In May of 2006, I flew to Paris by myself. My husband had been traveling in France on business and was ending his trip in Paris. It was our 10th wedding anniversary. We had honeymooned in France. We had a willing Grandma to stay with our kids. I was going to meet him to celebrate!
This was the last trip I took with over sized (as in, not carry-on) luggage. I took a massive suitcase or at least it seems massive in my memory. It was not small. I could have curled up and fit inside of it.
I decided on this trip to Paris that instead of taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel, I would take the bus. Now, it's important to know that I do not speak fluent French. I understand and speak enough to get by, but barely.
I get my giant bag from baggage claim and head to the nearest information booth. I ask about a bus to Paris. I make my way to the bus stop and wait. Ticket in hand. I board the bus and sit in the very first seat behind the driver. I proceed to doze/sleep all the way to Paris. The closest stop to my hotel is at the Arc de Triomphe. It is on the Right Bank...my hotel is quite distance away on the Left Bank. I begin lugging (rolling, pushing, tugging) my large suitcase. I finally get a taxi. I arrive at the hotel before my husband. Check in. Wrestle my bag into the elevator which is not as big as a small coat closet. Stumble into my room which is lovely, but quickly find there is not really anywhere to store my huge suitcase.
During that trip, I realized that I only wore a handful of the outfits that I had hauled with me.
I make a decision then and there. My new plan was carry-on luggage only. My husband was thrilled, as he'd been a believer for years. He also believes in the red-eye. It took me a while longer to get on board with night flights. That's for another post.
I have never looked back. It is liberating and reassuring to know that everything I have with me... is with me. I don't worry about lost luggage or how I'm going to manage my bag. I only pack what I can lift into the overheard compartment by myself. Although, often times a gentleman will assist and I welcome the chivalry.
My tips for going converting to Carry-On Only-
1. Buy a bag you love. Invest in the best quality you can afford. Be sure it is as light as possible when empty. I prefer wheels that roll in all directions.
2. Pack by rolling almost everything. (more in a later post)
3. Learn to use a capsule wardrobe for traveling.
4. Be okay with taking 3 oz. sizes of toiletries. If you need more, buy it when you land.
5. Teach your kids to wheel their own luggage. They will be "carry-on only" from the start.
Thanks for reading. More tomorrow.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,