If you’re tired of being mistaken for the Joads when you travel, you already suspect that traveling lighter would be traveling better. And yet, as this exhaustive site demonstrates, there’s a lot more to the art and science of traveling light than jamming as much as possible into one humungous handbag.
OneBag.com, a frequently updated reference guide to “going pretty much anywhere, for an indefinite length of time, with no more than a single carry-on-sized bag,” has a wealth of practical, field-tested advice for over-burdened travelers.
As author Doug Dyment writes, of “all the travel skills you might acquire, learning to travel light is the one most likely to result in enjoyable, productive, stress-free travel experiences.” Less luggage means fewer opportunities theft, damage, mis-routing or finding out the hard way that you have been the unsuspecting mule for drugs or contraband goods.
Carrying only one bag can be a real money-saver, too. You can use public transit more easily, cut back on tithing cabbies, bellhops and baggage handlers, and avoid the increasingly exorbitant airline luggage fees.
And with lighter traveling comes more flexibility:
Less stuff means greater mobility, which gives you more travel options. With no checked luggage to limit your choices, you can more easily deal with delayed transportation and missed connections (you can even switch to earlier flights when space is available). You needn’t arrive at airports as early, and you will be among the first to leave, while others wait for baggage delivery and long inspection queues. You can board trains, trams, and coaches with alacrity. You won’t feel compelled to take the first hotel room offered: you can comfortably walk down the street should the ambiance be unsuitable or the price unreasonable. You can sell your airplane seat (by volunteering to be “bumped”) on full flights. You can even travel as an air courier.
Among many useful pages on OneBag.com highlights include Using A Packing List, a detailed analysis of every individual item on Dyment’s personal packing list, a checklist of things to take care of prior to leaving on a trip, contact information for suppliers of harder-to-find items he mentions, a short list of recommended books on related topics, links to some carefully-chosen sites that OneBag enthusiasts are likely to find interesting, Dyment’s own compilation of travel industry links to airlines, hotels and automobile rentals, plus the best metasearch engines, handy lists of country/airport/airline codes, and tools for checking real-time flight status, airport delay conditions, and aircraft seating arrangements.
Dyment keeps track of content changes here, and site updates can be followed also via Facebook, Twitter or RSS feed.
For travelers, OneBag.com may be the single most useful destination on the internet.
See, also: Packing Light Without Being A Minimalist