World Travelers Take 90-Day ‘No Baggage trip
The word Stink immediately came to mind when I saw this. Plenty of people travel light, but two California vacationers are trekking the world with just the shirts on their backs. Jennifer Lau, 21, and Marcus Fernandez, 23, are in the middle of a 90-day trip that will bring them to 12 countries on six continents. And the only things they’ve packed are in their pockets. “People tend to overpack for travel, so we have realized how little you actually need to bring with you,” Lau and Fernandez said in an e-mail from the first leg of their trip in South America. “With bags, people pack things for every scenario they could be in, a lot of ‘just in case’ items.”The two minimalist vacationers are the latest participants in the “No Baggage Challenge,” a promotion for the travel clothing company Scottevest, which has sponsored five previous luggage-free expeditions, including around-the-world ventures and short trips.
According to Lau and Fernandez, traveling without any bags is surprisingly easy.
Without luggage, the trekkers say airport security is a breeze, and they can go sightseeing the moment they get off the plane.
And unlike vacationers with massive backpacks or rolling bags, Lau and Fernandez say they have no trouble getting around their vacation destinations using public transportation.
Outfitted in amply pocketed clothing from sponsor Scottevest, the duo are carrying the barest of necessities on their bodies.
With toothbrushes, digital cameras, deodorant, Dramamine, nail clippers, passports, credit cards and other items stuffing their pockets, the pair say they have more than enough essentials for the next three months.
Like most travelers, Lau and Fernandez will revel in the cultural changes they’ll observe as they trek through Chile, Argentina, Spain, Egypt, Thailand, Australia and other far-flung locales. But one thing that will not change during the trip will be their clothes.
Lau packed only one shirt — as well as a vest and a jacket that have been too hot to wear at most destinations in South America. Fernandez has a back-up shirt, but the duo only have five pairs of underwear between them.
That means they’re spending lots of time washing clothes in the hostel sink.
“After the first few days, we got into a regular routine of washing our clothes each night, although sometimes after a long day of sightseeing, all we want to do is sleep and not wash our clothes,” the travelers told AOL News.
Surprisingly, Lau and Fernandez say they’ve learned that those who pack less smell less.
“One funny thing we have realized is that we are actually cleaner than a lot of the backpackers we have met in hostels. The clothes we wear every day have been washed the night before, whereas backpackers we have met wear their clothes two to three times before washing them.”
On top of their laundry responsibilities, the duo have found it tedious at times to carry their entire world in their pockets. It can get hot wearing a jacket in the summer in South America — and a small backpack would be far more convenient than pockets for carrying water, snacks and maps while sightseeing.
The recent college grads — who met while interning at Apple — are using their trip as a way to help raise funds for the microlending group Kiva.
Frank Fiaschetti, a spokesman for Scottevest, says the trip isn’t just a way to raise funds for Kiva and promote his company.
“This no-baggage adventure is 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’s an experiment to determine how much we really need to bring along to have the trip of a lifetime.” And how much do travelers really need? According to Lau and Fernandez, it’s possible to travel without any luggage — but the ideal is closer to minimalism than asceticism. “It would probably be just as easy traveling light with a small backpack, but not at the extreme of no bags,” they said. VIA AOL