Last week me and two of my children traveled to Orlando for a quick three night visit. I like to do these visits when I can grab inexpensive flights and when I do, I always travel on a budget. This time I decided I was not going to pay for any luggage and we would travel strictly with just the one personal item that is always free to bring on the airplane in order to save even more money.
My children each brought a nice sized backpack and I brought my Thirty-One bag pictured above. All three of us were really nervous about how well we would make out, and trust me there were a few times I almost broke down and purchased the luggage, but I was determined to make this work so I stayed strong. We decided to pack only what we would need for the amount of days we would be gone and absolutely no "extra clothing." We wore our sweatshirts on the plane to keep more room in the actual bag. We also agreed we would wear the same clothes home that we wore the night we arrived to amplify the room we had. I purchased travel sized disposable toothbrushes for all of us so before we came home I could just throw them away. We also decided we would utilize the toiletries they gave us at the hotel as well as the hotel hairdryer. This really left more room in our bags.
At first I did this just so we did not have to pay for any luggage through the airline, however I saved more than I even imagined. First of all, can I just tell you how nice it was to get off the airplane and not worry about having to grab our luggage before we headed to our shuttle. It was late, we were starving and we just wanted to get to our hotel as quickly as possible. Same for coming back, we were so tired and cranky that we just wanted to get home. It was wonderful to get off the plane and just head right to the car. We missed a whole lot of traffic exiting the airport parking lot since everyone was still waiting for their luggage to come out while we were driving away.
The largest way I saved money was for the pure fact that we just could not buy anything that would not fit into our bag while we were away, and since we had to use our bag as our suitcase the room that was left was really slim to none. Every time my son asked me to buy him something I was able to say "We can't get it, it wont fit into our bag". For this reason alone skipping the luggage was totally worth it.
We did purchase a few odds and ends and also came home with our three refillable mugs from Universal Orlando and we still actually made it without any problems at all. It was a great trip and an awesome way to save time and money more than I even imagined. If you have it in you one day you should try it too, you may be pleasantly surprised!