1. You can skip the check in line at the airport.

2. No checked luggage fees.

3. No damaged luggage.

4. No lost luggage.

5. No waiting around at the luggage carousel after the flight.

6. You can actually walk up escalators, instead of just standing there, which is the worst.

7. Relatedly, no one is going to walk off (accidentally or not) with your bag as it comes out on the luggage carousel.

8. Only bringing a carry on makes you more rugged and awesome.

Courtesy Katy Warner
Courtesy Katy Warner

9. Walking through the airport with only a carry-on is less exhausting than lugging around suitcases.

10. It’s rude to take up a massive amount of space with a train of roller bags.

11. You don’t have tie a bright ribbon on your suitcase so you can recognize it from among all the other nearly identical suitcases.

12. Without checked bags you can’t overpack.

13. Also, you can’t buy too much junk many souvenirs.

14. You can check out of your hotel and still go for a long walk to the train station, during which you might see weird things:

London in 2013.
London in 2013.

15. Roller bags being dragged over stairs make a lot of noise. Small bags that you carry do not.

16. Dragging suitcases up and down stairs in places like Venice actually breaks the stairs.

17. No one with a bunch of suitcases has ever blended in with the locals.

18. Have you ever tried taking public transit with suitcases?

19. Without a lot of bags, you can actually walk as a mode of transportation.


20. You don’t have to worry (as much) about the air pressure making things explode in your bags.

21. If you fall asleep on a train, you don’t have to worry as much about people taking your stuff.

22. It’s easier to run to catch trains with fewer bags.

23. You will never have to pay for one of those carts at the airport.

Courtesy Ippei Ogiwara
Courtesy Ippei Ogiwara

24. You will never gaze out the airport window at the luggage handlers and wonder if they’re actually going to get your bag on the plane.

25. Or if they’re going to drop it.

26. The great William Wordsworth used to travel with nothing but what today we’d call a messenger bag. It’s true; I saw it at his house/museum and if he can do it so can the rest of us.

27. Backpacks are just inherently better than suitcases.

28. Look how happy Laura is because she only brought a backpack to Rome:


29. Taxi drivers will be less annoyed if you have fewer bags.

30. You will ultimately be less annoyed if you have fewer bags.

31. Everyone will be less annoyed if you have fewer bags.

32. Having fewer bags makes it easier to just show up in a city with no hotel reservations or plans, and then figure things out as you go.

33. You will never have to do that luggage shrink wrap thing.

34. Having fewer bags makes it way easier to fly standby.

35. Travelers with fewer bags are just more versatile and less stressed, so don’t bring too much stuff on your trips.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Cover photo via Charles Wiriawan.


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.


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