Posted December 22, 2008 in Oxx Tales by Jim Markel
In our first 2 articles about carry-on travel, we delved into the how and what works best for your particular style of travel. But the real issue may be why do you want to travel strictly with a carry-on bag?
Experience is what commonly drives us to opt out of the whole checked luggage scene. Being bumped off a flight late in the evening due to a severe snow storm and then heading off to the hotel without a fresh change of clothes or your toothbrush isn’t my idea of traveling fun.
Or my all time favorite: arriving at your destination while your precious cargo was sent off to the other side of the planet. Try finding a new wardrobe in Tajikistan or some other country where the fashion and fit is somewhere from 1984!
Red Oxx has worked hard to communicate the correct carry-on luggage requirements so you don’t have to worry about having an over sized bag. Another hang up is taking too much stuff! So when you finally do decide to cut the cord and go without a checked bag with enough clothing for a small village, carry-on luggage is the way to go.
The fear of not having enough "stuff" must be imprinted in our DNA. What else explains taking 5 pairs of shoes on a three day trip! Back in the unit we had a saying "travel light-freeze at night." Speed and mobility are the cornerstone of a reconnaissance unit. So we learned to cut weight any way possible; cut your toothbrush in half if need be and take only what is necessary.
Versatile clothing made of natural fibers like wool still work very well and have classic appeal. Leave behind the items that don’t fit your mission and take only what you need. Planning the right combination of layers prepares you for a broad range of environmental conditions. A short, but well thought out packing list is a must-have for getting organized.
Traveling light these days has a whole new meaning. Especially if your destination is a cushy hotel room instead of an observation post in the desert! Leaving your one bag less-than-full is sometimes a hard thing to do. The temptation to keep packing until it is stuffed is always weighing on your mind.
Taking along a "personal item" carry-on is a great way to alleviate this obsession. Try our Gator EDC bag. Having it along is a nice complement to your travel light strategy. This little gem keeps you from over-packing your main carry-on. But the real benefit is having something you can explore with when you leave the hotel. It’s also a good way to limit your purchases to small items.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself is it really worth the hassle of dragging something home from the other side of the world? If the answer is yes, then you’re secure in the knowledge that your items are always with you instead being entrusted to the baggage handlers. Each trip taken is a learning experience and taking the correct carry-on bag depends on the trip.
Can one bag do it all? That really depends on your personal travel style. For some the Air Boss is the "end all be all." For others it’s more casual like a PR5 Safari Beano. Somewhere in between is the Sky Train; an often copied hybrid crossover carry-on that tries to please both ends of the spectrum from backpackers to suit-casers.
After a little experimentation and some sage advice, you’ll learn your own style of carry-on travel. What it really boils down to is self reliance. We all have the ability to take care of ourselves and sometimes it requires a little bit of planning and effort but the reward is well worth it. So if you’re ready, cut out past the herd that’s hoping to claim their checked baggage. Take a moment to pity them and then mercilessly grab the first taxi in the line and bid them adieu.
~ Cheers, Jim Markel CEO