[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ next_background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_post_title _builder_version=”3.17.6″ meta=”off” background_color=”#ffffff” text_orientation=”center” title_font=”Shadows Into Light Two||||||||” /][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.17.6″ src=”http://travelwithstudents.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/suitcase-close-up-from-max-pixel.jpg” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”off” specialty=”off” prev_background_color=”#000000″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.17.6″]

It’s been said before that there are two types of travelers:  those who pack light and those who wish they had.

But you’re still not convinced, are you?  Here are the most amazing things about one-bag travel and why you may never want to check a bag again:

Nobody can lose your bag.

Every year, over two million bags are lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered, according to the Department of Transportation.  Even though that amounts to a relatively small percentage (less than 6%) of passengers, the fact of the matter is that if you give your bag over to an airline, the possibility exists that your bag will take a different flight than you do.  As the handling of luggage gets more digital, bags that do travel on their own itinerary are fewer, and easier to find.  But you never know if the new baggage handlers are as trustworthy as they should be, or if the well-worn conveyor belt with that wire sticking out will puncture your new Samsonite. And you never know when your bag will be one of the two million that don’t show up according to plan.  

You can move quickly.

When I landed in France in the summer of 2018, I had pre-purchased my flexible train fares to continue from Paris to Agen.  I didn’t want to take the late train, after a full day of travel, getting to my destination at about 11pm.  But I knew that getting to the station in time for the earlier train would be tight.  Thanks to my passport-check in Iceland, and strangely not having to go through customs, I was able to catch an even earlier train than I had ever thought possible!  SCORE!! 

They say that on average (with wide variation depending on many things) it takes around 20 minutes for bags to get to the carousel after landing.  But no matter how long the walk is between the airplane and the baggage claim, it seems like there are always people standing around and waiting. And me, walking past them, on my way to catch my Uber or shuttle.

You can go anywhere.

I’ve taken kids to Europe and Latin America.  And I’ve discovered a variety of surfaces that pass for sidewalks and streets.  In the good ol’ US of A, we have pretty consistently flat sidewalks and evenly paved roads.  But in continental Europe, I’ve seen narrow streets paved with medieval cobblestones–that cars still use, often making pedestrians hug the walls or step into doorways.  And sidewalks that handle elevations, not with inclines but with actual stairs.

These are inconvenient with even a small roller bag (hence my preference for a backpack-style suitcase), but to navigate with a large bag, no matter how advanced the wheels are, in addition to a carry-on and/or shoulder bag moves from inconvenient to darn near impossible or possibly even dangerous! 

Of course, not all trips will involve treacherous terrain.  My student trips often involve smoother surfaces…until we get to the homes where we stay.  Many times I watch students heading off to their home stay, not sure if I’m hoping (for their sake) that the family lives in a ground-floor flat or hoping (out of a devious sense of schadenfreude) that the family’s home is the top level of a 4-story walk-up.  My little bag?  No problem getting that up the stairs!

  1. You can keep track of your things.
  2. You will make others jealous.

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