as you've probably heard, travel is back - with a vengeance! Airports and airlines are buckling under the pent-up demand and long waits are the new normal.

This doesn't mean that you have to stay home. It just requires a little more thought and preparation, and I am here to help you with that.
Laughter, and a carry-on bag, is the best medicine
Besides your passport, the next most important thing on the packing list is a good old-fashioned sense of humour.
From airport line ups and flight delays to security checks and inclement weather, thankfully the ‘ups’ of travel far outweigh the ‘downs’ and a sense of humour goes a long way to ensuring a memorable journey.

With the chaos we’ve been seeing on the news of halls full of luggage disgorged from airplanes and seemingly no system in place to re-unite you with your bags, more and more travellers are opting to travel with hand luggage only – myself included.
I know , it’s hard to conceive of the idea of ditching the checked bag. But hear me out...
To be honest, I had never even considered travelling with carry-on only. After all, I am the person who sat on her suitcase to close it up, it was so full of all the ‘necessities’ for my trip. And that was before I’d gone shopping in some far-away market!

Then, last year, I was inspired by my dear clients who took only carry-on bags on their 2-week African Safari. I decided to give it a try on my 17 day trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and I am so glad I did. There is definitely something to be said for travelling light! 
Preparation is everything - in life, and when travelling!
The standard carry-on luggage size is 22" x 14" x 9", which includes the handle and wheels. After doing my research I choose an expandable bag on spinners with a lap top pouch, zip-in garment bag and TSA compliant toiletry bag. It even has a USB port!

The challenge was to reduce my usual suitcase-sized luggage to this smaller bag. I started by noting the various climate zones and activities in my itinerary, then choosing colour-coordinated clothing that could be layered and that also dried quickly.
Khaki pants with zip-off legs, white UV shirt (that could also be worn to dinner), t-shirts, swim suit, my unmentionables and a pair of sandals went into the bag. I wore my jeans, bulky walking shoes and jacket on the plane. Packed laundry sheets (tiny package), skipped the hairdryer and left most of my make-up at home. I was even able to fit my laptop, mask and snorkel for the Galapagos and a gift for my host!

In addition, one can bring a 'personal item' that must fit under the seat. This could be a purse, laptop bag, small backpack, or the olive tote you see in my picture, which held my purse, camera bag, and had space for extras.
Skipping the lines!
Travelling with hand luggage saved me so much time and hassle – I breezed through check-in and took flight connections without that niggling worry about my suitcase making in onto the next plane. The best part was that, after a long flight, I walked right past the planeload of anxious passengers waiting endlessly at the baggage conveyer belt for their treasures to arrive.

Once I landed in the Galapagos, I simply walked onto the little ferry to cross the Itabaca Chanel to Santa Cruz Island – no scrambling to retrieve my suitcase in the hot Equatorian sun. I did not have to worry about storing bags or paying for excess weight on my small plane ride to Isabela Island, nor did I have to wait for the porter to bring my bags to the room, and at the hacienda I easily managed the tight stairs to my loft room, bags et al.
An unexpected bonus was that it only took me 5 minutes to re-pack my bag before moving on to the next destination. Every day of my trip I was grateful for this decision!

As with everything, packing light takes practice, and yes – I could have chosen a better pair of walking shoes and brought a warmer jacket… So now I know for next time. Oh yes, there’s definitely going to be a next time! See below...
Our latest travel inspirations:
Galapagos Cruising, Ecuadorian Highlands and the Amazon River:
Discover fascinating and mysterious wildlife in Galapagos, historical Quito, the dense Amazonian jungle, unparalleled cuisine, friendly people, and stunning scenery – just some of the reasons to visit this unique continent on one of our socially and environmentally responsible tailor-made journeys.

An African Eco-Safari:
To inspire your dreams of an African Safari I have compiled an itinerary that includes a variety of eco-systems in Botswana for wildlife viewing and combined that with sightseeing and cultural experiences in Cape Town and Victoria Falls.
I wanted to share this beautiful video [1:35mins], inspired by Africa and created by my favourite place in Cape Town - the Cape Grace, voted best hotel in Africa, again!
My wife and I recently booked a trip with Christine, who was recommended to us by good friends... The attention to detail and professionalism in which this trip has been presented to us is by far the best I've seen.
Dealing with Christine has been a pleasure and I have no hesitation in recommending her. We know we'll use her services for our future holiday plans. L.M.
THANK YOU to everyone who has referred me to friends and family!
Nothing makes me happier than when you recommend me. I am very grateful and promise to take good care of them!

My next adventure takes me to Jordan. The Middle East has always fascinated me and I look forward to exploring the historic sites in Amman and Petra, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea with my carry-on bag!
If you want to follow along, I will be posting photos on Instagram.
I wish you a relaxing summer and look forward to helping you plan your next great adventure.

Yours in Travel,

Christine Boecker

Founder & Luxury Safari Specialist
“Most outstanding Bespoke Adventure Travel Agent & Distinction Award for Wildlife Conservation Initiatives 2018, 2019, 2021 & 2022”
Sustainable Journeys ~ Unforgettable Memories!
Vancouver BC CANADA
Ph: 1.604.338.9211 | 1.877.739.3653