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Why are we travelling the world with only an Osprey carry-on?
Our lifestyle is now minimalistic so our travel style should represent the same. We have said goodbye to heavy suitcases and now have a light load to carry which makes it so easy to traverse from airports to train stations to bus stations and many other forms of transport along the way. We learnt the hard way though!
- 1 2013 – Our First Adventure
- 2 2015 Our Second Adventure
- 3 2016 Our Third Adventure
- 4 Check Out Our New Travel Shop on Amazon
2013 – Our First Adventure
Since 2013 we have travelled the world with too much luggage. Do you know that feeling? How many times have you packed clothes or even shoes that you didn’t even wear? Our goal was to travel lighter and smarter!
That year, we travelled around the world for 12 months to South America, Europe and Asia with a 100-litre trolley bag, purchased lots of things, and had to send 3 boxes of clothes back to Sydney. We had some trekking gear in one of those boxes as we had just completed Machu Picchu and we wouldn’t need them on the next part of the journey, but still too much ‘stuff’. We knew we had too much when we arrived on our very first day at our very first hostel in Santiago Chile, Ventana Sur, and could not get the bags up the stairs to our room, and that was only the first day, we had 364 days more of travelling and lifting. What had we done? It was all those ‘just in case’ clothes and items. Guess what, most of those ‘just in case’ clothes and items could have been purchased, if needed, along the way.
2015 Our Second Adventure
In 2015, we thought we were so clever downsizing and travelling with a 65-litre trolley bag, spending only 9 months on the road and only in Central America. Although we had less problems travelling around with a smaller bag each we still had too much ‘stuff’. One of our trolley bags was damaged on the first flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and on the return from Panama to Los Angeles via Dallas the TSA lock was cut. We thought that a TSA lock had a master key so that it could be opened for inspection, not to be cut off!
For our next adventure in June 2016, we set ourselves a challenge – one carry-on trolley bag each and one small back packback pack for our indefinite travel journey around Europe, South America and possibly Asia. It does help in our packing when we are ‘following the sun’ and ‘not doing cold’. We researched and researched and reached out to other travel bloggers on their experiences with carry-on luggage, what brands they would recommend and how they handled the rules and regulations on toiletries.
So then we thought we would put together a carry on pros and con list (see below) and the pros outweighed the cons! Our next step was to put together a packing list (also see below) and this would help us to determine what size carry on we should consider. Many travellers we spoke to gave us a great tip, check the airlines that you are travelling with and then purchase a carry-on that suited that airline’s recommended maximum size. We do note that many budget airlines have stricter regulations such as size, weight and quantity. Our choice of carry-on is based on our past international airline usage.
- No baggage fees
- No bag drop when checking in
- No waiting time at the luggage carousel
- No concerns about damaged or lost luggage
- Savings on cab fares, we can either walk or take a bus
- A lot safer as any potential robber can see we only have a small amount
- No more damaged TSA locks
- Longer security checks
- Size limits on toiletries
- No scissors
- Different carriers with different carry-on size restrictions
- 2 black leggings, 2 trekking trousers, 1 pair board shorts
- 2 scarves, 1 Turkish Towel, 1 sarong
- 1 heavy jacket, 1 light jacket, 1 rain poncho and 1 rain jacket
- 3 pairs socks, 4 sets underwear, 1 nightie, 2 pairs swimmers
- 6 t-shirts, 3 dresses, 3 long sleeve tops
- 1 pair trekking shoes, 1 pair ballet flats, 2 pairs Havianas
- Facial wipes, eye makeup remover pads, coconut oil, 60ml body lotion
- Deodorant, Lush shampoo bars (these are great!)
- Nail polish, emery board, nail polish remover pads
- BB Cream – moisturiser, foundation – SPF15, sunscreen
- Eyeshadow, blusher, eyeliner pencil, lipstick, mascara
- 5 x Underwear, 6 pairs socks
- 4 x t-shirts, 1 jumper, 2 scarves, 2 long sleeve light jumpers
- 1 pair board shorts, 2 trekking trousers, 2 jeans, 2 trekking shorts
- 1 rain jacket, 1 rain poncho, 1 light wind jacket,
- 1 baseball cap, 1 Panama Hat
- 1 Turkish Towel, 1 microfibre towel
- 1 pair thongs, 1 pair casual shoes, 1 pair merrell walking shoes
Between us in our Day Packs:
- Business Cards
- 1 x Electrical Power Board
- 1 x Travel Adaptor
- 1 x Panasonic Lumix Camera
- 2 x Laptops
- 2 x iPads
- 4 x iPhones
- 1 x Samsung Android phone
- Notebooks and pens
Our criteria for choosing our carry on luggage:
- Material that was durable for the amount of travelling we were doing
- Functionality – storage options
- Good reviews
- Luggage that could stand up on its own
- Strong wheels
- Light weight frame
- Total weight no more than 2kg
2016 Our Third Adventure
The winner was – Osprey Bags!
The next question was should it be a travel backpack? If so which Osprey Backpack? We started to look at the Osprey Ozone range which are wheeled bags instead.
The decision was made to opt for the Osprey 46 Litre carry on, the wheeled luggage ticked all the boxes for us. We approached Osprey and they kindly offered to sponsor our luggage for this adventure in return for our honest opinion on how their bags could stand up to long term continuous travel.
Read more about the Osprey Bag here.
Now what about a carry on back pack for our technology? We looked at both the Osprey Travel Backpack and the Osprey Day Pack. The Osprey Day Pack was suitable for carrying our electronic equipment. It was sturdy, practical with also pockets for a drink bottle and umbrella. Read more about it here.
Our lives for the next couple of years are in these two bags. Could you travel the world long term with only a carry-on and a day pack? Is there anything that you would not leave home without?
Update 2017 on Osprey Bags
We are now coming to the end of 2017 and we have been travelling with Osprey Bags for over 15 months. The bags have been thrown around trains, buses, tuk tuks, planes (on budget carriers where the weight limit was lower than what our bags weighed), taxis, roads and cobble stoned streets. They have lasted and are still lasting.
If you are back packing Europe or Asia and needed a backpack we would recommend that you check our Osprey Backpacks. They are sturdy and we have had great reports from others who have used the Osprey backpacks.
Now we also use Pro Packing cubes to keep our clothes packed securely and easy to get to.
Check Out Our New Travel Shop on Amazon
We recommend travel insurance when you travel.
We are grateful to be able to be of service to you and bring your stories that we hope you enjoy. In this article, we have used affiliate links on where to purchase our luggage that we are travelling with this year.