Opinions | Carry-On, Pack Light: How Airline Screw-Ups Became Our Problem

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Then there are the strategies. TikTok is full of them. Have you tried rolling your clothes before packing them? Or perhaps folding them, KonMari style? Or treating them as if you were playing Tetris? Or secretly filling a travel pillow with clothes? Or even stuffing everything you’re traveling with into a fishing vest, wearing that on the plane and hoping others on board don’t become suspicious and alert an air marshal?

I’m exhausted, and I haven’t even started packing for my summer trip yet.

Gabby Beckford, 27, has awed hundreds of thousands of social media followers posting under her brand, Packs Light — a name she chose because it captured her zeal for flying with only carry-on baggage, as well as a deeper spiritual approach to travel that involves leaving behind things that might weigh her down.

Ms. Beckford’s philosophy is simple: They sell underpants everywhere in the world, so why are you packing extras?

Having more clothing options, for Ms. Beckford, can actually feel limited. Overpacking means overburdening yourself. When we spoke by phone, she was in London, bragging about how she’d been able to easily carry her luggage alone through the Underground and up three flights of stairs to her Airbnb.

My productivity for overpacking, Ms. Beckford told me, comes from a place of pessimism and a “scarcity mentality,” whereby I’m constantly imagining everything that could go wrong on a trip and trying to pack accordingly. That negativity can color a trip from the start.

Sure, plan ahead, research the climate at your destination and pick a few fun outfits you want to wear in your Instagram upload, she advised, but don’t stress too much. It’s a vacation, after all.

In one video she posted in May, Ms. Beckford urged any followers traveling to Europe this summer to leave half their empty suitcase and instead pack $350 in spending money so as to fully take advantage of the shopping opportunities there.

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