When I travel to Europe for an extended period and plan to go to more than one country, my bag is usually smaller than if I am taking a short weekend trip to the beach. Whether I am staying for 5 days or 3 months, I pack only a carry-on and a purse. Why? Because luggage is a hassle. Below are some of the main reasons I choose to pack light.
• Baggage fees – Although you get a free checked bag on international trips from the United States, once you are in Europe, you will most likely fly on budget airlines to get around. On these flights, you will have to pay extra in order to transport your luggage, making your budget trip a little more costly.
• Wait time – When you don’t have any checked luggage, once you get off the plane you are free to leave the airport and start exploring. You won’t have to wait an extra half-hour for your baggage to come up the carousel at baggage claim
• Lost/Stolen Suitcases – When all you have is one suitcase/backpack, and it is with you at all times, you don’t have to worry about your luggage not arriving to your final destination because of a transfer/layover. You also don’t have to worry about someone stealing your suitcase, or picking it up by mistake.
• Less Hassle – When you only have one item, it is much easier to transport your luggage from place to place. Getting into a taxi or on public transportation is hard when you have a lot of ‘stuff’. It’s also more stuff to pack and unpack if you are going to multiple destinations and/or hotels.
• Light to Carry – Over packing equals a heavy suitcase. It’s harder to maneuver and if you have a backpack your back will get really sore.
I’ve come to realize that you can get by with a lot less than you think. Packing versatile items that can be used in multiple ways will help stretch your wardrobe and keep things fresh. To see an in depth look at specifically goes into my bag, check out my packing list post.