Many people think that travelling with just carry-on luggage to cold climates is impossible. While it is trickier than packing for a beach holiday there’s no reason why you can’t pack light in the winter too. We’ve been living out of our carry-on sized backpacks for over five years now and can’t imagine travelling any other way. At the beginning of May we visited Finland (including a ski trip in Lapland) for ten days with just hand luggage and found it even easier than usual.
The secret of travelling light is to regularly assess everything in your bag. Do you still use it enough to justify carrying it around?
We’ve been travelling for nearly five years with just a carry-on backpack each, and we do a major assessment of our gear each summer. We get rid of anything we no longer use, replace shabby clothes, and perhaps update our technology.
We’ve been living out of a small carry-on sized backpack each for nearly four years. It contains all our worldly belongings and everything we need to live and work around the world. We love the simplicity of travelling with just hand luggage, the convenience of skipping baggage collection queues and airline fees, and the peace of mind knowing that our bags are always with us. It has been so long that we can’t imagine living any other way—more stuff just seems unnecessary.
After three years of travelling with hand luggage only we are convinced that it’s the best way to travel. We are happy with our decision every time we whiz through an airport in ten minutes while others are crowding around the baggage carousel; every time we waltz onto a bus without worrying if our bags will emerge from the luggage storage at the end of our journey; and every time we have to walk more than a few minutes with our backpacks on our backs.
We are travelling permanently with only carry-on luggage, having sold the rest of our belongings. I have a 30 litre backpack and Simon has a 40 litre backpack and a small travel guitar. It’s been surprisingly easy to live with such small bags and to fit everything we need into them, including two laptops and an SLR camera. Life is actually much simpler when you own less.