The first post of any blog is always an awkward moment, as you want to share, but it has to be interesting.
So, here we go 🙂
I’ve spent years lurking on FlyerTalk, then started contributing, because I wanted to share my experiences.
This, and over a million miles flown to 48 countries around the world, led me to start this blog – Confessions of a Luggage Junkie.
See, I have a problem. I really like bags. Like really. I constantly try new things, find ways to modify my gear, and so I could honestly say I have a lot of experience with many types of carry on luggage.
Around 5 years ago, I was “luggage shamed” by the CEO of the company I’ve worked for, at the time, because I used to travel with a Samsonite “house on wheels” garment bag, having a different suit for every day of my trip.
The CEO on the other hand has already mastered the zen of traveling with carry-on only. As he was getting irritated, standing with me by the luggage carousel, while we were waiting for my bag to arrive, he said he will have something important to ask me, once we are on our way back home.
A few days later, that moment came, and the question was simple – “out of all the things you brought with you, how many did you actually wear?”.
A simple and yet powerful question. Up until that moment, I never really thought about it, but once it hit me, there was no turning back. After all, not waiting for bags is one of the most liberating experiences of air travel.
I’ve set a few basic rules for myself:
1. I have to carry a suit, as this is what I wear for work, when on the road.
2. I hate traveling in anything, but jeans and a t-shirt (add sweater, jacket, whatever, depending on the weather)
3. If I can’t easily go up a set of stairs with my setup, then its not the right setup.
I’ve done quite a bit of research on FlyerTalk, looked at imitating the boss, and got my first setup. It was a bit awkward (in hindsight), however it has seen a lot of action. I had a Samsonite B-Lite spinner, a small Tumi Alpha laptop bag, and a Tumi single garment carrier. The laptop bag would go on to the handle of the spinner, and the garment carrier would hang off the same handle, using its built in hook.
This has worked nicely for quite a while, until one day, I was taking a Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos, in Nigeria, where the ground staff actually confiscated my garment carrier and threw it into the hold. There is a great story attached to this, however I will share it another time.
This situation called for a change, and the change was getting a Lat56 Red Eye garment carrier. Once I got it, for at least 500,000km and over 20 countries, I became (to shamelessly paraphrase a FlyerTalk thread) a one bag ninja – I would travel for up to 2 weeks with the Red Eye, and a small bag for my iPad, I picked up in Beijing, because I didn’t like unzipping the Red Eye every time I wanted to use the iPad.
A couple of years later, that setup got complemented with a Tumi Alpha backpack, because I had to carry a laptop.
Then I tried a RedOxx AirBoss, a Gate8 Tri-Fold Garment Mate, wheeled Tumi backpacks, and many other things.
Over the coming weeks, I will be posting reviews of the various items and setups, some with pictures and videos (the recent stuff) and some without, as its been a while.
I hope you will something of interest here, as sometimes someone’s hands on experience, is the make it or break it moment for a purchase.