Author Topic: How low can you go - Travel luggage  (Read 1312 times)

Hirondelle

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How low can you go - Travel luggage
« on: June 13, 2018, 01:46:41 PM »
So it's summer time (sorry Australians) which means many of us will make some Mustachian style trips. Now there's one thing I keep surprising myself about and that's the amount of luggage people tend to carry around at airports. My motto is "hand luggage only".

So the goal of this thread? Share your yourney towards lightweight travel! It avoids luggage fees, carrying around the huge weight, waiting for your baggage and stress about what to wear each day (cause you can't wear what you didn't bring).

Would love to hear what other people bring and how they manage to reduce their luggage. I'm always looking to bring even less stuff with me!

On my last few trips I traveled with 9 lbs (4 kg) for 7 days, 15 lbs (7 kg) for 10 days and 22 lbs (10 kg) for 11 months :)

PoutineLover

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 02:05:52 PM »
I always try to travel as light as possible, I can't remember the last time I checked anything. On a three week trip to Spain and Portugal I just brought a 32L backpack and while I was there I got some stuff so I ended up adding a collapsible duffel bag that fit as a carry on. I did 8 weeks in Europe with a carry on suitcase and a backpack as a day bag. Using vacuum ziploc bags helps save space, and just bringing minimal clothing that all matches and doing laundry every week or so is better than lugging extra stuff around. I usually put everything I'm considering on my bed, then take out everything I don't absolutely need, to leave me with the bare essentials. I always try to pack loosely on the way out so that if I pick up anything while away I have room.
My upcoming trip will be a challenge though. I have to bring a dance costume with a huge heavy wool skirt, and I don't want to check a bag. Even if I ziploc it, it adds a lot of weight, and it might not even fit in my bag. Shipping isn't an option, I can't take the risk of losing it. I considered wearing it on the plane, is that too extreme? Could function as a warm blanket.. Ideas are welcome!

Bee21

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 02:25:35 AM »
Am currently travelling with the fam in Eastern Europe. We almost got away with the little daypacks as carry on if my husband didn't insist on bringing 3 pairs of (xxxxl) shoes. We ended up checking in 20 kg(packed some warm clothes and presents on top of the shoes), but it is not bad for the 4 of us. The trick is packing cells and folding everything to death.

gaja

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 03:13:28 AM »
@PoutineLover lovely costume! I've been dancing folk dance my whole life, and both my kids have too. Those things are expensive, so there is no way I would take them as anything other than carry-on. And I would not wear it - would be too worried about stains, and it would get rather uncomfortable. Here are some other ideas:

1) The most radical one, is getting a lighter weight skirt. If this trip is once in a lifetime, there is no point. But people who travel a lot for dancing often invest in different weight skirts. Not just because it is difficult to transport the heaviest options, but also because there is a big difference in how warm and tired you get after dancing a whole day.

2) These things can take a lot more beating than you think. Since they are so expensive, we often treat them as gold. But heavy wool skirts can be packed very thightly, and come out without a wrinkle. And if there are any wrinkles, it will straighten out with a bit of steam.

3) Test pack your suitcase, fitting only the costume. How much space is left over? I just unpacked a suitcase from our last trip (small carry-on size), and it fitted two costumes and a dress, with extra silver and accessories (belts, shawls, aprons). When DD flew to South America with her costume, it took up only 1/4 of the suitcase. But we did choose one of the lighter weigth options for that trip, and the largest size carry-on case. And you probably need a bit longer skirts than us (150-160 cm tall).

As long as there is some space left in the suitcase, you should be good to go. Some underwear, a couple of dresses and cardigans, or trousers and tops, and an extra pair of shoes. We normally don't bring any makeup, and only the travel sized packs of shampoo and lotion. That saves us a lot of space.

Have fun dancing! Where are you heading?

elliha

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 04:13:23 AM »
I would do what women used to do in the past to protect their clothing: Make a big "day apron" that covers all or most of the skirt and traveled with it.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 05:29:13 AM »
Whether a 3 day trip or 2 week trip I always fit into a backpack and 1 carry on hard-side roller.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 06:19:22 AM »
Since 2011 I have only used the Timbuktu wingman carryonhttps://www.timbuk2.com/products/528-wingman-carry-on-travel-bag-sale bag (I love it so much!), whether it's a for a weekend or months. The timbuktu has a great pocket arrangement in my opinion. I also use travel cubes, and have really learned a lot from the Travel Fashion Girl website about how to pack a minimalist wardrobe that still looks nice an is appropriate for where you are going.

We just got back from a 3 week trip for which I needed clothes for: mid 80s/humid and mid 50s/raining weather, a 1 week cycling trip, some fancy events, work, and a great deal of walking around cities with cobble stone streets. It was one of the most challenging trips I've had to pack for, but it worked out. My bag was 25 pounds, which is heavier than I like (I prefer around 20), but 4.5 of that was my laptop, which I needed for work. I like that the timbuktu also has a laptop compartment.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 06:58:00 AM »
My last trip (1 week) and the trip before (2 weeks), I travelled with a largish backpack/suitcase that was about 8.5kg in total. I'll have to try and work out the best way to pack lighter, as a couple of airlines have 7kg carry-on limits.

Although there is an issue if travelling to a warmer climate in winter and taking a big coat or jumper that's used only for the trip to/from the airport. I tend to schedule my travel for the cooler months rather than in summer.

Hirondelle

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 07:10:01 AM »
Although there is an issue if travelling to a warmer climate in winter and taking a big coat or jumper that's used only for the trip to/from the airport. I tend to schedule my travel for the cooler months rather than in summer.

My take for this issue is usually to bring a summer jacket + sweater. You can wear them on top of each other on the trip to/from the airport and they won't count as luggage as you wear them at check in. It may be a little chilly to get to the airport, but assuming you're in a car or taxi you basically only use it to walk a few meters to your transport vehicle... (Bonus points if you're biking to the airport). While traveling locally, wearing one of them at a time on planes or busses might still be nice due to excessive A/C in many places.

Villanelle

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 07:28:43 AM »
I got really good at this when living in Europe, where the cheap airlines have even smaller than usual carry one size, and extra baggage is really pricey.  Easy in summer for up to a week.  Winter is more challenging, simply because the clothes are so much larger and I still want a second pair of shoes in case one gets waterlogged.  And also because winter clothes dry much slower so sink washing isn't as effective.  But the upside is that since you are layering, you can just wash the thinner inner layer, and rewear the same sweater/fleece. 

I leave this week for 9 days in Bali and sadly, husband and I broke down and paid for one bag.  We are hoping to do some holiday shopping, and picking up some items requested by friends, and it costs a lot more to book at the airport, so we splurged.

I'm also a big fan of packing a basic duffle in my carryon, if it's a trip where I plan on acquiring a lot. Normally it is a basic no-frills duffle.  However,  I own two of these (gifted to me, for different purposes) and they hold an absolutely insane amount.  They are a pain to travel with as they are unwieldy, but its hard to beat the extra capacity for the pretty darn small size when folded up.  And since it is just basic fabric (but pretty durable!), it doesn't provide protection to anything inside.  So if you are going on a trip where you think you'll be acquiring a lot of volume, they are great.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KR1K4A/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

E.T.

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 07:49:47 AM »
Typically when I travel for work I take one rolling carry on and my backpack, so my suit doesn't get squashed and I don't have to carry my heavy laptop on my back. When I travel for personal trips, me and my husband usually go with just backpacks. When we lived in the South and visited my family in Midwest in the winter, we used the one rolling carry on again so we could cram our bulky winter coats in there. I've done long international trips with the backpack, it's just a normal sized school backpack, not a hiking one.

For clothes: I wear jeans, a comfy t-shirt (doubles as pj top), a light sweater and a pair of good walking shoes on the flight. I usually pack a pj bottom, an extra shirt, a few light dresses (with warm tights if it's a cold climate), and an extra pair of walking shoes that pack pretty flat.

I have solid shampoo from lush that's really easy to travel with and a powdered detergent, so I can do laundry by hand in a sink. I also sometimes carry a tin in my bag that I can store breads and cheeses in so I could go to grocery stores and eat cheaply while exploring.

Shane

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 07:53:14 AM »
Since December, 2016, our family of three has been traveling full time with <7kg carry ons each. In cold places, e.g., Tibet in January, Beijing in February, NZ in early October, we buy cheap warm clothes at thrift shops or discount stores, then give them away or leave them at the airport before leaving. Just in case the airline asks to weigh our bags, we usually wear warm winter clothes, hats, coats, gloves, etc, on our bodies when checking in for flights. After we get to the gate, we can rearrange our stuff, packing some of it into our bags and keeping some stuff out to use as pillows and blankets on the plane. Mostly we've been staying in Airbnb apartments with washing machines, so we just wash small loads of laundry every other day, or so. In places where we don't have a washer, we usually wash our underwear, socks, t-shirts, etc, by hand when we take a shower, and then hang them up to dry every evening. My wife and daughter have a little more, but I've only got two pairs of underwear and two pairs of socks, so by the second day, at the latest, I've got to wash clothes.

Rubic

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 08:15:56 AM »
My last 3 trips were done with one bag, a 35L Tortuga backpack,
which I purchased refurbished:

https://www.tortugabackpacks.com/

This included a week-long business trip to China.  My next travel
later this month will be a 7-day bike trip.  I shipping the bike ahead,
but only flying with one bag.  Unless I'm traveling overseas, I usually
ship my bike to and from the destination.

PoutineLover

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2018, 08:41:15 AM »
@PoutineLover lovely costume! I've been dancing folk dance my whole life, and both my kids have too. Those things are expensive, so there is no way I would take them as anything other than carry-on. And I would not wear it - would be too worried about stains, and it would get rather uncomfortable. Here are some other ideas:

1) The most radical one, is getting a lighter weight skirt. If this trip is once in a lifetime, there is no point. But people who travel a lot for dancing often invest in different weight skirts. Not just because it is difficult to transport the heaviest options, but also because there is a big difference in how warm and tired you get after dancing a whole day.

2) These things can take a lot more beating than you think. Since they are so expensive, we often treat them as gold. But heavy wool skirts can be packed very thightly, and come out without a wrinkle. And if there are any wrinkles, it will straighten out with a bit of steam.

3) Test pack your suitcase, fitting only the costume. How much space is left over? I just unpacked a suitcase from our last trip (small carry-on size), and it fitted two costumes and a dress, with extra silver and accessories (belts, shawls, aprons). When DD flew to South America with her costume, it took up only 1/4 of the suitcase. But we did choose one of the lighter weigth options for that trip, and the largest size carry-on case. And you probably need a bit longer skirts than us (150-160 cm tall).

As long as there is some space left in the suitcase, you should be good to go. Some underwear, a couple of dresses and cardigans, or trousers and tops, and an extra pair of shoes. We normally don't bring any makeup, and only the travel sized packs of shampoo and lotion. That saves us a lot of space.

Have fun dancing! Where are you heading?
Thanks for the tips! I did a trial pack and I did manage to get everything important in my carry on, using Ziplocs and really limiting non dance items. I hope if it gets wrinkled I can just steam it there. It's too close to my travel date to get a lighter skirt, and it's probably once in a lifetime for a trip like this. I'm going to Lithuania for the song and dance festival :)

mspym

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2018, 07:23:19 PM »
I've done multiple 3 week trips (America x3, Japan and France) on 7kg carry-on luggage. The last couple of times we packed a small duffle just in case we wanted to buy a whole bunch of stuff but never used it, even when we bought stuff, so I am going to vote for just leaving it behind in future.

I generally go for 1 each trousers/shorts/skirt/dress + various tops that match all and can be layered. I wear the trousers + the warm top + a big scarf + the jacket on the flight as these are the bulky items and I also get super cold on planes.

sparkytheop

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2018, 10:26:58 AM »
For personal travel, I try to stick to carry-on only.  My son and I did 5 weeks in Europe, with frequent train travel, with just a carry on each, laptop bag for him, and a purse for me (our free personal items).  Lightweight tees, pants, and skirts were pretty much the wardrobe.  I had a pair of capris I liked, and found a second pair while I was in Germany, so bought those as well.  The insoles they sell in Europe are so much better than anything we can find here, so I bought a few of those for each of us when we ended up doing even more walking than we usually do (we'll walk miles a day when on vacation).

I rolled my items and used packing cubes.  I did sink laundry several times, but one room we had had a washing machine, and I'd visit the laundromat at other locations.  I don't see the laundromat as wasted time at all.  I'd bring something to read, or some info on our next location, and do a little planning for that.  I've also met other people on vacation (in Munich, I met one family from New Orleans, and another from my home state).

It was a long trip, and I was trying to save a lot of room and weight, so I did things like dehydrate my toothpaste in small pieces so that I could just pack it in a little container instead of bringing a tube (I have to use sensitive toothpaste, and I can't find it here in small tubes).  I'm not super picky with shampoo and conditioner, so I brought my stuff in sample containers and then just used what the different rooms had.

We didn't buy much in the way of souvenirs, but on one day left alone, my son managed to buy like 20 pounds of books, lol.  He read them all and wanted to keep some of them, so we ended up mailing a package or two home.  Because it was an international trip, our luggage would have been free on the plane, but it was worth the shipping not to have to drag the stuff around for several weeks.

Rosy

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2018, 06:55:02 PM »
I really want to try only one roll-on-carry-on - those backpacks are too difficult to deal with for me. I just want simple, elegant solutions - move that thing with my fingertips:) and a midsize purse with sufficient width and great organization for my next trip to Europe.
I think this will require some practice packing and a ruthless, detailed list.

I can wear the jacket on the plane, but I'd like to bring my boots but not wear them on the plane - my biggest conundrum. Not sure how I'll transport the electronics yet either, it will just be phone, tablet and a camera, but I'd like to keep them separate and protected.

My secret weapon have been the Adidas sports bags, they are lightweight but sturdy, water repellant and have a zippered pocket on the outside and another on the inside as well as netted slots for water bottles and you can convert the pull cord so it functions as a small backpack. They weigh nothing and fold super thin and flat when not in use.
Still need an RFID wallet for the trip.
 

meghan88

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2018, 10:15:18 AM »
We go to Europe each year for a few months and we do it all with backpacks.  DH has a Hynes 40 L bag that holds an amazing amount of stuff.  Mine is smaller but I still manage to get everything into it, including my laptop.  We favour clothing that is thin and light, and wear the heaviest clothing items on the plane.  We rent a place with a washer.

For makeup (foundation/concealer) and ointment, I use a contact lens case, as I don't need much of either thing. 100ml of conditioner will last me two months, and we buy soap and shampoo when we get there, unless the previous apartment occupant left some behind, in which case we're good.

Hirondelle

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2018, 10:52:50 AM »
When will you be in Europe Rosy? Unless it's during winter I really don't see why you'd bring (long) boots. Ankle boots should fit in a carry-on without issues. Electronics doesn't sound like it's much, just keep it with you. Most airlines allow you a carry-on + a personal item so you could take them in a seperate bag as your personal item?

Why do you think you need a RFID wallet btw if you don't use one at home? I honestly had to Google it as I've never heard about someone having one and I ran into this article .


I'm going to SE-Asia in September (or well.. 80% probability atm I'll really do it) and the cheapest flight is with one of those airlines that doesn't even give you food or luggage for long haul flights - I'm gonna stay within your 7 kg limit bastards!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 12:28:25 AM by Hirondelle »

dragoncar

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2018, 12:11:21 PM »
Ready to board


Rosy

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2018, 02:34:50 PM »
^^^ LOL he's boarding with six tops:)

Rosy

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2018, 03:26:46 PM »
When will you be in Europe Rosy? Unless it's during winter I really don't see why you'd bring (long) boots. Ankle boots should fit in a carry-on without issues. Electronics doesn't sound like it's much, just keep it with you. Most airlines allow you a carry-on + a personal item so you could take them in a seperate bag as your personal item?

Why do you think you need a RFID wallet btw if you don't use one at home? I honestly had to Google it as I've never heard about someone having one and I ran into [url = https://www.csoonline.com/article/3199009/security/why-you-dont-need-an-rfid-blocking-wallet.html] this article.


I'm going to SE-Asia in September (or well.. 80% probability atm I'll really do it) and the cheapest flight is with one of those airlines that doesn't even give you food or luggage for long haul flights - I'm gonna stay within your 7 kg limit bastards!

My boots are great for walking:) They are not long boots but about two-three inches above the ankle. I'll be there July thru Sept. When the weather turns and it rains they really come in handy.
I'll probably take them on board in my carry on.

Thanks for the link about the RFID - you just saved me some money:) YAY. I actually do own a couple of purses with RFID, but no wallet. I found one a slim packing cube on Amazon that I'll order for the electronics, so they are separate, but all together. I'll have to look and see what they say about personal items in case there are restrictions.
Should work fine as my personal items. 

lizzzi

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Re: How low can you go - Travel luggage
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2018, 07:43:29 PM »
Try packing for your trip but making it a dry run at home. Don't use anything for a few days that you have not taken out of your one-bag. Also, while the bag is fully packed, carry it around with you for a while, and see how it feels. This is a good way to try out different packing ideas while you are still in the comfort of your own home, and can jettison things and try better systems before you are stranded in Outer Mongolia with no underwear or whatever other mistakes you may have made.

I've found when doing this that a few ounces of weight here and there can really add up and make a difference. Think lightweight everything and think travel miniature sizes of things. Observe yourself while still at home, and think about what is absolutely essential in your daily routine and what isn't. If you have some kind of convertible bag, try carrying it in different ways. My go-to bag is a Tom Bihn TriStar, and I either carry it by the handle like a briefcase, or pull out the straps and wear it in backpack mode. I've learned over the years not to bother with the shoulder strap--I hate the way it pulls me sideways no matter how lightly the bag is packed--I just don't like carrying it that way. (Found out the hard way while running through the Detroit airport on my way to Denver one time.)

As you get organized, make packing lists on notecards and save them at home for the next trip. The minute you get home, revise your packing list cards as needed and put them in your one-bag's compartments and organizers.  I keep several packing list cards in the TriStar when it is stored in the closet. There is the make-up organizer, the toiletries organizer, the technical stuff organizer, etc.--each with its own list on a 3" x 5" card so I can pack quickly the next time without re-inventing the wheel. I had to put a notecard that says "Laptop" in my TriStar's center section after I almost went to New York without it. Sheesh. You'll find that you update and improve your packing with each ongoing trip. And ladies, if you're carrying your one-bag and also a purse, don't forget the purse as you go out the door. (Ask me how I know.)