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Traveling Light: Literally

Kirk and I are traveling through Spain for 19 days with nothing but carry-on luggage. For months, people have been asking us how. This week, with the summer travel season upon us, I take my first-ever break from business topics to share the secrets of literally traveling light. Most of them apply whether your travel is business or pleasure.

First of all, let’s make sure we’re clear on why we should be considering traveling light at all, because it does take some effort in advance, and our time is valuable.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that this summer is projected to be the worst ever for congestion and delays. No checked luggage = one less line at the departure airport.

Many airlines are now charging $50 and up to check more than one bag. It’s just a matter of time before they start charging for all checked baggage, the same way they charge for drinks. No checked luggage = more money to spend at the destination.

It’s no great secret that lost luggage claims are up, too. No checked luggage = no lost luggage.

Here’s my favorite: when we arrived in Spain at midnight after 18 hours of traveling, we got off the plane and walked directly to customs and on to ground transportation. No checked luggage = no waiting 30+ minutes at your destination when you’re sick to death of traveling and just want to get out of there. When we return, it will be the same sweet story.

We move effortlessly from place to place because we’re only carrying 20 pounds each plus Kirk’s backpack and my travel bag. Our backs feel great. No checked luggage = feeling good.