The Travelite FAQ is an educational and informational site that teaches ordinary people how to travel lightly, with a focus on avoiding the use of check-in luggage altogether.

This Web site, which began in 1996, is written and maintained by Lani Teshima. I am not paid to review any products, although manufacturers may send me products for review. I also do not sell any products directly, but provide links to sellers where appropriate. If you are a manufacturer or distributor of legitimate products or services you believe will help people travel lightly, please contact me.

The site originally began as a helpful post on the rec.travel.air Usenet newsgroup, and slowly evolved into its own Web site. My interest in traveling light began back in the early 1980s, after some very unsatisfactory, luggage-laden experiences. My knowledge comes mostly from personal experience and information sharing with others who travel lightly, and I consider Rick Steves (host of the PBS show, “Europe Through the Back Door”) to be the travel-lightly guru.

Most of my archived/older articles focused on products and things you could use to lighten your load, and this blog format will continue in that vein. This format will also make it more topical, allowing me to comment and offer opinions and editorials on things that are going on in the travel industry today. Between the TSA and the airlines, airline passengers are continuing to find themselves squeezed into smaller and smaller spaces; the least we can do is be smart about how we pack.

During the day, I write user manuals for a large software company in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California. I am also a staff writer and a copy editor at MousePlanet.com, an informational (unofficial) Web site devoted to all things Disney, with a focus on the Disney theme parks. MousePlanet publishes new content every weekday, and we have regular podcasts and a lively discussion board. Our marquee content is our comprehensive park guides, which are incredibly informative and helpful for anyone wanting to plan a trip to the parks.

I don’t fly nearly as often as I used to; to be honest flying has gotten to be more of a pain than a pleasure. When possible, we just take off on our 1993 Honda Civic Hybrid (45+ miles per gallon—whee!), which with over 100,000 miles on the odometer contiues to give us troublefree miles. I still have over 150,000 frequent flyer miles with United, and I’m considering just donating the whole thing to the Fisher House Foundation through their Hero Miles program (Fisher House is similar to the Ronald McDonald houses for the families of sick kids—but instead of kids, this program helps house families of injured American servicemen and women). Do I really want to show any loyalty to an airline that thinks it’s OK to charge a fee for a person’s first item of checked luggage? I know I teach readers how to travel without one, but I think it’s just plain stinky.

If you’ve read this far, here’s a confession: I’m a serious World of Warcraft player. I’m completely sold, and I play everyday. Funny, because the only other games I’ve ever played are Snood and Bejeweled! In case you care, I’m on PVE servers and I primarily play casters, primarily on two servers (Draka and Garona). I joined a progressive raiding guild in Spring 2009 that worked out to be a really good fit both schedule- and maturity-wise. I raid with my Discipline priest and am having the time of my life wiping on the hardest content the game has to offer (and enjoying it more when we succeed!). Which faction do I play, you ask? For the Horde!

You can contact me here:


  1. My adult daughters and I are going to Ireland and Hungary in June for 10 days. I only want to use carry-on luggage. What would you recommend? I have looked at L. L. Bean’s Sportsman’s Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag. Would that and a back pack work ? Any suggestions? Thank you!

  2. I’m going to defer to others on the Internet who seem to have reviewed wheeled carry-ons pretty extensively. Not only will you get a good list of actual products to work with, you will get a good overall perspective on how to spot the key differences in features, and be a much smarter shopper for it.

    Consumer Reports ran an article several years ago that represented a great example; alas, the article is not online, and the products they reviewed are no longer available. I did poke around online, and come across a somewhat similar one at TravelInsider.com (link). Hopefully that will be of help for you.

    Happy travels!

  3. Hi I was reading your site and saw this – am I reading this right the Japanese wash towel and Japanese bathtowel are 2 separate items you are talking about?

    I can find the wash cloth/towel – nylon loofah style cloth but I don’t find (in a search) bathtowel as to dry with?

    Getting ready for a trip to Europe would like to pack as little as possible, love your ideas!

    Thank you

    Quote: travelite.org site
    Body soap/puff (washcloth); most European hotels do not supply washcloths –The single best wash cloth I have used all my life is the Salux nylon wash towel from Japan. Anything else makes me feel like I’m not getting clean, so I made sure to take one. It’s better than any scrubber ball because you can scrub your back easily. I also took a large Japanese bathtowel. These things barely take up any room because of their thinness and loose weave. I probably didn’t need the bath towel. I never travel without one! [Fortunately it weighs next to nothing.]

  4. Hi,

    Just found your blog on Technorati & Digg upcomming news feeds and read a few of your other posts.
    ISeems good contents,Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.


  5. Diana — You can do a Google search for the Salux wash cloth, and you will find a number of online vendors who sell the Japanese wash cloth. They should run you less than $5.00, and they last for years!

  6. Can my Paklite suitcase wheels be replaced as they have broken & I can no longer use my suitcase.

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