One Day with No Bags

Yesterday I had business meetings at Chicago O’Hare’s Hilton Hotel. The hotel is literally in the airport, with conferences rooms just a short, underground walk from the gate that I arrived in. Since I was going and coming back to DC in the same day, I didn’t bring any bags, just my Scottevest Tropical Jacket. Yes, tropical jacket. Though it was in the low-teens when I left DC and in single digits when I arrived in Chicago, I was only going to be outside for two brief moments through the day: while hailing a cab to DCA and while waiting for a cab to take me home from DCA. I was able to gut it out with only the Tropical Jacket, a sweater, a hat and gloves. In the jacket I packed my iPad, iPhone, earbuds, and a pen. That’s it.

This was really easy and even less stressful than my 10 day no baggage trip to Japan. Security was effortless and even though I was running late – I only made my flight by 10 minutes – I was able to move through the airport with ease.

What was more interesting was that I had at least two or three moments during the day where I frantically looked around for my messenger bag. Rolf Potts talked about this sensation at the start of his round-the-world no baggage trip. But while I was in Japan for 10 days, I never actually recall feeling like I was missing a bag. Yet yesterday, I did.

This little experiment was a real validation for me and no baggage travel. It especially made clear that for very short business trips, no bags is the way to go.


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