Could you travel around the world without a single piece of luggage — not even a small backpack or a purse? Just how necessary are those guidebooks or that extra pair of shoes?
Ask travel writer Rolf Potts. On August 22, he embarked upon the No Bag Challenge — a six-week, 12-country trip around the world during which his gear will be limited to whatever he can stuff into the pockets of his cargo pants and travel jacket. (The trip is partially sponsored by SCOTTEVEST/SeV Travel Clothing, which is supplying much of Potts’s wardrobe, including an 18-pocket Tropical Jacket.)
Items on Potts’s initial packing list included some basic toiletries, a few ultra-small gadgets (camera, iPod Touch), a couple of lightweight T-shirts and pairs of underwear, and some concentrated detergent … since he’ll be doing a lot of laundry!
Now four days into the trip, Potts is holding strong on his resolution to go bagless — and his body odor hasn’t gotten him thrown out of a restaurant yet. In addition to soaping up his dirty undies and T-shirts each night before bed, he also notes in a blog post that he plans to shower twice a day when the opportunity allows.
On the surface, it seems like Potts is taking the time-tested idea of “packing light” to a ridiculous extreme. After all, not everyone finds washing clothes in the sink every night to be a worthy use of precious vacation time. But is his journey really so outlandish? The challenge of packing less is sure to appeal to those of us who are sick of paying the airlines’ ever-increasing baggage fees, and it’s also an intriguing experiment to see how much stuff we really need when we travel.
We want to hear your opinions: Is Potts’s suitcase-free sojourn a heroic stance against consumerism and airline baggage fees — or is it just silly? Would you ever want to try traveling without a bag?