I don't believe the one bag lifestyle is suitable for everyone. It really depends on what you prefer do on your holibobs. If your idea of a great holiday is a nice all inclusive resort and a week relaxing on the beach then you probably won't really see the benefit of minimalist travel.
Where one bag travel shines is for those trips where you are moving about or need the freedom to change your plans at the drop of a hat.
I personally hate lugging luggage about. Up and down stairs at train stations, cramming onto busses or having to find an expensive taxi to save the hassle of dragging the entire contents of your wardrobe through crowds of locals and tourists.
I am short and crowds quickly drain my mental batteries. The easier it is for us to navigate to our hotel the better my mood and therefore my husband's sanity. He is tall and so manages to effortlessly weave his way through crowds like a cobra - usually with me following behind, desperately trying to keep up whilst being jostled from all sides. In either case it is far easier to navigate when you each have a single bag on your back.
Your one bag doesn't necessarily have to be a backpack, some people prefer not to or have medical needs that prevent them from carrying weight on their shoulders. Cabin size roller suitcases or duffel bags are equally suitable. The point of this is to make travel easy for you.
When we (collectively as a nation) go abroad we quite often prepare for the worst, we pack fresh clothes for every day when we know full well that it isn't the case if we were at home. Packing extra underwear in case of an accident when the last time you needed a spare change of underwear you were still potty training. We prepare for the worst and it is kind of ridiculous, especially if we are travelling to popular travel destinations.
Everywhere has shops for essentials such as clothes, toiletries and medicine. If you know the country you are visiting doesn't have such 'luxuries' then you probably don't need to be taking advice from me - and if you are, then you might be in over your head.
So, why one bag?
- You really don't need what you think you need
- You get to skip the baggage carousel
- Airlines can't lose your bag
- Easier to get public transport - don't miss your train because you had to haul your 20kg hold bag up a broken escalator.
- Less stuff to lose or worry about losing
- Easy to change plans, just pick up your bag and go.
I personally enjoy the challenge of taking as little as possible. I'm a bit of a gear head since I like to research things in great detail. I'm also a worrier and it's hard enough checking I haven't lost something even when I pack so little.
Packing less is easier and takes less thought and time when you've got it figured out. Packing for 1 week is the same as for 1 month or even 6 months because you know you have the essentials and you know you will have to do some washing at some point anyway.
Next time you go away, give it a try. If you're scared do it on a small trip in your own country. It's hard to let go of our stuff but it really does improve your travel experience.