Travel Light: The Freedom to Pick Up Your Bags & Go
There is something freeing about traveling light; about being able to pick up your bags and go. Just as we can become weighed down by our possessions at home (physically, mentally, and emotionally), so too can we when we travel. I began the practice of traveling with less a few years ago and have never looked back. The first time I did it actually was on my husband's and I honeymoon to Destin, Florida. While I had had every intention of checking a medium sized suitcase, my husband suggested that we travel with carry-ons. When he first mentioned this, I thought he was crazy. How in the world was I going to fit everything I needed into a carry-on?! What about my blow dryer and shoes? Meeting the liquid standard was another concern.. I didn't want to have to stop by a convenience store right when we got into town to purchase items that I wouldn't be able to then take back with us later. Like I said, I thought he was crazy.
His suggestion ended up being a blessing in disguise though as we were able to eliminate a bit of the stress that can occur while traveling. We made out connecting flight in Charlotte after our plane had arrived late only because we had carry-ons; other wise we would have been S.O.L. Our departing flight to Destin was straight across the Charlotte airport so we had to literally pick up our bags and run! Another lesson learned was not to wear wedges while traveling via air. This made our sprint rather challenging. The second benefit that we discovered to traveling with less is that our luggage took up less space in our hotel room. We didn't have to worry about having to jump over a massive suitcase or having to unpack it and then find somewhere to store it; but rather were able to just pop them open and head to the beach. Having less clothing options also made for a more calming vacation as we were able to focus on relaxing. How many outfits do you really need while at the beach? All of these lessons learned have seriously impacted the way that I now travel.
Years later, I continue to travel light, taking only a carry-on and tote. Depending on where and what time of year I'm traveling, I pack about clothing 4-5 options, much of which can be interchanged and have the intention of being worn more than once. The jewelry and footwear I pack follows the same criteria - simple, classic pieces that can go with anything. I love bringing a tote while traveling as I can carry a water bottle, thermos, snacks, notepad, charger, and camera. Some times I will use the tote day-to-day while on my trips while other times I will use my small purse, which I also bring along. In it I pack only the essentials: an id, cash, credit card, phone, lipstick, tissues, etc. The contents of my purse and tote are pretty much the contents of my day-to-day life while at home. One of the biggest lessons that I've learned from traveling is that you realize how very little you actually need. Especially when traveling light. While having only 4-5 outfits may sound scary to some, it is really quite freeing. The outfits that I pack are my favorites and ones that I know I will feel beautiful, confident and comfortable. They tend to be the ones that I wear most often while back home; which makes me think - how much of the clothing left in my closet do I really need?