A family of four. Four countries. Thirty days of travel. And we did it all with four carry-on sized backpacks.

It wasn’t always like this.

In the nineties we travelled across Europe and Britain with massive bags. Think backwoods camping-sized bags with internal frames. Giant flags sewn across the top. But we were never camping. We were using public transit and staying in hotels and hostels. But we were carrying SO MUCH STUFF.

Over time, we got much, much better. The smaller our luggage got, the happier and more mobile we were. Stairs were no problem. Venice? We felt bad for the people pushing this rolling suitcases along bumpy sidewalks and carrying them up and over all those bridges. A carry-on backpack made us lean and mobile. It meant freedom.

Imagine yourself transiting through busy airports or navigating busy streets with everything you need on your shoulders. It’s a minimalist approach, that offers you maximum flexibility and arguably less stress.

Travel, when it’s going well, can be exhilarating. It’s shedding your old routine and doing something now. One-bag travel means you’re shedding excess baggage – literally and metaphorically. You’re lighter, leaner, and faster.

Less is more. It’s something you’ve heard said many times but it’s a reality when you’re travelling with one bag. Streamlining means you must plan ahead, prioritize, and simplify. No more decisions about what you’re going to wear – that’s going to be worked out before you leave, by identifying the few core items you’re going to pack.

Anyone can travel carry-on only. The secret is to decide what you absolutely need for one week. Use a packing list. Do not overpack. Travelling longer? Plan on doing laundry. Choose your clothes so you can wash them in the sink, hang them on the clothesline you’ve packed, and they’re ready to go in the morning.

Travelling with one back will enhance how you travel. So, sling that backpack over your shoulders (no rolling bags!), embrace the freedom of travelling light, and let’s stop dreaming and get moving!