Anyone who looks at my blog will see that I post alot about packing light, and specifically one carry on bag only travel. So why is packing light, and just taking one carry on bag so important to me? What’s it got to do with frugal travel anyway? Well, here are my 7 top reasons why one carry on bag is essential for frugal travel:
Budget airlines are obviously a boon for the frugal traveler. But regular users of budget airlines will also know that they can charge crippling fees for excess or even checked baggage. One carry on bag will often get you around these problems.
Even full service airlines are often stricter with baggage limits. If you love a good shop when you are traveling that can be risky. Pack light to start with (even if you take a bigger bag and don’t fill it) and you can shop to your heart’s content knowing you won’t get any nasty surprises. Paying excess baggage is not frugal.
2. Using public transport
It’s just common sense that if you want to get your bag onto a bus or train you need something you can easily lift and store. Even luggage racks on airport buses can be small, and often storage racks on trains are limited. You need to be able to lift your bag up onto the bus, and up onto a train – for trains in Europe that can be as high as 3feet (just on a metre). The lighter and smaller your bag is, the easier all that is.
In a busy commuter train in France recently there were no luggage racks (it was a suburban type train). The train was packed, with every seat taken and people standing in aisles. My small bag was small enough and light enough to balance on my knee without getting in anyone’s way – impossible with a full size bag.
3. Smaller hire/rental cars
If you want to drive, it obviously makes sense to book the smallest car you can manage with, if saving money is your goal. Not only will you save money on your rental/hire costs, but obviously your fuel costs will also be significantly reduced. Take smaller bags, and you need a smaller boot/trunk – and save money!
4. Budget hotels
This is a particular issue in Europe. Budget hotels often have tiny or even no lifts. That makes them hopeless if you need to lug a heavy suitcase up stairs or try and fit them into tiny lifts. Doesn’t it seem crazy to have to book a more expensive hotel just because you carry a big suitcase?
Most of us love to do some shopping when we travel. Even if it is just some gifts for friends and family. If you only take one carry on bag, you’ve got wriggle room to fit into the luggage allowance – and to be able to manage your load!
If you can carry your one small bag yourself, you don’t need to tip. Good, huh?
7. Traveling with children
If you are traveling with children small carry on bags make life much easier. Even quite young children can manage their own wheelie bags if they are small. Or adults can manage two small bags. A small wheelie bag makes wrangling toddlers much easier than a heavy, full sized case.
So, are you convinced? Carry on bags make frugal travel so much easier!