I am waiting for an afternoon flight from Nashville to Dallas after flying back this morning from Baltimore. It was a great trip to celebrate the high school graduation of one of our nephews. Now it is back to work, as I am scheduled to testify at a trial tomorrow in Wichita Falls. I am still working on developing my personal style of “traveling light.”
Nevertheless, this is what I have packed inside the backpack for this trip: A suit, dress shoes, one dress shirt, tie, one casual shirt, two pair of socks, two pair of underwear, netbook computer with case and charger, iPad with case and charger, cell phone and charger, noise-reduction headphones, small flashlight, shaving kit with toiletries, pen and notepad, USB reading light, and USB memory stick.
This may sound crazy to most but here are my reasons for wanting this to work:
1. Packing small forces you to pack light which I believe has merit as a goal by itself.
2. I can “carry” my luggage while keeping both hands free. This provides excellent freedom of movement.
3. A backpack will fit in any overhead compartment, even on small commuter jets, and will also fit under the seat without a problem.
4. A backpack has a variety of small and large separate storage areas that are easily accessible from the outside.
There are negatives of course. First, I will probably have to do some touch up ironing on my suit and dress shirt. Second, traveling light means having fewer options for different dress occasions and/or weather conditions. That’s not an issue this trip.
So far I am very pleased with my experiences as a “backpack only” traveler. I have noticed a few others who also appear to be traveling only with a backpack. Some of them are wearing a somewhat larger backpack. I plan on investigating upsizing mine. I can easily carry more weight. Adding another 10-20% in carry volume will be a big help for longer trips. It would be great to find a backpack that is specifically designed for airline travel and that includes some clever internal structure for minimizing wrinkles on nicer clothes.
Have any of you moved to a “traveling light” mode? Have you considered using a backpack as your “luggage”? Do you have any suggestions for a better backpack for me?