Lugging Luggage and Our "One Trip Rule"
The GypsyNesters on their way to Asia!
On our way to Asia, note Veronica's new purple four-wheeler
that David gave her for her birthday!

No matter where we go or how we get there, one constant always remains - packing.

So we thought we'd explore the pros and cons of lugging luggage through airports and beyond.

There are a few variables depending on destination and time of year, but these basics apply whenever or wherever we travel.

Roll With it Baby!

How to pack like a pro

Remember when suitcases didn't have wheels?

It's basically unthinkable now, but not that long ago we were actually carrying our bags.

Rolling changed our lives, no more aching arms or broken backs and, as an added bonus, the suitcase makes a nice cart for briefcases, backpacks, or overstuffed handbags.

Now the next generation of rolling bags are here, the four wheeler. Veronica got an adorable purple one of these last year and loves it.

The ability to stop and have it stand without tipping over, roll while upright, and walk with the case beside or even in front of her is a true baggage breakthrough. She will never go back to the old two wheeled version again.

WATCH your extremely goofy GypsyNesters as we prepared for a South American adventure!:

To Check or Not to Check, That is The Question

Using your rolling bag as a luggage cart

We try not to check bags whenever possible, but is this always the best idea?

On the upside, our carry-on bags always make it to our destination, we save a few bucks on fees with most airlines, and we get to use those wheels for our bulky backpack, coats and briefcase when hustling from gate A-1 to Z-54 with a tight connection.

But on the downside, we sometimes can't bring along all of the things we need, especially when traveling to different climates.

About two days worth of winter clothes and that carry-on bag is looking about eight months pregnant. Or two sets of fins and snorkel gear can mean wearing the same shoes every day.

Lovely wine from Cave di Moleto, Italy
Thank goodness we had a checked bag with us this time -
we brought wine home from our stay at Cave di Moleto

There is also the liquid issue. Not being able to bring the big bottle of shampoo is no big deal, just put some into smaller bottles.

But there's no bringing back a bottle of wine or an interesting local libation discovered along the way.

We have worked on our packing to address these issues and generally only check a bag when going overseas. Not only does this allow for more stuff on those longer trips, it dodges the fees since most airlines allow one checked bag for international flights, and gives us the option of bringing back a sample of the local swill if we want.

Whether we end up checking one bag and carrying another (Veronica can't face travel without her new purple pal so that gets carried no matter what) or both carry on, we always adhere to what we call the "One Trip Rule."

One and Done - the "One Trip Rule"

Packing for two week Amtrak trip
Fully loaded: How the "one trip rule" works on a
crazy two-week train trip!

Every item we have must be pushed, pulled, gripped, strapped, or carried simultaneously.

Rolly bags (and sometimes making pack mule noises) really come in handy for this.

There are two big reasons we do this. It saves a lot of time and provides an added safety factor.

The "One Trip Rule" makes it so much easier to keep track of everything, and our belongings never get left unattended while moving between airports, taxis, trains, shuttle busses, and hotels.

When no bags are feeling lonely and neglected, no bags mysteriously disappear.


Find out how a small space in your suitcase can make a big impact in the world!

More "One Trip Rule" tips:

See how we packed for South America (including special tips for hiking, multi-climate and water-based trips!)

See how we packed for Italy (including tips on what MUST be in your carry-on, what to bring on more glamorous trips, what to wear on the plane and how to minimize electronics)

See how we packed for a two-week train trip

YOUR TURN: We'd love to hear about any packing prowess you may have picked up in your travels, leave us a comment and let us know.

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