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Choosing the Right Carry-On Luggage

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There are many advantages of traveling with carry-on luggage as opposed to checking a bag. Some benefits include eliminating the time to check your bag with airline personnel, the time spent waiting for your luggage to show up on the baggage carousel, and of course the dreaded lost luggage situation. Not to mention, you have access to your stuff while on the plane. With so many options today, choosing the right carry-on luggage can become a challenge. We’ll share important considerations.

Size Does Matter

When selecting a carry-on, the two most important considerations are how much stuff you travel with and what your favorite airline’s policy is. Contrary to popular belief, not all airlines have the same requirements for carry-on size. The most popular carry-on luggage size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches. This can vary by airline or aircraft type. Almost all airlines have a carry-on allowance of two items – your carry-on bag and one other item such as a purse or backpack. Review the policies of airlines you fly most often and choose the appropriate bag.

Options to Consider

When shopping for luggage, consider your travel style, the destinations you frequently travel to and your physical strength and personal comfort. One of the basic considerations is whether you want a hard-side case or a soft-side case. While hard-sided luggage can provide more protection for you contents, it is inflexible and rigid. Soft-sided cases can be compressed. With either decision comes the secondary decision of material composition. With soft-sided luggage, you can choose leather or cloth. You should also consider whether you want two-wheels or four-wheels. A very important consideration is the empty weight of the bag itself. Can you easily load it into an overhead bin unassisted when it is full?

The Backpack Carry-On

Backpacks have become as common for working adults to carry as school children. They are very practical. If your travels take you to locations with dirt trails, cobblestone paths or other uneven surfaces, a backpack carry-on will likely suit you well. When shopping for a backpack, look for one with comfortable straps and a supportive waist strap. If you travel to rainy areas, a rain cover is a great option to have. Compare top loading bags with panel loading bags. Look for adequate pockets, a laptop sleeve with added padding, pen holders, hooks for clipping carabiners on and other things important to you based on what you carry. There are some backpacks shaped like a suitcase but have backpack straps. Rectangular shapes give you more space to work with.

The Carry-On Suitcase

Wheeled suitcases are considered the most traditional type of luggage. They work well because the rectangular shape provides ample space. That makes it easier to keep things organized and quickly find what you’re looking for. Some carry-on suitcases such as the Away brand include a separate dirty laundry bag built it to keep clean clothes and dirty clothes separated. The disadvantage of a wheeled suitcase is that one hand will always be occupied pulling the suitcase. It’s hard to carry a cup of coffee and a bagel while pulling a suitcase. The only other disadvantage we can think of is stairs. The most important consideration of a wheeled suitcase is the handle. It should be very durable and feel comfortable in your hand. The handle should stow completely into the body of the suitcase and not stick out at all when stowed. Check the wheels to be sure they are of good durable quality. If you travel with suits, look for a carry-on that integrates with a garment bag.

Packing Cubes

In closing, we want to share with you how important travel packing cubes are. They serve two distinct purposes; They allow you to compress items so that you can pack more into your bag. They allow you to keep things organized. You can place all of your socks and undergarments into a single compressed cube. You can roll pants up like a sleeping bag, put them in a compression packing cube and when you unpack, they will be wrinkle free. You can easily fit 5-6 tightly rolled shirts into a single packing cube.