Can you imagine arriving at your destination and your luggage not dropping down on to the carousel? Even worse can you imagine that luggage never arriving? This exact scenario happened to a travel companion of mine on a recent trip!

Ready to go with my carry-on bag.

I have a love hate relationship with traveling carry on only. After my recent trip to Italy where one of my travel companions NEVER did receive her luggage in Italy, I am now even more determined to be a carryon girl. It was incredible the runaround that she got from the two airlines involved. I must tell you due to weather problems, our flights were canceled, rerouted, and then we missed the new connection, so rebooked again. None of us were surprised that the two checked bags did not show up the day we arrived. One of them did show up the next evening but due to many small errors along the way the other bag sat at the Rome airport for 9 days before eventually being sent back to Ottawa. Yes my travel companion will have her stuff but what a nuisance it was for her outfitting herself for the 10 days we were in Italy. Just imagine what it would be like trying to find clothing in more remote places or where the locals are all very small and the sizing is nothing like what you need! I start to panic just writing that!! We all want our stuff.

Photo by Freshh Connection on Unsplash

Checking your bag can feel freeing, but for me I love knowing I don’t have to worry about my luggage, and all my stuff, arriving at my destination. I actually enjoy planning out my wardrobe before I travel, so that when I am away it is so easy to get ready and out the door in the mornings. On my adventures, I usually pack my most comfortable and favourite pieces. I do not want to lose them.

It is so much easier if you only have a small suitcase while navigating the airport, trains, and even private vans when you arrive or are getting around at your destination.

“I feel like a rockstar when I show up with only one suitcase and a small backpack!”

The down side for me is having to handle it at the airport. Luckily I am almost always with someone who can watch it for me while I visit the bathroom, or pick up food etc. I also often feel a bit restrained with my shopping because I am always thinking about getting the purchases home. Packing an expandable tote solves the shopping problem, as does just shipping a parcel home. I often fly over carryon and check the bag coming home, using the packed tote for any overflow shopping.

Traveling carry on only is not as difficult as people think it is. In fact I often don’t even use everything that I bring! Some strategic planning with your clothing, being open to possibly needing to buy something like more sunscreen when you arrive at your destination. Many companies are now making solid sunscreen, shampoo and other toiletries that you may need. If you are not sensitive to products, consider using what is provided by the hotels. Many hotels use well known products or local brands that are very good.

Consider trying a trip with carry on only. Plan your wardrobe, be very specific so that you know what you’re going to wear day 1, day 2 etc. Keep in mind laundry is often a very affordable option. Also keep an open mind about wearing pieces more than once. I know you can do it!

Let me know if you give carry on only a try. Or if you have questions let me know and I will help you figure it out!

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