When I tell women that an Older Women, Cheap Travel tour we only travel with a daypack (small backpack), some get a bit nonplussed…why do we have to take so little? There are two main reasons: freedom and mobility.
A daypack is a thing of beauty, like a small friend that hugs your back, stays right with you, and has just what you need. Luggage is a burden, something you have to drag around, have to hoist up into overhead compartments, need a car trunk to stuff it into instead of just holding in your lap, and it is filled with a whole bunch of stuff, half of which you will never even use.
I wrote yesterday of my trip to Costa Rica with my friend, Swarna, and she brought a rather heavy carry-on suitcase and I had my daypack. When we arrived in Liberia, Costa Rica, we were unable to get our car, so we took a shuttle to Playa Tamarindo and were dumped in the middle of town. From there we had to walk down a couple of dirt/muddy/rutted roads to our hotel. I was fine with my daypack. My friend was struggling as she tried to haul her wheeled suitcase over the bumps and trenches.
The less you can carry when you travel, the better. It isn’t that we are going to be hiking miles from place to place, but the ability to walk from here to there without having a problem, being able to jump in and out of a car or bus without trying to manage a suitcase, and being able to keep your stuff right with you is pretty awesome.
One of our Meetup group members, Joan, just sent me some really great information about one kind of daypack; it is called a carry-on convertible, a Rick Stevens’ small backpack that has armstraps but can also work like a carry-on suitcase. I found another version on Amazon which also seems very popular and is a bit cheaper. Another brand is the Tortuga (but it is way more expensive) but if you click on the link you will find a good comparison of luggage vs the backpack or backpack-suitcase combo. I think I will order one right away and compare it to the normal daypack I already have and see which one I like better. I will report back to you when I give it a test!
I also found a really cool item in, of all places, Wal-Mart, for the grand price of $5! It is a very thin foldable backpack that you can stuff in your daypack and use it for when you want to leave the bigger pack at the hotel. I used it to take my stuff to the beach, carry groceries, and, at the end of a trip, you could always use it to bring souvenirs home. For $5, the bag is actually really comfortable, is incredibly sturdy and has a nice inside pocket.
After I get the new backpack, I will write another blog on how and what to pack so you can see how it is totally possible to travel with just one small bag strapped to your back!
Just six weeks left before the Nicaragua trip in January! If you want to go, you need to jump on getting your airline ticket and signing up! http://www.olderwomencheaptravel.com/nic.html
2016 trips! Nicaragua in January, India in March, Mongolia in July, and Mexico in October! http://www.olderwomencheaptravel.com/upcomingtrips.html