Wheeled luggage makes it much easier to transport more when we travel, but that also might be one of the best reasons to avoid it. The more you feel like you can take with you, the more unnecessary things you’ll end up dragging along.
Photo by Strange Luke
If you think about the trips in your past, you can probably remember a few times when you didn’t even use half of the things you brought. What seems like planning ahead at the time of packing just becomes hindering weight later on. On his blog, Jan Chipchase suggests that wheeled luggage can have a psychological effect on you:
Wheeled luggage leads us astray. During packing wheels promise weightlessness, which then leads to luggage filled to capacity, and heavier items being packed. While we’re still at home, in our idealised, airport-smooth-surface view of the world this isn’t a problem, but in the real world it rapidly shapes what the journey can become: from airport escalators that don’t work; to hitching a ride on the back of a motorbike; to, at the last minute, enjoying a nearby mountain range for the weekend.
If you’re certain of almost every facet of your trip — like visiting family for the holidays — packing more may not be a hindrance. When you’re travel plans are less concrete, however, you want to be adaptable. Chipchase calls wheeled luggage the “loan-sharks of weight and space”, so it’s best to try and not put yourself in debt to useless things.
Only take what you need, leave room for the interesting things you might find, and pack as efficiently as possible. The journey is what’s important, not the stuff you take with you.
The Psychology of Packing [Jan Chipchase]