Choosing to travel light.
Once again, we’ve lived out of one piece of carry-on luggage each for our current trip. This is our latest simple adventure: we went to Vancouver to visit my sister’s family and then went to Oahu, Hawaii for a week-long vacation. We were travelling for 2.5 weeks, and since we brought so little with us I’m reminded of how little we really need. The kids each had a small backpack, and I had a carry-on suitcase and my purse. Here you can see my husband has the identical suitcase. Our 5 year old is finding the correct gate for us in the airport.
Benefits of packing light.
We like to travel light when it comes to luggage. The benefits include:
-Less to cart around. It’s easier to take a bus to our accommodations and we therefore spend less on transportation vs taking a taxi.
-No lost luggage. When we don’t have checked bags, the airline can’t lose our things. There’s no chance of arriving at our destination and find out that our luggage is lost or will be arriving late. Everything is with us and easy to keep track of.
-Cheaper. Airlines are now charging for checked luggage, and we avoid those fees by only having our carry-on suitcase.
-Easy access. This is especially nice for our daughters. The kids’ backpacks are so small that they fit under the seat in the airplane. We have easy access to everything if we need something during the flight, or when we pack activities and books for them on the plane.
-Stay on top of laundry. It didn’t bother us to only have a few outfits. I mostly washed clothes by hand in the evening and hung the items to dry overnight. Reminiscent of the first time I learned to live with less clothing. We did one load of laundry during the whole trip. We washed clothes as a nearby laundromat and hung the clothes to dry on hangers in the closet (which was empty). Everything is cleaned as we go, and I don’t have laundry to catch up on when we get home!
Multi-use items and outfits.
My kids and I were trying to pack clothing that would be good for both Vancouver and Hawaii. We ended up packing dresses, and my daughters were very happy with that since they usually ask to wear dresses at home. We packed 3 outfits and then of course had the one we traveled in to make a total of 4 outfits. In the wet Vancouver weather we wore our dresses with thicker stockings and cardigans. For outerwear we chose rubber boots and waterproof jackets. When it got very cold for a few days we borrowed scarves from my sister and managed to be warm enough for walking and busing everywhere.
Then once we got to Hawaii we peeled off the layers and just wore the dresses (usually over a bathing suit so that we could hit the beach whenever we wanted to!). Actually, the girls often happily kept the dresses on for beach play and that helped to prevent sunburns too. Outwear was hats, sandals and lots of sunscreen!
Content with less.
Every time we make do with less, I’m reminded of how little we really need. When we get home I think there will be a purge of a bit more stuff around the house. We’ll quickly re-evaluate what we actually need, love, and use. It’s simply a good practice to get into – to be intentional when we look at our belongs and to make sure everything serves a purpose or brings us joy. When we let go, we discover how little we need.
Do you want more examples of how to travel light? You can read our packing list for 5 weeks of travel last summer.