Travel

The first time I visited Europe as an adult, for two weeks, I brought two big suitcases.

My case was lost between Heathrow and Rome on the outward journey, and my first memories of the “holiday of a lifetime” were of coping without clean clothes, cosmetics or even a clean towel in steaming hot Roman summer weather.

It wasn’t good. It took three days to locate my luggage, and by then I was pretty smelly, pretty frustrated, and upset I’d not been able to take any photos with the new camera I’d bought for the trip.

But I learned my lesson.

The second time I visited Europe, I was there for a month. One small carry-on, no checked luggage, nothing to go wrong, and no lost belongings. It was the best decision I could ever make. I wasn’t even a minimalist then – that was years ago – but it might have sown the seeds of what was to come.

Travelling light has huge advantages. These days I only check in luggage when absolutely necessary, and certainly not for short holidays. Even with carry-on only, I almost always find I pack more than I need, and don’t wear everything I bring.