SITA reported that in 2014, 24.1 million bags were lost, delayed, or damaged by airlines around the world. When you take it on the plane, you know it’ll be there when you arrive. You can also keep a carry-on bag with you on buses. It’s more secure to keep it under your seat than thrown on top or underneath a bus, where anyone getting off at earlier stops can access it.
3. Save Money
Traveling with hand luggage only saves you money. Many airlines charge for checking in luggage; you avoid these costs traveling with a carry-on. Checking in each bag for each leg of your trip can cost $25 or more, so the savings add up. When you have less to carry you are more likely to walk or take public transport to your accommodation rather than taking expensive taxis, saving even more cash.
Traveling light stops you from buying things you don’t need. When space is limited you are much more conscious about your purchases. You’ll learn to only shop to swap—to replace items in your bag when needed, not add to them.
4. Save Space
The one benefit is not listed in Erin's book but it is pretty obvious. Now that you have a carry-on only, you save not only the space in your luggage, you also save the space the extra luggages that they would take otherwise either at where you stay or where you travel on being it a bus, train, boat or plane. More space, more peace, less stress.
5. Save Time
- At Airports
I appreciate my carry-on bag the most when I stumble bleary-eyed off a long flight and stroll straight out of the airport, past the crowds gathering at the luggage carousels. This is a huge bonus after an exhausting journey when all you want to do is get to your hotel as soon as possible. A carry-on also saves time checking in at airports. Most airlines offer online check-in, so when you arrive at the airport, you can skip the long lines and go straight to security.
- At Bus Stations
This works for buses too, and it is especially useful when touts gather around arriving buses to bombard you with offers of taxis and hotels as you collect your luggage. With your bag in hand, you can make a quick escape before the touts even notice you.
Packing is a chore most people dread. I’m not a huge fan either, but when you have less stuff and a good system for organizing it in your luggage, packing becomes a 10-minute task.
- Finding Things
When you own less, you can find things more quickly. The more stuff we have, the harder it is to find, which wastes time and adds stress to our lives. Who wants that when we’re exploring the world?
A lack of clothes is one of the biggest concerns of people considering traveling with a carry-on, but there is a surprising advantage to having less choice—less time spent deciding what to wear. When you only have a few outfits, it is obvious what to wear in every situation. I don’t miss having dozens of outfits—lots of clothes are a burden more than a blessing.
Normally, yes, when you pack less, you get less travel outfits, but with our reversible/multifunctional designs, you don't have to compromise! In fact, you can pack less and get even more looks than you would normally can! You still can spend less time deciding what to wear, and yet get all the outfits you need for every situation.
Check out our blog post where we show you how our customer Jennifer looked stylish and flawless in 8 different travel outfits with 3 of our designs on her summer trip to Europe.
6. Reduce Back Pain
If you’re traveling with a backpack, your back will thank you for traveling light; you’ll no longer have a heavy load weighing you down and leaving you with an aching back and shoulders. Suitcase users benefit too. A smaller, lighter suitcase is easier to roll around, carry up stairs, and lift in and out of transport, and it will put less pressure on your arms and back.
7. It's Liberating
Liberating is the word I’ve heard new carry-on travelers use the most to describe their lightened load. It’s a revelation to discover how little we need. When you eliminate things that don’t add value to your life, it’s enormously liberating. You aren’t tied down by your possessions. You can leave anywhere quickly and go wherever you want. The freedom is intoxicating.
Leah Walker wearing our Hayden 6-way Winter Reversible/Convertible Coat multiple ways in the Alps and Switzerland
Another travel blogger Leah Walker called us 'Wardrobe Wizard' for solving her over-packing problem. She said our Estee reversible dress accompanied her to both casual brunch where she needed to look city chic, and to two food and wine festivals in Hawaii where she needed to look island appropriate. With our Hayden 6-way coat, she "wore it long in the mountains, then zipped off the bottom and wore it short in the cities. It was perfect." And with our Lidiya convertible pullover, she even discovered more ways to wear it - 6 ways instead of the 3 ways that we originally designed it for!
Considering all these great benefits that Erin and Leah have shown you with their book/blog and also their own travel experience, are you convinced that you should also travel only with carry-on next time? Or even better, travel only with carry-on luggage that is packed with reversible/multifunctional clothing! What are your thoughts on this?