You’ve likely heard the old adage: “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” And for the more romantic, “It is with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.”
You don’t need a degree in philosophy to learn that minimalist travel is rewarding. All it takes is a quick scroll through some cringe-worthy Pinterest pages to discover the value in accumulating experiences rather than possessions. But how many of us genuinely internalize those messages? How many of us are smug, but still struggle to turn a flowery quote into real change?
Rather than making subtle adjustments -- skimping on a t-shirt here, a pair of pants there -- the best change is structural. Ditch your wheelie bags, your too-small-for-anything-really-useful backpack, and hone in on a single bag that gets the job done. While embracing one-bag travel may prove to be difficult for the uninitiated, the rewards are mind-boggling. Here are the reasons why you should embrace single-bag travel.
Of the five reasons why embracing single-bag travel is rewarding, saving time tops the list. In all phases of our travels -- from pre-trip packing to mid-trip commutes and post-trip unpacking -- wielding just one bag is the tried and true method that saves the most time.
You’re busy. Casual travelers and digital nomads alike are bound by budgets, deadlines, and to-do lists -- all of which leave little time for the traveling itself. Why should something like your luggage have any bearing on the time you have available? It’s completely reasonable to assume that luggage should be the least of your worries and not cause for any time-consuming headaches.
When you get in the groove of one-bag travel, packing becomes second nature. This goes here, that goes there, muscle memory in full effect. While your friends hover over their suitcases, scratch their heads, and mime their hands in confusion over how they’re going to Tetris their things together, you can sit back and relax. If you’re late for your bus or ever caught in a pinch, one-bag travel will be the reason things don’t totally go awry. And once your plane lands, disregard all signs for baggage claim and go right where you need to be.
One of the most well-known truths in travel is that the less you pack, the more organized you will be. If you’re lumbering down the runway with a handbag, a backpack, two duffles rolling in your wake, and someone asks you to locate a pair of pants, chances are it may take a moment (and what if they really need some pants?)
For the single bag traveler, minimalism yields organization. Everything belongs in its place, and well-designed bags are just that -- well-designed. Sunglasses go in the pouch for sunglasses, passports in the pouch for passports, and your shirts go where they were meant to go. Single-bag travel isn’t OCD, nor is it just a chic trend for regular travelers. If we’re looking to identify the most efficient way to stay organized while on the move, it’s with a single bag.
After deciding to embrace one bag, there are as many implications for how you manage the inside of your bag how you live your life outside your bag. Inside is an entire world of organization, secret pockets, and nifty sleeves, while outside just one handle and one bag to be whisked around in any and all situations.
Trust us -- after years of fumbling around with an entourage of baggage, single-bag travel is like traveling naked. You don’t think twice about boarding, all excursions are within the realm of possibility, and the age-old question of “should we bring our stuff?” suddenly becomes a bit less of an ordeal.
Make Working on the Go Easier
For digital nomads, traveling has to be as conducive to productivity as a sedentary life back home. After all, the idea of working and supporting yourself on the move often sounds more romantic than it really is. Scheduling, commuting, bouncing between co-living spaces -- the work involved in maintaining a life on the move may feel like a job entirely in its own right.
For this reason, it’s fair to say that traveling with a single bag allows much more productive. Carrying a bag that holds all your important items allows you to quickly access what you need, to attend to work matters on the fly, and to never worry about having your most prized possessions more than a few inches from your back. The streamlined productivity involved in single-bag travel is the culmination of our three previous points: less time packing and dealing with baggage claims, more organization to manage your belongings, and the liberty to go where you want to when you want to go. All this makes working on the go that much easier.
Written by: Dillon DuBois