The Case for Packing Light
“He would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I agree. Carry-on is the only way to go. Okay, with some exceptions. (You’re going to the Arctic? Taking a luxury cruise around the world with a personal concierge?) As for me, luggage larger than carry-on size gathers dust in the garage. For very good reasons:
Transportation. If you travel in cities around the world, chances are you’ll deal with buses, trains, and subway systems. You’ll have to heft bags onboard then find a spot to stow them. Worse is reaching metros through long corridors of crowds, down stairs, escalators, through connecting tunnels, then up to street level again.
Economy. Streets and parking are tight overseas. The smaller, the easier. Not to mention budget. Besides, that little red Fiat on my last trip to France was cute, even if the miniscule trunk barely held the carry-on and backpack.
Convenience. If you travel alone as I do often, you can’t leave your luggage alone. That carry-on is easily rolled wherever you go. Book store, coffee shop, more coffee…then ladies’ room!
Emergencies. When the weather delays a connecting flight and you end up in Miami Airport 20 minutes after the evening flight to Paris left (yep, happened) your belongings are with you. Unlike the stranded people who have to wait for their luggage at baggage claim, you can grab the flight leaving in ten minutes for London instead where they put you on a puddle-jumper when you arrive the next morning and be only 40 minutes behind schedule. The alternative? Being stuck in a Miami hotel until the next evening’s overseas flight.
Or… Check the Carry-On. This defeats the option of a quick plane change but it avoids trying to hoist the carry-on into an overhead bin. You’re still able to maneuver easily at the destination. And on the return trip, you may not even mind waiting at baggage claim.
I still take my bag on board. I’m too impatient to get home after a long trip.