American Air Lines has introduced its Basic Economy Fare. Other airlines, except Southwest, are charging for checking, carry-on, and for anything that you can’t stick under the seat.
This is great. I am cheap. Now I am forced to travel as a minimalist, which is better for me. I can enjoy the journey; and, not worry about dealing with luggage.
Have you ever seen an old person trying to hoist their bag into an overhead bin? Not a pretty sight. Have you seen an old person dragging a large suitcase through the airport? Do old people really need to dress up when traveling?
I have written on this before. But now, I am forced to take a new look.
I like Rick Steves and have taken 4 trips with his organization. He sells the Euro Flight Bag (14 x 13 x 8) and it fits under the American Airlines seat with room to spare. I don’t need as much seat room since I have lost an inch or two in the last few years, and expect to lose a bit more as my pending osteoporosis develops. This bag should fit under any airline seat.
For any length of trip:
The jeans that I wear. Acceptable anywhere I might go, if clean and neat. Better than the checkered pants with the zipper that didn’t work of previous generations.
7 black t-shirts
7 pair of socks
Shoes that I wear
Light weight travel pants.
Light weight pants that I can sleep in, or use informally.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, aspirin, ibuprofen
Tai Chi slippers
I-pad with over 500 books, NY Times, Albuquerque Journal and magazine subscriptions’
Pack-It Jacket with internal pockets.
Emergency rain jacket -ScotteVest
Notebook and pens
Glasses and hearing aid
3 shirts – long-sleeved or short-sleeved depending on weather.
Cell phone with camera and Google Maps
Questions to ask:
- Can I wash my clothes for the cost of checking or the carry-on fee?
- Can I lift a bag into overhead by myself?
- Do I have to pack anything different from what I wear at home?
- Will anyone laugh at me? Do I care?
- Can i wear this on a cruise ship?
- Will this work in winter? What do I need to add, besides a heavier jacket and gloves?
- Am I going to a place with stores?
- Do I need anything else?
Airline baggage limits are a positive. Like a lot of parameters they benefit you in unintended ways. There is a lot to be said for not traveling with a lot of stuff that you don’t need when you are over 75. Keep moving, but reduce your load.
Old and going on a beach vacation doesn’t require much. I am a minimalist senior. I can’t tote heavy bags, much less lift them into the overhead airplane compartment. I don’t want to sort things. I am in an “elder rut” and only wear certain easy things I like. I usually leave my checkered pants with the zipper that doesn’t work at home.
In fact, as you can see from the picture, this does not just apply to beach vacations, but to any trip you take after 75, or some other arbitrary date.
I am not going to impress anyone if I don’t wear the latest styles. I won’t be denied admission to any beach restaurant as long as I have the required “shirt and shoes.” I have thought about not wearing pants, but…..
You also have what you wear from home to the beach; and, which can serve in an emergency as extra clothing. It might include an umbrella, raincoat, watch, cell-phone, wallet, travel bag and a light jacket. When you arrive, you take it off: when you leave, you put it back on. No washing necessary.
The following is all that you need for a week, a month or a year. You can wash it all in the sink. During rainy season, you might add an umbrella, or just stay inside.
The following is all you need for a week, a month or a year.
- Shorts with pockets that don’t lose change and wallet.
- 5 t-shirts
- 5 underpants
- Toilet kit with meds
- Laptop, i-pad, case and chargers. You download all your books on the Kindle App., and net flex and perhaps some streaming.
It all fits in a small carry-on bag, including the lap-top or i-pad and cords.