¨Packing for a trip can be exciting, but unpacking is always depressing.¨
Picking the Right Bag
- When I travel for months at a time, soft-sided luggage falls apart quickly. Before buying hard-sided luggage, I had to buy a new soft-sided bag, once a year. I have had the same hard-sided suitcase for five years.
- I prefer to travel with as few bags as possible. I get nervous that I will leave a bag behind or will be distracted and someone will take one of my bags. (Thankfully, I have never left a bag behind by mistake).
- A backpack or duffle bag is usually not advisable for Fifty-Plus Nomads because backpacks and duffle bags are too hard on our bodies. However, you may want to consider some of the backpacks that can convert to a suitcase. (If you do choose to use a backpack, read Nomadic Matt’s book Travel Under $50 a Day)
- On extended trips. I will usually bring one large, hard-sided roller bag. The bag and its content should not exceed 50 pounds when weighed together. (50 pounds or 22 kilograms-is the maximum weight allowed by most non-budget airlines to avoid additional fees).
- Airlines are anal about the weight requirements. I have tried a couple of times to pack more than 50 pounds in my checked bags and not take a carry-on. Then, I argued that the total weight is less than the airline’s aggregate weight limits. (Some airlines do not want your carry-on bags to weight more than ten pounds). Arguing this point was a waste of breath. The ticket agent either forced me to pack the excess weight items into a spare carry-on bag or pay an excess baggage fee.
- I take a small backpack or carry-on bag if I am carrying a laptop since it is not legal to pack a laptop into my checked baggage. (Sometimes, usually for short trips, I do not bring my laptop and use my smartphone instead).
- It is a good idea to travel with bags that look a bit worn and are not high end. They draw less attention to thieves.