Traveling light

By Stanley Mui
This item appears on page 13 of the April 2022 issue.

I travel with a carry-on and only enough clothes for three days. One advantage of traveling alone is that no one complains if I wear the same clothes over and over. I don’t consider travel to be a fashion show.

In each city, I stay a minimum of two nights so my clothes have enough time to dry. I hand-wash my quick-drying shirts and quick-drying underwear every night, and they usually dry overnight, unless the humidity happens to be high. My socks can take two nights to dry, so I wash them every two nights. I’ve found that Merino wool socks dry quicker than cotton socks.

With high humidity, wet clothes won’t dry overnight, so my advice is to go during a country’s dry season, even if you have to pay more.

(One of the biggest enemies on a trip is rain, especially pouring rain. In Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in June 2018, I got soaked to the bone in a rainstorm, after which my shoes took a long time to dry. No raincoat or umbrella would have been able to keep me completely dry in that rain.)

I never check a bag onto a flight unless I absolutely have to. Turkish Airlines’ maximum weight for a carry-on is 17.6 pounds. The “tare weight” of my carry-on is already 8 pounds, so Turkish Air has always made me check my carry-on. (I last flew Turkish Air in 2019, from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv in April and back from Ukraine to Chicago 44 days later.)

Every ounce counts. The only things I usually buy during trips are lightweight magnets that remind me where I’ve been. I wait until my last destination to shop for other souvenirs.

Woodland Hills, CA