The secret of Minimalist traveling.

Today i want to share with you how we travel simply and minimalistic.

All the suitcases we need!!!
We used to have at least 8 suitcases with various sizes and colors. We had a nice set we bought from Costco. It had four different pieces and we used it quite a lot. We also had many other pieces that we bought due to the immediate need at different places. My husband had some he liked and bought and our kids had Hello Kitty ones and other characters and styles. Our garage was packed with all kinds of suitcases and we also had lots and lots of toiletries bags. some came with the suitcases, some were free gifts with purchases and some were purchased because they were good deals or nice or cute or bigger or smaller...

I found out that this was not the case only in our home. I met many people that had that many suitcases. (if not more ) Garages and closets and storages filled with them in every house. I also remember seeing people buying extra suitcases when they are ready to come back home from a trip. This last one is due to excessive shopping while on a trip or a vacation.That is a HUGE source of frustration when the travelers are getting ready to pack and come back home.

My big wake up call about my luggage happened when we were spending three weeks in Spain last year. I was a Minimalist and tried hard to bring the least amount of stuff with us. I thought i was doing good till it was time to return. My husband returned earlier due to his work schedule and took one of our suitcases with him. But when i was getting ready to come back, packing became a nightmare. I still don't know how we ended up with so much stuff on our way back. We bought some stuff. But for some reason, it was extremely hard to fit everything. I had the option to buy another inexpensive bag. But i refused to do it and insisted that i am not going to be defeated by stuff.

After a trip with heavy suitcases coming with all sizes and shapes, changing plains over and over again, i promised myself that i am going to do a big overhaul. Our traveling style was in the need of a desperate make over and it wasn't working for us.


After many research and considerations, for Christmas, we bought four small, light, simple, matched Cary-on suitcases. One per person and no more than that. It took a little bit of work to bring my husband and kids on the same page with me. But the result was wonderful.

We tested our new style on our trip to Iran this summer. We each got one suitcase and the gifts we took to Iran were evenly distributed between the suitcases. I packed the gifts first. This would let my kids and I know how much room we had left to pack our own stuff. We packed for less than one week and just simply did laundry there. On our way back, our luggage were lighter due to the gifts being gone. We easily had room for the souvenirs and yummy local delicatessens we were given and bought to bring for our friends and family here in US with some more room to spare.

While traveling, we ran in to some complications and problems due to delays of the airplane and very frustrating un-cooperativeness of Turkish Airlines staff. We ended up having to get our luggage, carry them around the airport during our transition in Turkey and check them back in again. Then due to all the changes and not having an active cell phone that worked in Turkey, once arrived in Iran, we had to take the Taxi to my dad's house since he didn't know what time we would arrive. All these, with only three carry-ons were a piece of cake. My kids each carried their own luggage and moving around was not a problem at all. This trip, going around the world, even though long ( 35 hours door to door) was a lot easier than our vacation to Spain. We also traveled to two different cities in Iran by Bus and Airplane. Those were also very easy to manage and the low number of our luggage surprised everybody. The allowed weight for the airplane trips are 50 pounds per person. We had 48 ponds for all three of us. ( My husband didn't come with us due to his yearly humanitarian trip to Equators. He also took his new suitcase and loved it)

Now that our new system passed it's test, we will NEVER ever go back to the old system of multiple bags and styles and colors. This simple solution also helped us to locate our suitcases very easily on the carousels in the airports since they all look the same.

Another problem it solved was, the small disagreements we sometimes had over who gets the bigger suitcase and who gets the smaller one. We also sometimes didn't have room in the smaller suitcases and had to share the big one. This would cause a big mess in our destination and our clothes got mixed up. Now, each person is responsible for their own clothes and luggage and nothing gets mixed up.

As far as storage goes, each person is storing one in their room. The empty suitcase could be either placed under the bed, or in the closet. They are very easy to store.

How many suitcases do you have?


1 comment: