Tag: travel (page 1 of 3)

Travelling light

There’s some good tips about travelling light and the kind of gear to buy, which trade-offs, to make, etc. in this guide. Interestingly, it’s from one of the founders of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin. I’m not sure what I think of him, to be honest, but this guide is useful, nevertheless.

I have lived as a nomad for the last nine years, taking 360 flights travelling over 1.5 million kilometers (assuming flight paths are straight, ignoring layovers) during that time. During this time, I’ve considerably optimized the luggage I carry along with me: from a 60-liter shoulder bag with a separate laptop bag, to a 60-liter shoulder bag that can contain the laptop bag, and now to a 40-liter packpage that can contain the laptop bag along with all the supplies I need to live my life.

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As a point of high-level organization, notice the bag-inside-a-bag structure. I have a T-shirt bag, an underwear bag, a sock bag, a toiletries bag, a dirty-laundry bag, a medicine bag, a laptop bag, and various small bags inside the inner compartment of my backpack, which all fit into a 40-liter Hynes Eagle backpack. This structure makes it easy to keep things organized.

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As you might have noticed, a key ingredient in making this work is to be a USBC maximalist. You should strive to ensure that every single thing you buy is USBC-friendly. Your laptop, your phone, your toothbrush, everything. This ensures that you don’t need to carry any extra equipment beyond one charger and 1-2 charging cables. In the last ~3 years, it has become much easier to live the USBC maximalist life; enjoy it!

Source: My 40-liter backpack travel guide

Somebody please tell the travel industry there’s a climate emergency

Utter madness.

German giant Lufthansa said it would have to fly an additional 18,000 “unnecessary” flights through the winter to hold on to landing slots. Even if the holidays brought a big increase in passengers — marked by thousands of flight cancellations that left travelers stranded — the rest of the winter period could be slow as omicron surges worldwide.

Landing and departure slots for popular routes in the biggest airports are an extremely precious commodity in the industry, and to keep them, airlines have to guarantee a high percentage of flights. It is why loss-making flights have to be maintained to ensure companies keep their slots.

It was an accepted practice despite the pollution concerns, but the pandemic slump in flying put that in question. Normally, airlines had to use 80% of their given slots to preserve their rights, but the EU has cut that to 50% to ensure as few empty or near-empty planes crisscross the sky as possible.

Source: Near-empty flights crisscross Europe to secure landing slots | AP News

Reducing long-distance travel

I agree with what Simon Jenkins is saying here about focusing on the ‘reduce’ part of sustainable travel. However, it does sound a bit like victim-blaming to say that people outside of London travel mainly by car.

We travel primarily by car because of the lack of other options. Infrastructure is important, including outside of our capital city.

It is an uncomfortable fact that most people outside London do most of their motorised travel by car. The answer to CO2 emissions is not to shift passengers from one mode of transport to another. It is to attack demand head on by discouraging casual hyper-mobility. The external cost of such mobility to society and the climate is the real challenge. It cannot make sense to predict demand for transport and then supply its delivery. We must slowly move towards limiting it.

One constructive outcome of the Covid pandemic has been to radically revise the concept of a “journey to work”. Current predictions are that “hybrid” home-working may rise by as much as 20%, with consequent cuts in commuting travel. Rail use this month remains stubbornly at just 65% of its pre-lockdown level. Office blocks in city centres are still half-empty. Covid plus the digital revolution have at last liberated the rigid geography of labour.

Climate-sensitive transport policy should capitalise on this change. It should not pander to distance travel in any mode but discourage it. Fuel taxes are good. Road pricing is good. So are home-working, Zoom-meeting (however ghastly for some), staycationing, local high-street shopping, protecting local amenities and guarding all forms of communal activity.

Source: Train or plane? The climate crisis is forcing us to rethink all long-distance travel | The Guardian