In an effort to get used to living with less and having to carry all my possessions around on my back, I decided to make every trip until the big one an exercise in simplicity.
First experiment: a weeklong trip to New Mexico to visit my family.
Here is a recap of my old travel style. To visit my family for a week, I would bring a large suitcase to be checked, a stuffed carryon bag, and a large purse and jacket/coat.
This time I packed one carryon bag with 3 pair of pants, 5 shirts, 5 pair of socks/underwear, workout clothes, a canvas bag, an extra pair of shoes, toiletries, and a book. I wore my jacket and my heaviest garments.
My rationale is that I can do laundry a day or two before I leave and come back with very few dirty clothes.
The first picture shows the two bags I brought. One is a Rick Steves Veloce Bag with all sorts of cool pockets and the second is a travel purse with an adjustable strap a design to lay flat on the hip. I wish I had the details on this one for you, but I bought it in New Orleans for $10 about 5 years ago on the street.
The next photo shows how I was able to pack everything into such a small space. It is called bundle wrapping, and it really makes the most of your space and keeps clothes fairly wrinkle-free.
The only downside is not planning well – you can’t add things in at the last minute without undoing the bundle.
The third picture shows my travel purse and what I packed. There is no need to take everything you normally have in your purse. Evaluate everything to see if it is appropriate for the trip.
The last picture shows how I packed my shoes and a canvas bag for laundry to provide a firm base for the backpack.
Traveling was much easier with a small amount of luggage, and when my connection was canceled and rebooked due to mechanical problems I didn’t have any of the stress about lost baggage that my fellow travelers did.
For more information on efficient packing, check out Doug Dyment’s excellent tutorial at One Bag.
Do you have any stories about packing way too much or not nearly enough?