The Art of Travelling Solo: 5 Day Travel Bag Systems for Global Citizens & Nomads
Updated: Jan 6
Solo Bag, for 5 days
I was at a event in Houston Texas when i saw a presentation by a Engineer that travelled often for company work. His schedule sounded intense even to me. After his presentation i got a change to talk to him and asked, what was his best tip for someone travelling as often as him. He said: "a 5 day bag only".
The concept of a 5-day bag allows for compact travelling which covers all your professional and causal needs while providing plenty of space for toiletries, accessories, medicine and stolen hotel kits. A 5-day bag is usually composed of enough clothes for daily changes for a week, perhaps a nice jacket or professional looking outfit, plenty and extra of under wear and socks and 2 (maybe 3) pairs of shoes including the ones you are travelling with. For everything else, got to find a and do laundry.
Most important here it perhaps not the bag itself but the system. It ok to use what you have at hand and upgrade over time. But why upgrade? Well that is a good question. You upgrade when you have elevated the needs of your equipment. This only comes with practice or as rocket scientist describe it: Trial and Error.
Establishing a system will be much more useful long term skill. Adopting travel and packing systems it will make your life easier.
Regardless of what you think you need to take, here are a few pointers:
Limiting factors will be, size of the bag and your ability to Tetris items into it. When eventually you become proficient at packing, you will become so good that the bag will run into another limitation, weight.
My advise is to polish your packing skills to always carry One Checked Bag Only (hence the Solo concept) in addition to your carry-on which should be a back-pack to prevent for both of your hands to be occupied at all times. This will set your overall experience back if you are only embarking for a few weeks.
Many back packs these days are designed to be outfitted on the luggage handles. This provides you with the opportunity to carry a heavier bag on your shoulders, like duffel bag, if needed for extended trips.
If you are reading this article you have realized that you are very different from the tourist traveler or the family traveler that has to pretty much move their life from place to place and will pack for someone else to carry the load. You have already seen them struggling thru airports, asking for help to get their bags on the train and in many cases their luggage system is so poorly chosen they will be a slave of what the bags can do or where they can go, limiting the journey and most likely paying extra fees.
You take transport to move around, but the bags use you as transport.
On the oposite side, Study and Travel experiences are based on being able to expand your horizons, see plenty of places and be open to live lots of new experiences. For this is better to only carry one bag which will give you mobility while walking and using transport. Back pack + Wheel Bag is the perfect combination to move around. If i ever need extra space, i bring along one of the North Face Base Camp Bags which I can then place on top of the wheeled TUMI luggage.
TUMI also provides amazing customer service to the bags in any locations and stores around the world. I remember I was Sweden in December 2018 when one of my wheels collapsed while walking from Stockholm Central Station because of the extra weight I placed on top of the medium luggage. Next day I dropped it off at the local TUMI store where they sent it to Germany for repair and then on to Texas for delivery withing 3 weeks.
Accessories & Support
Comfort is extremely important, so, think about having a bag system inside the bag.
Med kit & extra toiletries