Carry-On Luggage Tips And Tricks For A Stress-Free Flight

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Carry-On Luggage Tips And Tricks For A Stress-Free Flight

When taking a flight, choosing to carry your luggage on board feels like a miraculous luxury. The headache of dealing with checking and claiming your baggage seems to grow a bit with every trip to the airport.

In addition to its often hefty price tag, checked bags don’t always end up where they’re meant to arrive, so keeping your belongings with you means you are completely free of worry... Well, once you know which bag is allowed on the plane, which one will hold all of your items and which one will fit nice and snug in that overhead bin. Let this guide make it easy for you. 

Have You Researched Your Airline's Carry-On Specs?

The massive bag you took to Europe that time you stayed for four weeks – they’re not going to let you drag that one onto the plane. So take a coffee break and check out your airline’s specifications regarding:

  • Dimensions of your carry-on bag
  • Weight of your bag
  • Maximum number of bags per trip

Are You Taking A Short Trip?

A trip that includes only a night or two means choosing a carry-on bag isn’t too big of a challenge.

  • Backpack: When you’re literally packing an extra pair of underwear, socks, jeans, a T-shirt and your toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Weekender: When a backpack is not going to cut it for your two changes of clothes, dinner outfit, swimwear and assorted toiletries, but a larger suitcase-type bag will end up leaving you with a ton of extra, wasted space.
  • Small Rolling Bag: A soft-shell expands when you need it and is easy to stuff into small spaces. However, if you’re worried that smashing it into an overhead bin will result in wrinkled clothes – go for a hard shell, just to be safe.

Are You Planning An Extended Stay?

You need a bigger rolling bag with 360 degree wheels – they spin and spin, so no matter how you turn, you never end up with a bag that lurches and goes flying to the left when you’re attempting to make a hard right.

Carrying along a delicate gift for a loved one? Go with a hard shell. Carrying only clothing and worried about getting overhead bin space? Go with the soft case.

Is Your Bag Secure?

The idea of that stranger sneaking a hand into your bag while you conk out is more than you care to imagine. Add a lock to your bag.

Does the disembarking process scare you because everyone’s bags look alike, and you can’t seem to remember which bin the flight attendant selected when he or she moved your bag? Add an ID card to your bag.

Are You Carrying A Bag For Non-Essential Items?

Okay, so maybe your laptop is essential to you, but when it comes to finding a bag to house your MP3 player, laptop, chargers, magazines, tablet and snacks, you need something with greater organizational (and sometimes protective) capability than a simple backpack.

  • When You’re Just Carrying Your Laptop: Bring along a slim padded laptop bag with a strap.
  • When You’re Carrying A Ton Of Electronics: Go for a portfolio bag/laptop case with compartments so you can secure your laptop and all of your other gadgets.
  • When You’ve Got Smaller Items: If you’re just carrying smaller items – like a tablet and an MP3 player or a book and a bottle of water – go for a classic messenger bookbag with compartments and protect your electronic items with smaller individual cases.

Do You Need A Bag For Baby Or Children?

While you’ve got your diaper bag situation figured out, what about toys and the blanket that baby might need right away? And your children – they’ve got their own children’s backpacks that they love, but you’re the one with the snacks and electronics.

Avoid frantically digging through zippers and layers of pockets by opting for a tote. With an open top and a ton of room, reaching for what you need just got a whole lot easier.

Carrying on luggage is much easier than it seems when you know what’s what. Get yourself situated with a bag of your dreams, and flying the friendly skies with a smile on your face becomes a lovely (and well-organized) reality.

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