Around the World in 42 Days With No Luggage:The No Baggage Challenge

Many travelers talk about the importance of packing light. The standard opinion is that traveling with a smaller amount of luggage means less waiting in lines to check bags, less waiting at the baggage claim to retrieve your bag (that is, if it wasn’t lost along the way), no extra fees for checked bags, and less weight to pull or carry with you in a foreign land.

Most carry-on enthusiasts will say to pack for no more than one week. If your trip extends beyond that time frame, you can always wash your clothes as you go. That seems reasonable. But could you get by with less? Could you take even fewer belongings and a smaller bag with you? Could you even go a step beyond that and – crazy as it sounds – set out on a long trip with no luggage whatsoever?

Travel author Rolf Potts is about to find out if traveling around the world with no luggage could be possible, and even preferable to toting a bag. He’s embarking on a trip that will take him around the world in 42 days without using a single piece of luggage. He will explore 12 countries on five continents, crossing the equator four times while carrying nothing but a toothbrush, an iPod, and a few extra items of clothing that will be tucked away in the pockets of his SCOTTEVEST.


This no-baggage adventure will be more than a stunt to see if such a thing can be done: At a time when intensified travel-stresses and increased luggage fees are grabbing headlines, it will be an experiment to determine how much we really need to bring along to have the trip of a lifetime. Do the extra clothes, gadgets and toiletries we lug from home really contribute to our experience of a foreign place, or do they create more obstacles that just get in the way and weigh us down?

What items, if any, are essential to the enjoyment of a journey to other countries? How does traveling light make a trip cheaper, simpler or easier (or more difficult)? What lessons from this no-baggage adventure might apply to day-to-day life — both on the road and at home?

Throughout his journey Rolf will be answering these questions and more. He’ll be posting text and videos about his no-baggage adventures, and he’ll examine the philosophical issues behind the art of traveling (and living) light as he circles the globe. Follow along on his no baggage trip, and see how he fares traveling around the world with nothing but the clothes on his back.

Filed under: 170, Packing, RTW Travel