How To Travel Light

Two bags.

One personal and one carry-on.

The personal bag is 12 inches wide, 7 inches deep and 9 inches high. It holds my Fuji X100 camera, charger and battery. A gorilla tripod. An iPhone, iPad, Kindle reader and a noise cancelling set of over-the-ear headphones. Plus a charger for the iPhone/iPad, passport, itinerary and a few assorted odds and ends. Total weight including bag is 6 pounds.

The carry-on contains all that I will require on this four-day business trip. The carry-on bag is 14 inches wide, 9 inches deep and 12 inches high. It holds a change of socks and underwear for each day. PJs for each day. Dress pants, belt, dress shirt, tie. Spring coat. Shaver, toothbrush, floss and a clear quart-sized bag containing a few personal care items such as toothpaste. Total weight including bag is 5 pounds.

I will be wearing jeans, a casual shirt, sports jacket, and a multi-purpose pair of shoes. I will have one open day on this business trip and I do intend to go hiking and to do some photography.

Everything I need over four days. 11 pounds.

I researched several websites to find out the best way to travel light. One Bag was a big help. Particularly this section on how to pack clothes. Rick Steves also provided some inspiration on how to pack smart and travel light. His perspective:

One bag, that’s it. Limit yourself to 20 pounds in a carry-on”“size bag. An unstructured 9″ x 22″ x 14″ bag should fit under most airplane seats. It will certainly fit in the overhead bins. That’s my self-imposed limit. At my company, we’ve taken tens of thousands of people of all ages and styles on tours through Europe. We allow only one carry-on bag.

I also found this article which I decided to bookmark for Lorraine. She might find it helpful the next time we take a trip together. Particularly if we take a Rick Steves’ tour. Lorraine is not quite sold on this minimalist thing particularly when it comes to travel.

For me, the benefit is avoiding checked baggage. I have lost luggage in the past and I have also spent upwards of an hour waiting for luggage to come off the airplane. The times that I have checked baggage, I always seem to overpack. Instead of moving a few pounds of luggage, I have to move somewhere over 50 pounds. On some family vacations, we have traveled with over 150 pounds of luggage.

I will be heading out to San Francisco on Wednesday. We’ll see if I missed anything from a packing perspective.

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