How To Pack A Carry-On.

Despite my best efforts, I had to check a bag and the airline lost it.  I did everything I could to avoid having to check it. I promise.

It was on the Antarctica trip. I had managed to carry-on my 21-inch duffel suitcase all the way from Boston to Ushuaia, Argentina. It weighed just over 18 pounds. The weight limit was 17 pounds. But no official airline person minded.

One the way back to Boston from Ushuaia, however, I had the misfortune of flying an airline that is notorious for being disorganized. I had managed to get rid of quite a few items I needed for Antarctica, having donated them on the ship to their goodwill box. So my carry-on was just a few ounces over the limit.

"If need be," I told myself, "I can always pull something out and put it into my backpack." 

Yes, I had a plan. But when I went to the counter to get my boarding pass for my flight, they weighed my duffel and saw that it was a few ounces over the limit. Not pounds. But ounces.

"You will have to check it," the woman told me.

"I can take something out," I said. "I have a hairbrush in there. I can easily grab it and it will be carry-on weight."

Well, the horrible mean woman wouldn't let me go into my bag.

"Don't worry," she said, "it'll make it to Buenos Aires."

Well, the betch lied. It did not show up on the carousel at baggage claim in Buenos Aires. And because I had to go to the other airport (an hour away) and only two and a half hours between flights, and still had to go through passport control at the other airport, I didn't have time to do more than report it to an airline representative in baggage claim.

"Just file a report when you get to the States," they said.

And I did just that. But I still have yet to see my bag.

After that, I insisted on getting a lighter-weight piece of luggage. The duffel because it had wheels, weighed just under seven pound without anything in it. That's seven pounds of weight I was sacrificing! So I decided to go with an Osprey backpack, with only weighed two pounds.

"This will make going around the rest of the world much easier," I said.

And so far, it has. I'm able to get about 15 pounds of clothing into the backpack, along with all of my other essentials, with the help of compression sacks.


This is everything I packed for the Asia/Indonesia/Australia trip I am currently in the middle of today. See how tiny the compression sacks get? It's GENIUS!

And incase you were wondering how it is that I get the, so tiny, I made a video - right here in the middle of the Changi Airport in Singapore - demonstrating how to use the compression sacks.

Please excuse the messy hair, the sweaty yoga wear, and the general unkemptness... As I am traveling!!! I don't need to look pretty right now!