With airlines increasingly implementing fees for a second -- or even first -- checked bag, mastering the art of packing light is more important than ever. Just ask Doug Dyment, dubbed the "Go-Light Guru" by Time magazine and creator of OneBag.com, an online guide to packing all your travel necessities into a single carry-on.
Using his background in science, engineering and 30 years of traveling four times per month, Dyment developed a strategy for lightening his luggage, at first to avoid checked bags getting lost in handling but now just as effective for avoiding baggage fees.
As befitting a guru, Dyment notes, somewhat enigmatically, "The trick is that there is no trick. It involves a lot of little things." Among them:
• Make a list. Develop a personal packing blueprint, and stick to it no matter what. "Promise yourself that if it's not on your list, it's not going in your bag," Dyment advises. Most importantly, create your list ahead of time, since you're more likely to add unnecessary items at the last minute.
• Mix and match. Consider following a consistent color scheme of no more than two basic shades, so that all pieces of clothing will work well with one another. "The idea is to make a small number of items serve a large number of purposes," notes Dyment.
• Bag it right. If possible, break yourself of the wheeled bag habit. "They make huge compromises in design," Dyment says, causing you to lose a third of potentially available space to wheels and weight. He also recommends luggage made of light yet durable industrial nylon fabrics.
The payoff for all this? "Last year I spent a week in Moscow and then Delhi, back-to-back," Dyment says. "The temperature went from 40 F to 100 F, but one bag was all I needed."