My husband and I opted for a small, destination wedding when we tied the knot. We got married on Hawksnest Beach in St. John, and then went on from there to honeymoon in Virgin Gorda. Due to needing a lot of stuff for the wedding, I had packed a HUGE suitcase (not to mention a carry on bag & a large purse)! Honestly, it was a little embarrassing even to be seen with so much stuff. Upon arriving at our honeymoon island, Shorn, our local taxi driver, poked fun at how much I seemed to need just to lay on the beach. And, after lugging the equivalent of my closet around for two weeks, I discovered there were numerous things I could have just left at home. Obnoxious! Since then, I have reduced the amount of stuff I pack and have enjoyed benefit after benefit of one bag travel.
Benefits of One Bag Travel
Travel can be stressful- lost luggage, long lines, lugging around a suitcase half your size. Ditch the drama of overpacking and experience the benefits of traveling light. One bag travel allows you to embrace the experiences of your travel without being bogged down with the weight of all your stuff. There are so many benefits to traveling light. I guarantee if you give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Save Time at the Airport
The lines to check in luggage are always so long! The world is full of chronic overpackers! By bringing only the essentials with you, you can skip the line & the stress and enjoy a cup of coffee at your terminal instead! You also gain time on the back end, as you don’t have to watch the baggage carousel spinning around like a carnival ride, waiting to claim your belongings.
I’ve had someone accidentally pick up my bag at the carousel more than once. Now that I keep everything with me on my back, I don’t have to worry about someone accidentally taking my stuff! My belongings are safely stored above me in the overhead bin or tucked away under my seat. No fear of them not arriving with me. One bag travel removes this worry from the list of things that could go wrong.
Checking luggage on a flight can cost up to $100 a bag on each end of a round-trip flight. Too much luggage can also mean you splurge on a taxi or Uber to get to your final destination instead of walking or taking public transportation. If you’re traveling internationally and want to stash your bag for a day, you’ll pay more to leave large suitcases than you will to rent a locker for a backpack. One bag travel saves cash throughout all aspects of your trip!
Nothing is worse than finally getting settled into your seat on the plane, only to realize your favorite creature comfort accidentally got checked with your luggage! One of the benefits of traveling light is keeping your possessions at your fingertips.
Save Your Sanity
One of the biggest benefits of one bag travel is the ease at which your adventuring is completed. Traveling light means no more fumbling with a suitcase through narrow roads, up tight staircases, or through crowded streets. When my husband and I went to Italy last summer, traveling with backpacks made it easier to navigate the cobblestone streets. It was significantly nicer hopping on and off public trains without fighting with a suitcase. Not dragging all I own behind me for two weeks made it easier to move through crowds, walk the mile or two from the train station to our apartments, and store our luggage in the train station lockers to explore a city, baggage free.
Save Time at your Destination
One bag travel means, by packing light, you can reduce your to-do list and enjoy your destination more. Journeying with less clothing makes it easier to decide what to wear. Keep your makeup and hair care routine to a minimum so less time is required to prep for an evening out on the town. If you have several destinations on your itinerary, packing light makes it easier to get packed and unpacked.
I cannot recommend these packing cubes enough for keeping your items organized and accessible while you travel light! We have used these for several one bag travel trips over the years and they are amazing! By keeping things compartmentalized, it’s a lot easier to pack and repack on the road. They also make it handy to find what you’re looking for quickly. It makes such a difference when everything has a home within your bag.
One bag travel also helps you keep a clutter-free home away from home. Physical clutter creates stress and zaps your energy. It’s the opposite of what you are looking for when you want to get away from it all. On a recent trip to Pigeon Forge, my family had two connecting condos. My mom stayed with my sister and her two boys in one, while EJ and I stayed in the other. My mom and sister packed everything you could think of to ensure they would have everything they needed- games, food & drinks, pool toys, medical supplies, and more. You name it, they probably loaded it in our rented Suburban. I packed two bags- one for EJ and one for me- and a pillow. Their condo was filled with stuff. You could barely tell I was staying in mine.
One night my mom came over to sit with us before bed. She couldn’t help but notice the lack of stuff and commented on how nice it felt on my side. Without even realizing it, her spirit noticed the reprieve that comes with living with less. And, since I packed a lot less stuff for our trip, I had a lot less to care for and maintain. Our condo stayed clean with little effort. I had everything I needed for the week and EJ still had all his usual accoutrements to maintain his routines, which made for a happy, two-year-old traveler.
Save Yourself from the Souvenir Search
Avoid spending your precious vacation time searching through knickknacks, dust collectors, and trinkets that were likely made in China anyway. One bag travel means minimal space to bring home impulse buys and gifts for others. Most people understand that living out of a backpack means you need to be mindful of storage space and the things you buy as you travel. They don’t expect you to bring items for them upon your return.
Save Time at Home
Packing for a trip, and unpacking when you return, can be the most dreaded part of travel for some people. Incorporate one bag travel and you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend packing on both ends of your trip. It might take some time to think like a minimalist if you aren’t used to packing light, but a little mental planning beforehand can make traveling light a breeze.
Check out my tips for one bag travel for practical ways to get started!
Save Opportunity for Mental Clarity
One bag travel means living life with minimal stuff. By taking time off from managing all your belongings, you free up mental bandwidth to contemplate your life’s focus and priorities. Living with less on the road helps you see how little you really need to live and enjoy life in the day to day. The byproduct of maintaining less is more time to focus on what really matters to you. Travel is a great way to reconnect with a spouse or loved one. My husband and I always find time on our adventures to talk about our aspirations for the future and realign our life priorities. Time off from stuff helps you regain perspective on your values.
Start Reaping the Benefits of One Bag Travel
There are so many practical benefits of one bag travel- it saves you time, money, stress, and sanity. However, it also gives you so much in return. More time to reconnect, prioritize, and truly enjoy your vacation. After experiencing these benefits for myself, I can honestly say I won’t ever go back to an overpacked suitcase again! I know once you try it, you’ll be hooked, too!
P.S. Save the Stress of Searching for the Perfect Bag
If you have decided to give one bag travel a try, I cannot recommend the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible highly enough!
There are so many travel bag options out there. The decision of which to buy can be overwhelming! This bag was recommended to me by my good friend Alicia over at aliciamarietravels. It has been perfect for our needs! We have used our bags for two weeks of backpacking in Italy, missions trips to Brazil and Honduras, and multiple vacations to Tennessee. Regardless of if you’re traveling locally or abroad, these bags have clever storage for everything you need.
When making the commitment to buy these, I was uncertain about the extra cost of also buying the packing cubes I mentioned above. It seemed like a lot to spend when we were already forking over money for travel. However, upon Alicia’s urging, we went ahead and bought the cubes and I am so glad that we did. The combination of the TLS Mother Lode bag with the packing cubes has been the best travel purchase we have ever made!
If the price tag of these purchases makes you pause, keep an eye on the eBags website. They regularly offer some great sales!
img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-386″ src=”https://slowmotionmama.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/One-Bag-Travel-Pin.png” alt=”Learn the benefits of packing everything you need for your trip into carry-on luggage. Ditch the bulky suitcase and embrace the advantages of using a backpack for one bag travel. #onebagtravel #packinglight #traveltips #carryon #minimalisttravel #simplify” width=”800″ height=”1200″ />