in the last three years we have travelled exclusively with this cabin luggage weighing in at 7kg.
In the beginning...
First a bit of history. In 1999 we sought out and found the perfect piece of luggage for each of us for that particular time. We were off to Europe for 4 weeks and would be staying in hostels and catching buses and trains.
Although not cabin luggage, it was a versatile small rectangular piece made by Paklite an Australian company. It unfortunately does not seem to be still on the market.(see pic). We still have ours, with all zips intact and wheels working after so many trips and years of service they are still in excellent shape. The Paklites began our quest to travel light being small in size but with backpack straps and suitcase handles as well as wheelie wheels they gave us options. The frame and wheels however add weight, and they were just a bit too big to be cabin luggage.
4 Weeks of Lost Luggage in Africa
In 2007, our luggage had a little holiday without us in Africa for 4 weeks. Somewhere between our flights of Perth – Mauritius – Nairobi – Addis Ababa our luggage went missing. This was a life changing experience – not in an epiphany sort of way but in a slow realization that you actually need much less to travel and it is so much easier to get around without luggage.
Believing it would only be a few days before we were re-united with our luggage we only bought meager necessities like toothbrushes, toothpaste and combs. Hotels, even cheap ones, supply soap and shampoo. We bought a couple of sets of underwear and a shirt each and carried them in a plastic duty free bag along with the books we had with us from the plane and our small carry on. We had worn a warm jacket on the plane so we had that as well.
As the time wore on with no sign of our luggage turning up, we found that it was not too much of a chore to wash out our clothes each night. We found it amazingly easy to take flights and board buses and trains without many possessions. We were secure in the knowledge we had nothing worth stealing whereas with luggage we would have been feeling much more vulnerable. We travelled from Ethiopia through Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana to Namibia before we were finally reunited with our luggage. It was rather fun wearing locally bought clothes and using a market bought day pack.
We did unfortunately pack our malaria tablets and other medications in the checked luggage and so we had quite a job to find the medications we needed in Ethiopia. We did eventually, and have since realised in our travels you can find anything you need really, if you persist.
Making the change
We thought long and hard about the items we had packed and hadn't really needed. We thought long and hard about how EASY and stress free our travel had been.
Whilst we continued using our Paklites for the next few trips an idea was forming which crystallized when we were seduced by an Air Asia flight sale. Air Asia is a budget airline with its hub in KL and flights out of Perth. For less than a $1,000 in airfares for both of us, we planned a trip with visits to KL, Penang, Borneo, Brunei, Vietnam and China. With a dash of bravery we booked "with cabin luggage only". This would be the test of a new way of travelling. 5 weeks in Asia with cabin luggage only.
After researching diligently I found an Australian Bag that seemed to be what we needed. Made by Black Wolf and called Skedaddle, it fits the dimensions of carry-on luggage. It is very light to start with and very strong. I found web sites on the subject of packing and travelling light and these assisted with formulating my own ideas. Carry-on weight is usually 7kg and the Skedaddle bags pack well for this weight.
....and now we are hooked!
Our Asia trip went very well and now we can't imagine travelling any other way. We travelled for 3 months 2010/2011 ( Argentina, Antarctica, Chile, Easter Island, Bolivia, Paraquay, UAE, and Nepal) with cabin luggage only. We came back to Perth to get some visas then took off for a further nine months in 2011 travelling all over the globe loving the freedom of travel with cabin luggage. Since then we have cruised the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Each time we board with our cabin luggage only. Just so easy! (See the links on the home page to our blogs).