Lighter luggage, lighter footprint (Day 294)…


So I’m going to New York for a few days after Christmas — suggestions for things to do, places to see, food to eat and so on are more than welcome in the Comments section below. While a part of me wants to bring every pair of shoes I own, every cocktail dress and every shade of lipstick, I’ve resolved to pack it all into one piece of carry-on luggage.

Packing lightly, you see, is a very green thing to do: Every additional 10 pounds per traveler apparently requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year (that’s enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for 10 years, just to give some perspective).

Going carry-on does have its problems — there are the liquid restrictions, of course, space restrictions and the annoyance of having to haul the case all around the airport. But it also means not having to wait for the bag at the other end, and there’s some peace of mind in knowing it won’t get lost (unless you happen to be the type who loses everything).

But most importantly, the less I bring with me, the less I’ll end up using and wearing, the less chance something will leak and spill all over my clothes, and the less laundry I’ll have to do when I get home.

Photo courtesy of Miha Miha on Flickr

13 Responses to Lighter luggage, lighter footprint (Day 294)…

  1. DarciP says:

    I love your logic 🙂

  2. Lissa says:

    This has been a rule of mine since mid-September — and I’ve taken three trips since then. My tips to make it easier:

    Figure out what cosmetic liquids/gels you absolutely need — I only bring a liquid foundation, mascara, and perfume — meaning that those are the only substances requiring a plastic bag — everything else goes in a little pouch in the middle of the bag. For the perfume, I went back to the shop where I bought my favorite (Vera Wang), explained my situation, and requested a travel-size sample — done. (And the little tube is glass, so recyclable.)

    If you roll your clothes, they fit better, take up less space, and the wrinkles are more likely to fall out while hanging than to require a ton of ironing time.

    Color coordinate: I travel in blue, gray, and white, because everything I bring will suit every other thing I bring. If I spill or get splashed by a mud puddle, it’s not a disaster.

    Hotel-supplied facial soaps are gentle enough to use as hand-washing cleansers for delicates — underwear, camisoles, silk blouses. — which can dry overnight and look beautifully fresh after a quick once over with an iron.

    Best of all? When you don’t have to check luggage you needn’t wait for a trolley, a skycap, the baggage line, or baggage claim, which lets you enjoy more of your trip.

  3. Elise says:

    You can always go to a local Sephora to “try out” makeup for nights out, and they give their perfume samples in little spray bottles!

  4. ainslie says:

    “Every additional 10 pounds per traveler apparently requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year (that’s enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for 10 years, just to give some perspective).”

    Could you explain that stat a bit further? Does the 350 million gallons of fuel relate to all commercial airline travellers worldwide for one year, each of them having an additional 10 pounds of luggage? As it’s written, it doesn’t make sense — or perhaps I just need my morning coffee to fire up my brain…

    Aside from that, this is an excellent travel tip.

  5. Molly says:

    Here’s a suggestion for your simple Saturday tip: use the restroom before you get on the plane. See what Treehugger has to say about it:

  6. emily says:

    What fantastic timing. I flew to Boston yesterday, for 3.5wks. I had two suitcases–one under the 50lb limit, one over. The reason why I had two is that my husband recently moved to Germany, while I have another year in the US (long story). Rather than ship things expensively, we’ve been transferring goods by suitcase whenever each of us flies, thus slowly moving our household from one continent to another (this is my 3rd time making this type of move, and his 2nd). I hope he agrees to ship things next time, because this could have been a lot easier. I fantasize about making our “final move” (wherever we end up) as passengers on a container ship, with a container for all of our stuff. I suspect that would be the greenest way to go. For now, though, it’s airplanes and sore backs.

    I plan on going to NYC for a couple days after xmas, and I hope my sweetie will agree to the train. On my list: the reinstalled European Painting galleries at the Met Museum, and the Adele Bloch-Bauer portraits at the Neue Galerie. You can find the world’s best bagels around 95th St (just look for any Jewish bakery in that neighborhood). If anybody knows where to get good blintzes, pls post!

  7. Aya says:

    I live in NYC; make sure you try Slice, the organic pizza shop on the Upper East Side. IT IS TASTY!

  8. michelle says:

    Luggage aside, I love those shoes.

  9. sandra says:

    Last time we visited NYC we skated in Central Park (you can rent the skates) then
    walked to Tavern on the Green for brunch. We then walked back to our hotel.
    We burned off the calories we consumed and soaked up some traditional New York

    Sandra H. Ottawa

  10. Hellcat13 says:

    Oh, Michelle, me too!!! That was my very first thought.

  11. Simsimma says:

    Toys ‘r Us is a must! You will not believe your eyes.

  12. lynne marie says:

    I just bought a “wheeled tote” for a road trip after Christmas with five friends. I looked at all the bags I own, and realized that they were either too big to fit in the trunk or were too small to carry an extra pair of shoes. The bag I picked up is cute, compact, organized, light, durable..i.e. perfect for even shopping trips when my back is cranky. Plus, unlike every other “carry on” I’ve ever had, I can lift it above my head without losing balance or asking someone else to do it for me. I’ve resolved that this and my Juice Bag backpack are going to be my luggage from now on. (Unless we visit family in Sweden and Egypt. Then, we’ll have to take the larger luggage.)

    Another thing I realized when I travelled to Chicago over the holidays: I never wear all the clothes I pack and, other than work-out gear, I never sweat enough to forego wearing most non-underwear things a second time. Most people on holiday see you about one day, so they don’t know if you’ve worn that dress two days ago. And, if they do, so be it.

  13. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it
    can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a net sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!

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