Family Is Traveling for 3 Weeks and Father Says a Carry-on Should Be Enough. Is He Right?

Young family with two children packing for holiday.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When these two travelers couldn’t agree about how much luggage to bring on a three-week trip, they turned to the ever-helpful community at Reddit r/travel forum for a definitive opinion.

Is Packing Light, Packing Right?

The original poster (OP) and their father plan to take a three-week trip to the USA. The father is adamant he only wants to take a carry-on bag saying, “it’s much more practical than a suitcase.” However, the OP believes three weeks is too long to live out of a carry-on bag and wants their father to take a checked bag.

It Turns Out the OP Has a Lot to Learn!

The commenters were quick to crown the father the winner.

One commenter kept it short and sweet: “Completely possible and recommendable. Wash your clothes and don’t pack for three weeks, no problem. There is a sub (forum) dedicated to this even, which has packing lists in their Wiki. r/OneBag and r/HerOneBag”

Another chimed in, saying: “Yup!! I never check a bag and often travel for months. It takes some planning and some good packing cubes.

I have several friends who can’t fathom such a thing. They pack every article of clothing they have “just in case” and consider travel to be their personal fashion show. I even had a friend ask me, in horror, if I wear the same outfit twice when I travel. haha!! People are comfortable traveling in different ways. I prefer to do it as lightly as possible.”

This user couldn’t understand doing it any other way, writing: “Reading this made me realize some people will take an international trip and pack three weeks of clothes. That’s crazy!”

Unusual Outlooks

One user had an unusual but interesting take, saying: “You can definitely travel for only three weeks with only hand luggage if you have access to a washing machine. But, I DO NOT RECOMMEND FLYING TO THE US WITH ONLY HAND LUGGAGE.

It will be an instant red flag for immigration. More likely than not, you will end up in a small being questioned by very unfriendly people with guns standing guard outside. You will then have to convince immigration that you are not planning to permanently stay in the US. And you are only bringing hand luggage because you are frugal.

If you can’t convince them, they will deport you. And you might get a 10-year travel ban.”

The poor OP wasn’t entirely alone, with one person saying: For me, the calculus is always around what’s going to annoy me more. Will I hate struggling with a huge bag … checking it on multiple planes/trains, etc? Or am I going to be irritated that I have to do laundry multiple times on a trip when I could be doing fun things instead?

My criteria for bringing checked luggage are: must be a direct flight (no worries about the airline losing it); must be a single destination (once I get there, I’m not moving my bags again), and must be more than 5 days.

If any of those criteria aren’t met, I’m doing carry-on only. All that to say, it’s not that either method is bad or impossible, it’s about what is most appropriate for the trip you’re taking…”

What's the Consensus?

Do you think the commenters have got it right, or has the OP been unfairly judged? How much luggage would you take for a three-week holiday?

Source: Reddit.

The Impulse Traveler
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