With many upcoming trips in our near future, I’m dusting off my travel skills! Over the next few months we will be traveling to visit churches, including our northern church in Emilia Romagna. And we’ve also been invited to the 99 year anniversary celebration of the tiny church in Mario’s hometown! All to be capped off with our overseas trip including Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, and Michigan. That’s a lot of travel!
And that’s why I’m happy to have discovered one-bag traveling.
Even though taking only one small carry-on bag at first seemed an impossibility. Yet in looking back, I find that the real nightmare was dragging so many over-stuffed bags along. Especially since we didn’t even use everything!
And all it takes is doing laundry as you go! Even if you don’t like the idea of washing things out by hand, all you have to do is find a laundry mat or laundry service. Which can add a touch of real-life experience to your travels by meeting a few locals!
And just look at all the great advantages of one-bag travel!
#1 No baggage claim lines!
With no checked bags, you can breeze past baggage carousels, and possibly snag a taxi or board the bus first!
#2 Less risk of missing connecting flights.
Many entry points require collecting and rechecking bags, and if lines are long it’s easy to miss your next flight!
#3 Shorter customs inspections.
Customs officials seem less likely to stop you if you only have one small bag. And if they do, inspection should take far less time!
#4 No extra baggage fees.
Hey, travel costs enough as it is. Why add to it? And you can treat yourself to something special with the money saved!
#5 Less risk of lost or stolen bags.
The airlines can’t lose or damage bags you’ve never checked. And you’re less likely to lose or forget your own luggage if you’ve only got one!
#6 Less stress.
It can make not only your journey less stressful, but even your time away. Not having lots of bags to keep track of or having to dig through piles of clothing can bring a real sense of peace and freedom.
#7 You can change plans, even adding extra stops.
Because getting around is so much easier, you don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, but even add fun little side excursions. Why let excess stuff you might not even use make you miss out on great new experiences?
#8 You can get around more easily.
This is especially important here in Europe, with its old cities full of stairs and bridges, but few ramps. Dragging lots of bags up and down is not fun!
#9 It can save your back.
Boarding planes or trains with achy back and arms from lugging too much heavy luggage is not a good way to start a trip!
#10 You don’t stand out.
Stand out as a helpless, confused tourist, that is. Zipping around with only one bag helps you seem confident and less likely to fall for both tourist gimmicks and thieves.
#11 You’ll probably use everything you take.
I’ve killed my back dragging unnecessary stuff, but I say never again!!
#12 You can save money.
With the airlines continually cutting luggage amounts, and charging for checked bags, it’s just more sensible to travel light!
#13 It’s better for the environment.
Traveling light means less consumption of fuel and less pollution. So one-bag travel is not only smart, but environmentally wise too!
“But what if I don’t pack enough?” you wonder.
We’ve been traveling with just one-bag several years, and that has never yet happened to us. And we figure that even if should happen, we’d prefer getting a useful souvenir like a new T-shirt over some dust-collecting made-in-China bauble!
But what we like best about Carry-On Travel is that traveling this way frees us to concentrate on new sights, new experiences, learning new things, and making new friends! What will really count once you’re back home — how well-dressed you were? Or the fun, meaningful, and relaxed time you had?