On my latest trip to the Italian countryside I decided to experiment with a smaller suitcase. The question was "can I go away for three weeks with only a backpack and a 17" roller bag?"
My usual suitcase is 22" and has an expandable zipper. It was quite a bit bigger in volume than the small metal case I finally chose.
Besides the challenge of traveling with less, I do prefer being able to carry all of my luggage on board the plane, especially at the beginning of the journey. Having lost luggage once, for the first five days of a trip, I find myself less trusting of the airlines, not to mention all of the new fees being imposed.
Sometimes I use packing cubes which are nice for organization as well as compacting the items inside the case. However, this time I just rolled all of the clothing and tucked it into the suitcase at all different angles. Since it was still very warm weather the clothes were all lightweight making room for more clothing than if I had needed cold weather gear. Here's what fit inside that little silver rolling suitcase:
4 pair of jeggings, 2 summer dresses, 1 pair of sandals, 10 pair of underwear, 3 bras, 1 pair pajamas, 2 scarves, 7 tops, one cashmere poncho, 1 pashmina, 1 small, flat purse.
In the back pack I had my sundries, 1 book, 1 kindle, 1 small camera, sundries, socks, another pashmina, I-Pad,
cords for devices and a couple of snacks. I wore my comfortable walking shoes, jeggings, shirt and a leather jacket.
Amazingly enough, I didn't wear everything that I had packed! It was necessary to wash out underwear a couple of times, as well as tops. I think I may have washed jeggings, too, once. The washing was done by hand and hung to dry as electric dryers are hard to find in Italy. But everything dried quickly overnight, so it was never a problem. Frankly, there's something quite lovely and familiar about living so simply! I had the time to hand wash so it wasn't a chore at all.
I'm not so certain that I could pack this lightly in colder weather but I think I will give it a try on one of my upcoming trips. It was really rather satisfying to have one bag in the overhead compartment of the plane and one under my seat. Try it and see if you can live more simply when traveling. Sometimes less is more enjoyable!