Now that most airlines charge for checked bags if you are not upfront or an elite member, I thought I should talk about the best way to pack light and use only a carry-on bag. Trust me on this, I have a tried and true system which works great.
I was on a recent trip to Asia for 10 days and I did this all with hand luggage. I was very impressed with myself even if I did check bags on my return. But that was because I took every soap the Shangri-La Bangkok offered; I took every pajama suit and amenity kit offered; I shopped for wasabi peas and sauces in Hong Kong; and shopped like a crazy person in the HKG airport at the Shanghai Tang outlet at T2.
So how did I do this? I took a rollabord and a messenger bag. The messenger bag had my computer, iPad, headphones and change of clothes including a T-Shirt with a little kit consisting of a tooth brush, paste, deodorant, eye mask and a small sample of cologne. Every time I buy some new fragrance, I get a few samples which are great for travel because they meet the liquid requirements for travel.
Then I pack one more pair of shoes other than what I wear, a belt, underwear, flip flops, swim suit, 2 trousers, 8 shirts, t-shirts, a few more cosmetics in sizes which work on board, socks and an empty laundry bag for dirty washing. I always bring a laundry bag as it’s so nice to return from a trip with one bag full of dirty washing that is separated from clothes which you did not wear.
If I need things while I’m away I happily just buy things which I am short of anyway and sometimes I also pack a light bag which I fill to check in on the return. Sometimes though I don’t pack an expandable bag for the return but I simply buy a new case on my travels. Often there are great deals along the way on luggage so I’ll buy a new one and toss an old one. Here’s my strategy. If you are checking a bag, take on old one that you want to replace and buy a new one if you are in a city where things are cheaper.
So what do you save by taking only hand luggage? Well, you save money, you save time waiting for a case to come off the belt, you save the risk of losing a case when connections are tight, and the biggest reason… you take less crap that you actually don’t need, so you save weight and maybe your back.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.