Travel light, Pack Smart Part 1

You travel more than anytime before. In addition you are more focused on gathering experiences, not things, when traveling. You travel often, and more likely on shorter trips.

There are two types of luggage: Hand luggage, and lost luggage.

What are the advantages of traveling with only hand luggage?

1. No more waiting at the conveyor belt

(for a bag that may or may not have been rerouted via Kuala Lumpur)

This is one of the major advantages by traveling with only hand luggage. You are already out of the airport terminal and on your way in to town before the others have spotted their suitcase on the conveyor belt. No more agonizing over whether the bag is going to make it, because you have it with you.

2. You are well dressed

Yes, it is true. With a thought through and well planned minimal travel wardrobe you can put together just as many outfits as if you had the suitcase stuffed with clothes.

You end up with a more well planned travel wardrobe if you give yourself some limitations.

You read the weather forecast for your destination and think through what kind of situations you will be dressing for, instead of just stuffing the suitcase with a lot of "just in case" items.

What are the challenges with traveling with hand luggage only?

1. Choosing a travel bag

How about those small, hard shell wheeled suitcases? They are super cute, and it is tempting to not have to carry it. But the wheel construction and the handle take up a lot of room, and these constructions steal valuable packing space. They are also hard and can be difficult to stuff into the small luggage compartments in the aircraft, and worst case scenario is that the cabin personell take your bag and place it with the checked-in luggage so that you may end up waiting for your luggage anyway.

A soft travel bag may be a better alternative than a hard shell wheelie suitcase

In addition, it's smart to take into account the weight of the bag. If an elegant week-end bag in leather weighs 3 kilos in itself, and a nylon bag weighs only 1,5 kilos, the lighter bag leaves 1,5 kilo more for clothing. When the maximum weight limit for hand luggage is as little as 8 kilos on most airlines, it goes without saying that it is smart to choose a lightweight travel bag.

The best travel bag I have found to date is the Pakt One. A week-end in Paris or two weeks on safari in Botswana, this bag is all I need. It fits in the overhead compartment of any aircraft and is lightweight and super easy to pack. Please note that I'm not part of an affiliate program and I'm not paid to write this. I simply think it is the best travel bag ever, and I've tried a few.

2. Toiletries

This is a challenge for many. Airlines have strict regulations for liquids in hand luggage, and lots of people find this so annoying that they just end up sending a suitcase anyways. I understand.

With a few simple tricks you have enough toiletries for a short week in one 1 litre bag. 
This is how you do it:
  1. Don't bother bringing stuff that you know will be in the hotel where you're going to stay. Examples: Soap, shampoo, body lotion. All hotels supply this, and even if the quality may not be the same as the shampoo you use at home, we can all survive a short time with hotel shampoo. A little change does your hair good. It is also worth noting that a hairdryer is also found in most hotel bathrooms, so leave that at home too.
  2. Buy a small selection of little bottles and jars that you fill (and refill) with your own moisturisers, hair styling gel, contact lense liquid and other liquid toiletries. When you come home, just rinse the containers and they are ready for your next trip. If you find this bothersome, there are handy travel size versions to be bought, from toothpaste to sunscreen. Velg en liten tube BB cream eller tinted moisturizer med solfaktor.
  3. Other items like toothbrush, dental floss, eyeshadow, mascara and other items you pack in a separate small plastic bag. Ziplock bags are my preferred toiletry bags these days, being lightweight and easy to squeeze into small spaces in the bag. Are you going on a beach holiday and need more than a 100 ml bottle of sunscreen? Buy it at your destination.

The greatest advantage

The greatest advantage of traveling with hand luggage only is that you are liberated from the desire to buy something to bring home.

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There is no room in your travel bag, so you can relax, enjoy your trip without obsessing over what to buy to bring home!

Now go to Part 2 to get a simple method for putting together a travel wardrobe!

About the author, Jorunn Hernes

Jorunn is a Certified Personal Colour Analyst, founder of Nordic Simplicity and Scandinavian Style Academy™, the fresh, simple, Scandinavian approach to getting dressed. Jorunn will avoid social settings with more than three people but can be lured out with snacks and the promise to talk about books.

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