Why I Like to “Travel Light”

You have probably read in other online posts or newsletters some of the benefits of traveling “light.” My wife and I had an experience yesterday that reinforced that concept—a very pleasurable experience.

Some “travel light” proponents use fear of losing your luggage as a key motivating factor. With my 1.5 Million PAID flight miles on a single airline (and not counting 21 other airlines plus ALL the award travel I’ve taken), I think my luggage has been delayed ONCE! Just once. So that fear factor is NOT a motivator for me. What motivates me is convenience and flexibility. Oh, and I don’t use a carry-on just to save on baggage fees. With my status, I never pay those pesky fees.

When I have my carry-on bag with me (typically a 21″ or 22″ bag), I know that when the plane lands, I just grab my bag and go. It doesn’t matter whether I’m connecting to another flight or am at my destination. I have my bag, and I’m ready to go! Also in case I need a sweater or jacket, I can just take the bag down from the bin and retrieve it easily. No worrying about carrying “extra items” on just in case.

But the flexibility part of using only a carry-on is what I’ve really enjoyed over the years. Here’s what happened yesterday. We were flying home (Boise, Idaho) from San Diego, connecting through San Francisco. Our schedule had us with a 2+ hour layover in SFO because an earlier connection was too tight for it to be a valid booking. But we landed early, grabbed our carry-on bags and walked briskly to the gate for the earlier flight to Boise. Everyone was already on the plane as I approached the desk, handed the agent our boarding passes, and asked if we could get on that flight.

Here is the crucial part; this is the BIG WHY for carry-on.
“Do you have any checked luggage?” she asked.
“No,” I replied. Just carry-on.”

She gave us great seats (plane was about two-thirds empty), and we got home before our original flight was to take off.

BOTTOM LINE: I hope you can tell that I am sold on carry-on luggage. Yes, it doesn’t work for EVERY trip, but I’ve done it even when I’m going to speak on cruises for 30 days, and I need dress shirts, dress shoes, slacks, coat and tie, etc. IT CAN BE DONE!

I hope you’ll give it a try.

Questions? Drop me a line.

Happy Travels!

Stuart Gustafson is America’s International Travel Expert® who speaks on cruise ships, writes novels, sends out an infrequent newsletter (almost every month!), is an avid TripAdvisor reviewer, and loves everything about travel. Visit his website at www.stuartgustafson.com. You can also connect with him personally on Facebook and/or with him and other travelers on his International Travel Expert page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/International-Travel-Expert-147321228683651/

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