Shockingly, it is possible to downsize to just one suitcase. Even for a long time wanderer. But, like everything, it’s more work than you might think. I thought I was good at packing light. I’d done a week in Europe in winter (when clothes are bigger and heavier with just carry on and a knapsack. The difference between then and now, that was a one week trip and this one is 4+ months and my suitcase isn’t carry-on sized.
It’s easy, too easy, to get sucked into over packing. What if? What if? What if? As any kondo, tiny-home aficionado knows, less is more. I left Kuwait with 3 suitcases (large, medium and small) and a backpack. I left my friends’ house in Germany with the large and small suitcases and the backpack, before I left Germany I was down to the large suitcase, the backpack and maybe my small Camelback backpack.
Rolling clothes is a space saver, just make sure you don’t fill that space with more clothes! [Side Note: clothes weigh more than you think.] Trust me when I say, you don’t need three pairs of jeans and three additional pairs of pants. I’m down to one and one. Clothes that can go from trail to city to office are wonderous. Even better when they don’t have to be washed after each wearing! The counterpoint to packing lighter is having to do laundry more often. Yes, it’s possible to wash your underwear in the bathroom sink, but most people don’t want to do that for months on end.
“Stuff” in my suitcase I can’t wander and work without (not pictured above)
- Memory foam pillow -Hotels, hostels, friends, AirBnB all have varying quality pillows
- Bamboo Laptop Desk -So I can work in bed, on the couch, etc
- Large microfiber travel towel -Use as a towel, wrap, blanket, (beach, park, plane, bed) or a sheet.
Check out more gear we wander with.