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markwill12 May 14th, 2015 08:11 AM

One bag travel for honeymooners
Last year my beautiful wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Italy and, ahead of that trip, I asked a bunch of questions on these forums. Those responses didn't just help us plan our trip but also changed our perspective on how we pack. In short, we went from being the stereotypical "take everything just in case" couple to committed one bag travelers.

We happen to live in the Seattle area so, of all the travel bag options available today, Tom Bihn was easy to check out and we became fans. Today, my wife and I have Aeronaut's (which we took on our trip last year). We are going back to Europe this year again, this time with our two daughters - and they have their own Aeronauts for the trip too. We are actually pretty excited about the freedom and efficiency we will collectively experience with just the one bag each.

I also happen to run a web site that is almost as old as our marriage! My site, which nothing more than a labor of love (in all senses of the word), is called WedNet and is focused on wedding planning. My little web site celebrates it's own 20th anniversary in September of this year so it's quite a nostalgic time for me.

Anyway, I just posted an article about the benefits of one bag travel through the eyes of honeymooners. Much of the advice and suggestions are high-level, intended to spark interest amongst folks who may not have ever considered one bag travel. But, at their core, many of these suggestions came from this forum last year, hence my mention here, with thanks for changing how we travel.



tch912 May 16th, 2015 01:24 PM

I like the products.

NewbE May 18th, 2015 08:05 AM

Very cool, thanks for posting! You're singing my song, because over the years I also went from thinking that it's easier to just take everything you might want, to realizing that traveling light brings freedom, which is, after all, one of the cardinal virtues of a vacation.

I have a bag I love, but its one drawback is that it's a bit heavy when empty. If that starts to trouble me, Tom Bihn is definitely on my radar.

markwill12 May 19th, 2015 10:18 AM

Hi NewbE,

While Tom Bihn is something of an addiction for me now (sad, I guess :)), the primary message is the one bag idea. A year ago right now it would have been laughable that I'd travel to Europe for a few weeks with a single bag, especially given what the wife would want to take!

But now we put that effort in to purchase the various accessories and (in her case) clothes that could be mixed in various combinations, the whole experience was delightful. Everyone I ever speak with who has not yet tried this just laughs at the idea - 100% of people have that initial reaction. It almost seems like traveling with a ton of stuff is a weird badge of honor ("Oh, I absolutely NEED to take a huge amount of stuff" and "I could NEVER travel with a single bag - are you kidding?!!!"). I find that reaction a little strange. They seem so stubborn and I am not sure why.

Then, for a number of people, they open their mind a little and give it a shot. And of the folks I have "converted", every one of them swears they will never go back to the way they were.

Next up is my Mum and Aunt, who are joining us on a trip to Italy in July. They are both planning away and starting to see the value :)


suze May 19th, 2015 01:56 PM

<<Everyone I ever speak with who has not yet tried this just laughs at the idea - 100% of people have that initial reaction.>>

Then you must be new to these forums. Lots of people here are into "packing light" and going carry-only!

NewbE May 19th, 2015 03:03 PM

Right, suze, but everyone here travels a lot. Most people I know IRL don't travel frequently enough to know how to pack light--IMO, it does take a bit of practice, and also confidence and experience.

As an example, I am amazed to talk to people who worry about bringing everything they "need" on a stateside trip. To me, the worst thing that could happen if I need something is that I have to go buy it! In the US, that's just not going to be a big deal.

On the other hand, when we travel to remote parts of Mexico (for birding), I do make a point of bringing more emergency pharmacy stuff, because it would be impossible to procure in the cloud forest, lol. And I make extra sure I have all the other stuff I need.

As another example, because we go to Europe infrequently, I struggle a bit to decide which clothes to bring, because I am less confident in my choices than I would be if I were going to a destination I'm very familiar with.

So perhaps this board isn't the OP's target audience, but his/her advice is good.

suze May 19th, 2015 03:08 PM

<but everyone here travels a lot.>

Yes NewbE, that was exactly the point of my post.

markwill12 May 19th, 2015 03:18 PM

I am not new at all to these forums - but consider many folks here already in the know :) Seriously, when I say "most folks I speak with" I meant just that - actually speak with (face-to-face). This forum is obviously a "filtered set" of folks who are generally into travel anyway.

I was referring to friends, family and coworkers who don't necessarily frequent these forums. The reaction is almost always stubborn in nature - and then they open their mind (some of them :)) and see the light.

That said, I don't think EVERYONE here travels a lot. I am sure there are newbies every day :)



NewbE May 19th, 2015 04:35 PM

Don't mind suze, Mark. She gets out of the wrong side of the bed every day and could start an argument with a lamp post.

Of course there are newbies here every day, as well as people who have always done things a certain way but may be open to new ideas. The people I speak with face to face don't tend to travel as often as I do, and I don't consider myself a frequent traveler, actually! But we try to do 4-6 trips a year of varying types, and as I said, learning to pack light has been awesome.

tomfuller May 24th, 2015 07:12 AM

Since you live in Seattle, I'm sure you know about the luggage and other things created by Rick Steves.
He has inspired many people with his PBS series "Europe through the Back Door".
I use a Rick Steves backpack as my geocaching bag.

markwill12 May 27th, 2015 09:20 AM

Hello Tom,

I do indeed know about Rick Steves and find his books, in particular, very helpful. I have also visited his store in Edmonds, which was fun.

Thanks again.


flpab May 30th, 2015 03:55 PM

I love my 22 inch wheelie. I also stuff clothes into airtight bags. I don't think I could carry the Bihn bag. Even if you use it as a backpack. I have a problem with people that forget they are on their backs. I got knocked off my feet by one on a recent trip. Sit in an aisle and they are deadly. I checked bags for the first time in a very long time this last trip to Europe. Straight through flights and it was very refreshing not to sweat bullets on overhead space. Not long of a wait in Dublin or Frankfurt. I did not use two pair of pants this trip so can still cut down. I had to buy a hat for my head in NI on the coast but did much better at getting lighter. Now if only I could stop buying in duty free.

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