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  1. #1
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    2 weeks with 2 Aeronauts

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    My wife and I recently returned from a two-week honeymoon in the Yucatan and Belize. We decided we didn't want to check any luggage (had to make a connection in Mexico City), so we each took an Aeronaut and a smaller "handbag" (I had a small, lightweight backpack from REI; she had a shoulder bag from Tough Traveler). I'd always tended to overpack in the past, but after reading advice from both Doug Dyment and One Bag, One World (such as washing clothes a couple times while you're gone), I was convinced that traveling light was the way to go. Since we had four major stops on our 2-week trip (Merida and Tulum in Mexico, San Ignacio and Caye Caulker in Belize), I figured the less we had to cart around, the better. The great thing is that you can get an amazing amount of stuff in an Aeronaut and still not feel like you're carrying an unmanageable bag (the backpack option really helps in this respect). My wife was able to get 65 items in her Aeronaut (a new record, perhaps?), including 21 blouses/t-shirts, 4 long skirts, 3 summer dresses, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 prs of shoes, 2 prs of sandals, 2 bathing suits, and lots more. Here's a shot of her and our Aeronauts at the bus depot in San Ignacio.

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    It was an awesome trip, and our Tom Bihn bags made it a smooth one. Now if Tom can just make a small lightweight daypack to replace the serviceable but not very well constructed one we got at REI.
    Last edited by gmich; 08-22-2008 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting this!

    First let me say that you make a beautiful couple

    I also appreciate your willingness to share the number of items your wife was able to fit in the Aeronaute.

  3. #3
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    Great pics and story! Mexico City was my Aeronaut's maiden voyage as well.
    Should we nickname it 'Bottomless' Aeronaut?
    RE:"Now if Tom can just make a small lightweight daypack to replace the serviceable but not very well constructed one we got at REI."
    Surely the TB Brain Bag would work for you as it collapses/expands nicely or perhaps the Ruck's Sac or Buzz?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmich View Post
    My wife was able to get 65 items in her Aeronaut (a new record, perhaps?), including 21 blouses/t-shirts, 4 long skirts, 3 summer dresses, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 prs of shoes, 2 prs of sandals, 2 bathing suits, and lots more.
    65 items? 21 blouses/t-shirts? Wow. I must be doing something wrong because I can't see how that is possible.

    Wish I could talk my SO into trying a 1 bag approach. Every time I bring it up she immediately tells me "no way".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyrnoid View Post
    Great pics and story! Mexico City was my Aeronaut's maiden voyage as well.
    Should we nickname it 'Bottomless' Aeronaut?
    RE:"Now if Tom can just make a small lightweight daypack to replace the serviceable but not very well constructed one we got at REI."
    Surely the TB Brain Bag would work for you as it collapses/expands nicely or perhaps the Ruck's Sac or Buzz?
    I'm not sure which REI bag he is referring to but if it's like the LL Bean backpack I have I can relate to what he is saying. My LL Bean backpack was only around $20 and it folds into it's own zipper pocket to a decently small size. I could probably fit 3 in a side pocket of the Aeronaut. It's not overly small because it has full sized straps but it's comfortable, durable, and functional. There's no way the Brain Bag could collapse to something nearly as small. Not sure on the Ruck or Buzz.

  6. #6
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    Yes, it was 65 -- we counted. I couldn't believe it either. Since it was going to be warm weather, lots of the shirts/blouses/skirts were very thin (so they took up less space), but still, 65 items is pretty amazing.

  7. #7
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    I actually have similar luck with so-called cargo bags/training bags. The secret lies in the 'ONE BIG' cavity principle. The fewer the subdivisions, the easier the packing.I can't even remember the last time I've seen a good old fashioned 'Box Case'.http://www.hartmann.com/shop/productDetail-sku-1980-I

  8. #8
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    It is indeed possible to get 65 items in the aeronaut, particularly if they are women's summer clothes. I didn't get quite as many - I think I had something like 16 ou 17 tops, 4 pants, 3 skirts, 2 dresses, 4 pairs of shoes plus all sorts of odds and ends when I went to Spain for a month in May. There was still room in my bag, by the way. One bag traveling is the way to go! I find it such a thrill to be able to carry all the bags I'm taking on a trip without depending on anybody and to be able to simply walk out of the airplane and to the streets without waiting for bags.

    seems like you had a great trip!! and you indeed make a very nice couple
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
    65 items? 21 blouses/t-shirts? Wow. I must be doing something wrong because I can't see how that is possible.

    Wish I could talk my SO into trying a 1 bag approach. Every time I bring it up she immediately tells me "no way".
    You should try what I did with my wife: I told her to pack, then I repacked the entire thing in a carry-on. One with wheels, no less! I went through it one item at a time and discussed the why and how of bringing that item. In the end, we only had to leave out a couple bulky things to get everything in the carry-on. It really opened her eyes, and she's been carry-on only every since.
    There are only 3 kinds of people in this world -- those who can count, and those who can't.

    Proud Owner of: Aeronaut, Empire Builder, PC Flyer, Tri-Star, 3 Absolute shoulder straps, 2 Freudian slips, Braincell, and many various pouches and packing cubes...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mruseless View Post
    You should try what I did with my wife: I told her to pack, then I repacked the entire thing in a carry-on. One with wheels, no less! I went through it one item at a time and discussed the why and how of bringing that item. In the end, we only had to leave out a couple bulky things to get everything in the carry-on. It really opened her eyes, and she's been carry-on only every since.
    I'm tempted to start a new topic on how to convince the "better half" to try the one bag approach.

    On our last trip to New England I made some small progress but she's still not going for it yet. When we arrived we had to wait about 25 minutes in a hot baggage area for her large suitcase to arrive. I tried to gently point out how we could be gone if we both had carry-on only but that didn't go well.

    The biggest obstacle is convincing her what she "needs" to take. On a cold weather trip if she decides she needs 3 sweaters then you really start off on the wrong foot and it just gets worse from there. It may take me a few more years before she comes around to the idea.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
    I'm tempted to start a new topic on how to convince the "better half" to try the one bag approach.

    On our last trip to New England I made some small progress but she's still not going for it yet. When we arrived we had to wait about 25 minutes in a hot baggage area for her large suitcase to arrive. I tried to gently point out how we could be gone if we both had carry-on only but that didn't go well.
    Yeah, that's the "I told you so" approach, didn't go so well for me either. It was much later that I tried the above approach with success.

    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
    The biggest obstacle is convincing her what she "needs" to take. On a cold weather trip if she decides she needs 3 sweaters then you really start off on the wrong foot and it just gets worse from there. It may take me a few more years before she comes around to the idea.
    Be patient, keep trying! Maybe on a summer vacation, when she's packing a little lighter to begin with. Then all you have to do is convince her she doesn't need an entire bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and suncreeen.

    Or maybe when you are going on a short trip (weekender), you could set up the trip with the sole pupose of trying to go light. Just for fun. If you call that fun.
    There are only 3 kinds of people in this world -- those who can count, and those who can't.

    Proud Owner of: Aeronaut, Empire Builder, PC Flyer, Tri-Star, 3 Absolute shoulder straps, 2 Freudian slips, Braincell, and many various pouches and packing cubes...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
    I'm tempted to start a new topic on how to convince the "better half" to try the one bag approach.

    On our last trip to New England I made some small progress but she's still not going for it yet. When we arrived we had to wait about 25 minutes in a hot baggage area for her large suitcase to arrive. I tried to gently point out how we could be gone if we both had carry-on only but that didn't go well.

    The biggest obstacle is convincing her what she "needs" to take. On a cold weather trip if she decides she needs 3 sweaters then you really start off on the wrong foot and it just gets worse from there. It may take me a few more years before she comes around to the idea.
    Ha ha ha. The funny thing is my husband takes more stuff than I do usually. He gets the big suitcase and I get the little one.
    Proud owner of; Ego (first run) in Black/Steel/Deep Blue; medium organizer pouches in cayenne and crimson; small organizer pouches in olive, pink and storm blue; mini organizer pouch in sapphire; quarter packing cube; ego strips in crimson, plum, blue glitter and sapphire.

  13. #13
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    luckily hubby and I agree 100% on traveling without checked bags. We've been doing it for nearly 10 years now. Our challenge is to convince family and friends
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID


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