why do you travel light?

Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:30 AM
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why do you travel light?

I just read a post on travelling/packing light. I was wondering why there is such an emphasis.

Don't get me wrong. I have packed light in the past, especially when I was bicycling. My wife about died the first time we went cycling to France and I told her that she could pack only two changes of clothes!

But almost everyone on this forum is not cycling. So why do you pack light? Is it because you are taking the train and then walking to your hotel? Is it because you can't find a porter or luggage cart in the airport. Is it no trunk space in the car?
bigtyke is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Our travels in Europe tend to be a bit more labor intensive...planes, trains, etc. We also tend to stay in apartments, so no bell staff to carry stuff for us.

However, when taking a resort type of vacation, where we can totally avoid ever lifting our luggage as long as we are willing to tip folks, I do tend to bring a few more things.
missypie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Hi, just less problems - no checked luggage, no lost luggage. Less weight and bulk to get from airport to hotel and back. Just less bother really.
lucyp is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Mine is, why take more than you need and have to carry with you?

wojazz3 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 07:48 AM
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I schlep my luggage when I travel - its adds to the pain and the glory of traveling cheap, so I always travel as light as I can. When its rainy or if there are bridges to go over, the luggage seems like it weighs 10 times more. If you are willing to pay someone to carry your luggage - then by all means, pack as much as you want.
frugaltraveler is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:00 AM
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I like to be able to easily handle all my bags without assistance. I want to be able to quickly and easily get on and off trains and walk thru streets to a cab stand with my bags. I realized a few years ago that no one knows that I might have worn the same outfit a couple of days ago. Once I got over worrying about that, I am a very light traveler.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:02 AM
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"Hi, just less problems - no checked luggage, no lost luggage. Less weight and bulk to get from airport to hotel and back. Just less bother really".


Only carry on luggage in the last five years.
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Here are a few reasons:

* Fewer pieces of luggage = less chance of one getting lost in transit

* Avoid the excess/overweight baggage fees that many airlines impose

* When traveling by train, less luggage is easier to store near your seat in the overhead rack where it is less susceptible to theft than in the luggage storage areas which are also often full esp. in cl. 2.

* It is also much easier to manage a tight train connection with less luggage in tow.

* Many budget hotels do not have porters. Many budget hotels do not have elevators. Those that do are often coffin sized - less of a hassle with minimal baggage.

* When traveling with a group, it can be difficult to find cabs to fit everyone plus a lot of luggage. Larger rental cars to fit a group with a lot of luggage are difficult to find extremely expenive. Public transit can be even more difficult to manage.

* If one packs smart, you can make a few outfits go a long way lessening the need for a lot of clothes.

* Full and self service laundomats are everywhere.

* Gives one the option of packing or purchasing an extra bag en route to fill with souvenirs or other goodies without worrying about over-the-limit baggage fees. Personally I don't really care too much about the fees - they are generally minimal - but I can't stand the delays/hassles.
ripit is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:46 AM
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To me it is fine to overpack if you have someone to schlep it around for you. When I just stay in one place and have a driver pick me up, I do take whatever I want. If I know I am going to be taking trains I pack more lightly, or at least I say I am going to and end up packing moderately.

My downfall is I have so many clothes that I love I want to take more than I really need so I will have a choice. Maybe at some point I will get over that.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:48 AM
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My problem is shoes. sigh. It's much easier in the summer since I own the most comfortable pairs of flip-flops (Reefs) that I can walk in for hours and hours, but in the winter? Forget it! I want to bring my cute boots!
nycgirl1 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Because basically it's a PITA not to.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:01 AM
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I've done both - but it has been light for more than 12/15 years now. Light doesn't deprive you of anything. I still take nice clothes, cosmetics/toiletries, shoes, etc.

But 1) European hotels/apartments tend to have small rooms and small or non-existant closets, 2) schlepping "stuff" on trains, buses, through airports is a pain, 3) many places either don't have elevators - or if they do there are steps to get to it, 4) One tends to dress better when they take the trouble to make sure everything coordinates, and 5) it is just so liberating not to be saddled w/ so much "stiuf".
janisj is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Luggage schlepping is my motivation too. It is just easier to move around with less stuff.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:10 AM
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One experience with lost luggage was
enough for me to swear off excess
baggage forever and accept the fact
that I was going to be wearing and
re-wearing a very select group of
basic clothes.

I pack for a month - six weeks in one
hold-all plus a briefcase-sized bag.
And I LOVE shoes and clothes so the
selection process is a long and sometimes sad procedure.

Of course, coming home is another story. I check through
a big duffle bursting with odds
and ends from my trip plus the
clothes I've grown to loathe
and the cobblestone- ruined shoes.

Would I like to go to Europe with big
bulging suitcases filled with all my
fav. outfits/shoes? You bettcha -
but the specter of them disappearing
into the ether is more than my fragile
little mind can handle and as I age,
the weight of the bags is more than
my fragile little body can handle!
llamalady is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Usually, if I'm renting a car for the entire trip or staying in just a few places, I don't pack that light - I will take a 26" bag for a 3 week trip.

I don't do the 29" bag anymore because I'm not that tall and I have to lift it too high to be comfortable to carry it up stairs, etc.

However, if I'm not renting a car or I'm changing locations every few days, I'll pack lighter. As I travel alone, I don't have the luxury of getting tired halfway to the hotel and handing off the bag.

I don't worry about lost luggage to the point that I only take a carry on bag. I figure if I have to limit myself to 2 pairs of pants for 3 weeks for carry on, then I can easily check 4 pairs of pants and buy 2 pairs if the luggage doesn't arrive. If the luggage isn't lost, then I have 4 pairs of pants; if the luggage is lost, then I shop and have the 2 pairs I would have had with the carry on.
toedtoes is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:28 AM
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While I still check a bag, I prefer to be able to handle it all myself. I've yet to find anyone who noticed whether I wore the same thing twice.

After a while, it becomes a game to see how light your luggage is.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:45 AM
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My vacation time is too precious to wait for a delayed bag ever again (or gasp, deal with a lost one).
However, it is about more than making the flight easier. I rent apartments instead of staying in hotels whenever I can. I use public transportation. And most of all, I just know I don't need any more than what I can fit in my backpack (or 22" wheelie). Mix and match solves it all, and washing in the sink. And it's a good excuse to shop before the trip to pick out the perfect few outfits. I feel free and unencumbered.
{I've never travelled in cold weather, I will have to adapt then}
yorkshire is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 09:48 AM
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I'm the mule, and do not enjoy hauling more than one 22" suitcase and another carry-on. Moreover, when we rent a car, we look for the smallest available, which means that the trunk space is quite small.
Michael is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 10:36 AM
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The number one reason is so we don't have to check our bags and then worry about them getting lost/delayed etc. Plus we almost always take transit to and from the airport so it's a lot easier to carry less.
outwest is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 10:42 AM
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For me it is because I often travel solo, so never have any one to watch my bag to run to the restroom or whatever. Also because I travel on the train, and a big suitcase is too much hassle. That said, I do check the suitcase on the plane ride over and back.
suze is offline  

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