Travelling Without Luggage (Why?!)

From Wednesday morning to Monday night I had no luggage, FIVE DAYS. asked me to take part in their lost luggage challenge (#msmlostluggage) to see how I’d get on without my stuff for a few days.

Lost luggage challenge

Over 15% of travel insurance claims are to do with lost luggage, so it’s important to make sure you have good insurance that will help you out if yours goes missing in transit.

I thought it’d be easy, just buy more stuff, but it was actually pretty annoying. I mean, you know 99% of the time that you’ll get your luggage back when it goes missing, and I knew 100% that I would, so you don’t want to replace everything. Especially as I’m travelling for another seven weeks so whatever I buy I’ll have to carry around and my suitcase is already pretty full.


Also, some stuff, like moisturiser and face wash, you can’t get the brands you want when you’re abroad. It felt like I was just wasting money buying different versions to my tried and tested, when I knew I’d get them back.

I might have to admit to using my sunglasses as well, which wasn’t in the agreement. It’s just that mine are prescription, and if I was to lose my luggage I’d definitely have some contact lenses or sunnies in my carry on, so thought it would be ok. Forgive me.

Buying new stuff

I’d spotted a Nike factory store on the edge of New Orleans and so ended up going a bit nuts in there, spent over £100, oops. I did get a hoody (it’s surprisingly cold at night here), a workout top, some trousers, and a pair of Nike Maxs though so that’s a whole outfit, not bad. Oh and some funky laces.

Lost Luggage challenge

And then, with five days to get through obviously I needed some essentials too. I ended up just buying leggings and a grey dress from Sears, at about $15 total, to get me through, and some underwear too. I also invested in a swimming costume as our hotels had pools, although in the end it was so grim and rainy for our trip I didn’t actually fancy going in any of them.


Lost luggage challenge

One of the things that I did really like about not having any luggage was that it was so easy for me to check in and out of hotels, without having the usual mess to clear up as I tend to spread my stuff out all over the place.

It was liberating not to have to drag all my worldly possessions from one place to the next and just have a carrier bag to live from.


Getting drenched on a swamp tour

I went on a swamp tour, which was all great – crocodiles, turtles, all that good stuff – until it rained. And then it poured. I was sat in the boat in my cheapo leggings, flip flops, dress and cardigan with water pouring down my back. Thankfully the boat owner had an umbrella but with no dry clothes to change into, and no protective jacket, it was a frim journey back to the hotel.

And then there was the beach day, the one I’d bought my swimsuit for. Well Grand Isle is one rainy, windy beach, or at least it was when I was there (see windswept photo above). I was in my new head to toe Nike outfit, and flip flops, blowing away in the cold sea breeze. I needed trousers and a jacket!

Travelling without luggage


The experience definitely proved to me that I couldn’t travel without luggage. When other travellers show off about only travelling with hand luggage, or some similar boast, my one thought isn’t that I’m impressed, it’s why?

I need my laptop, my make up, my clothes and just to know I have my stuff with me. When you’re travelling by yourself, as I usually am, and in hostels and hotels, I like having a slice of home in my possessions and a choice of what to wear. Sick of that grey dress in the photos yet?! I’ll hide it behind a massive Tabasco bottle then. 

Lost luggage challenge

On the one occasion that my luggage was delayed in my life (it’s never been lost, touchwood) I was at a loss that night and relieved when I went to pick it up the next morning at Oaxaca Airport.

It was an interesting, cold and frustrating few days but I’ll stick with my 15kg and hand luggage in the future, and make sure to pack a few more essentials into my carry on, just in case this happens ‘in real life’.

– This post was written in conjunction with 

What to Do in St Kitts for 7 Different Types of Traveller
My Top 7 Favourite Food Experiences in New Orleans
tagged in luggage


  1. by Kate on April 19, 2016  10:07 am Reply

    Good for you for taking on the challenge. I certainly couldn't do it. Although I can travel with very little, there are just some things I need no matter what!

    Kate x

    • by Vicky on April 20, 2016  8:19 pm Reply

      Yeah definitely made me realise that. I just wanted my stuff and my brands and my things. It's hard to find when you're abroad, and annoying!

  2. by Leanne on April 19, 2016  1:56 pm Reply

    The older I get the lighter I can travel and don't think I'd ever be too upset at my luggage going missing/being delayed. It would be annoyance sure but not enough to ruin a trip (well, I don't think so... just wait until it happens lol) x

    • by Vicky on April 20, 2016  8:14 pm Reply

      Yeah in a way you're just like, yay, don't have to carry that around any more! But yeah, super annoying also. Most people probably do need less than they take, me included, but also it's nice to have the choice of things!

  3. by Jayne on April 19, 2016  11:58 pm Reply

    I'd probably be alright on a challenge like this seen as I always seem to pack inappropriate clothing anyway and end up wearing the same leggings and top combo most days. Maybe I shouldn't both with luggage in future haha.

    • by Vicky on April 20, 2016  8:10 pm Reply

      Yeah it was very freeing, but it was all the costmeticy things that were most annoying – make up and that. All very expensive to replace!

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