Monday, January 14, 2019

Traveling Light

When making reservations for a trip between Helsinki and Sarajevo, the Lufthansa website informed me that my baggage could weigh no more than 18 pounds and was restricted to carry-on only. Wow, it seems that even my small roller bag alone weighs almost that much when empty. Taking a roller on this trip was out of the question.

It has been forever since I have traveled with more than one average-ish size roller bag and one personal item (with the exception of bringing a suitcase of American hud to leave with Bridget overseas). The days of using multiple bags have passed. It's inconvenient, awkward and slow to lug luggage around. Packing light is a superior way to travel. I figure that if I need another piece of clothing there will be plenty for sale at my destination. I never do, though. It's easy as pie to bring clothing made from fibers that can be washed in a sink and will be thoroughly dry before needed the next morning. Besides, now that airlines nickel-and-dime us to death, cheapskates travel light.

I recently traveled w/ another person on a four-day trip. The traveler brought five bags, so multiple baggage fees were paid. Yeah. The person was so encumbered by stuff that they had to rent a car to carry it around, rather than using the cheap and convenient train for local travel. What an expensive burden it was for said traveler. But I digress.

Using a thin nylon backpack from my stash of a zillion packs, I got an idea of what 18 pounds of luggage looks like. It doesn't look like much. For $16 on Amazon I bought an almost weightless nylon backpack so the weight of the carrier would not take away from what I needed on the trip. Winter travel requires more clothing than warm-weather jaunts.

In addition I took along a very small travel purse with a shoulder strap long enough to wear angled across the chest. Important small items went into that: passport, wallet, chapstick, a pen, sticky notes, toothbrush, and change of underwear in case of extended or unplanned layovers. Using the purse kept me from having to remove and dig through the pack for frequently needed items.

It all worked like a charm. The main items included in my pack were: base layer top and bottom for warmth, one extra pair of nylon travel pants, several very lightweight tops, 1 scarf, 3 pair underwear, 3 pair wool socks, a buff, one pair black slipper-like shoes for nice occasions, small hairbrush, medicines, a few cosmetics / lotion / razor / toothbrush and paste in a zip-lock bag, iphone, and a few miscellaneous items.

Even though winter travel requires clothes with a little more bulk, and some extra layers, the bonus is that in cooler weather I don't perspire as much, thus my clothing required less washing. And just so you know, my full pack weighed only 13 pounds.

 It was liberating! I will travel like this again and will think twice about bringing a roller bag.

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