How to Travel Without Baggage

There's a reason people refer to the emotional fallout from your life as "baggage" –- neither it or the kind you pack clothes in are fun to drag around with you everywhere you go. And now that some airlines are starting to charge for carry-on bags that get stored in the overhead bin, you have even more incentive to do away with luggage and travel light. If you've got the itch to ditch your bags so you can free up your mind, body and spirit for adventure, here are my favorite tips.

Maximize your personal item

Young man with backpack in airport near flight timetablefurtaev/Getty

Even the stingiest airlines allow you to bring a personal item free of charge as long as it fits underneath the seat in front of you. Now's your chance to practice that minimalist lifestyle you've been hearing about. Pare down your travel must-haves to only the necessities — a change of clothes, essential toiletries and a smartphone — and put it all in your purse or man bag. Chances are, if you're just heading to Portland from Denver for a few days, you can get by without feeling inconvenienced.

Become Inspector Gadget

My husband swears by this technique and has traveled from Los Angeles to Bangkok with little more than what he carries in his pockets. Of course, everything he's wearing contains dozens of pockets, thanks to the geniuses at SCOTTeVEST. This method is akin to maximizing your personal item, but instead of putting all your stuff in a small bag, you put it in many, many, many pockets. Fair warning -- if you're forgetful, you may end up searching for several minutes for that tube of chapstick you know is in there somewhere.

Let it all go

coast of cornwall with a sandy...shutterstock

If you really want to experience the highest level of travel Zen, don't take anything except the clothes on your back, your passport, some money, your phone and maybe a toothbrush. This method is not for everyone, but those who travel this way swear by it. Whatever you need on your journey can be bought or borrowed, and it connects you to places and people in a real and meaningful way that just doesn't happen when you're lugging around a 50-pound suitcase.

Amy Clites is a Los Angeles writer, content creator and actor who loves gardening, cooking, reading and traveling and writes regularly about these topics and more on her blog ZeitClites and on Twitter @AmyClites.

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