One Pack Travel (or The Story of My Own Traveling Pants)

Long before I started thinking about down-sizing or applying the minimalist life-style to my home, our family had a one pack travel rule: Don’t take anything you can’t carry yourself. The rule developed after our luggage was lost a few times, along with the horrible inconvenience of trying to survive with the just the clothes on our backs. So, whenever possible, which is most of the time, we travel with just one carry-on. As you might imagine, this is easier said than done. Furthermore, each time I do it, I learn something new. Incidentally, by carry-on, I don’t mean one of those gigantic wheely boards, I mean a backpack that slips under the seat so you don’t have to worry about liability for decapitating another passenger trying to get the monstrosity into the overhead compartment.

For years, I’ve set aside underwear and tops that are on their last legs, so I when I go on a trip, usually a vacation, I can toss them after wearing. This gives a little more room for purchases to take home. The strange down side is that I keep thinking about what happens if I’m hit by a bus and have to go the hospital with my frayed underwear. So far, that hasn’t stopped me.  I’ve also save my cosmetics that have a few days left in them so I can toss the containers before returning home. For longer trips, I simply set aside time to do laundry.

But the best trick I discovered on my last trip, is black jeans. I love jeans. But even though our society is getting much more casual, I’m still a little uncomfortable wearing blue jeans in some situations. They can be a little too casual. This last trip, for some odd reason, I grabbed the black ones. I didn’t need to try to jam a nice pair of pants in the one pack. In fact, because of the fact I could wear the black jeans everywhere, I had room in the pack as I left home, not just on the return. The black jeans looked sophisticated in restaurants, worked well for biking, and were comfortable for house cleaning and knocking around.


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