Just back in Chicago from a quick and delightful three days in New York City, and I’ve been reminded of a few very good reasons for packing in a simple and SMALL manner:
- You can take mass transit – a gigantic saver of time and money
- When you DO take mass transit, you don’t hog all of the seats! Yesterday, coming into the city on the “El”, there were literally dozens of people who needed one seat for their bags and one seat for their person. This does NOT make you popular with the locals…
- Walking long distances is easier – both in the airport, and in town. You can’t necessarily assume that a taxi will be able to drop you right at the front door of your hotel; construction and emergency situations can force you to walk fairly considerable distances. Wheels help, but it’s easier not to be the person constantly navigating to the ramp cut-outs on each curb. Especially during or after a tremendous thunderstorm.
- Taxi queuing in the rain, at the airport. Being able to hold your bags up off of the ground keeps everything dry and clean. If you’re forced to roll, you’re sometimes forced to slosh about.
- The overhead bin issue. I can toss my bag into the overhead bin with one hand. There’s no possible question that the door won’t close, or that I have to shove to get the bag in, or that I have to ask someone to lift my bag for me.
The airline “bump” factor. True story: belovedest and I were once in Charles De Gaulle airport, preparing to return to Chicago, and the flight was catastrophically over-sold. Because we had our bags IN HAND and had not checked them, we were given enough CASH to get a hotel room overnight, take the train back into Paris, and have another super-excellent dinner. And our flights the next day were better times and no connections. AND we still had a bit of cash left over after all of that.