Carry On or Check Your Bag? Make the Right Decision

Most airline passengers agonize over whether to carry on or check their bags. While carrying your bag on board a plane is appealing, there are size limits, and it’s also not as easy as it used to be with restrictions on liquids. You can pack all you like when you check in, but there are fees and chance of lost baggage. And of course, no one wants to toss items at the security gate for not being TSA-compliant.

There is no one-size-fits-all choice on whether to carry on or check your luggage, but here are the pros and cons for each method of travel. You decide what best fits your needs:

1) With Carry-On Bags, You Will Always Have Your Stuff

Anyone who has ever dealt with lost luggage can attest that there is no quicker trip-downer than to have the airlines lose your bags. It’s a huge inconvenience and a massive waste of time and money, especially if you have to get replacement items at your destination. With a carry-on and pre-check in, you can go right to the gate when you leave and right to the exit when you disembark. Now, that’s the way to travel.

2) You Can Take More Stuff If You Check Your Bags

There’s no doubt that the allure of checked bags are really just that we can take more. While it’s so tempting to fill up those oversized suitcases, be sure to take into account fees, especially if you go over an airline’s weight limits, or check a second or third bag. The costs can add up quickly. And of course, if your bags get lost, you are in a pickle. Even if all goes smoothly, you will always spend extra time waiting for your bag and toting it to where you need to go.

3) If You Check Your Luggage, Carry-On Bags Are a Great Back-Up

If you do check your bags, be sure to pack an extra outfit, undergarments, and toiletry essentials. That way, if your luggage does get lost, you will be covered for the day or more that it can take to get the luggage back. Making good use of your carry-on is the best way to ensure a good trip.

4) You Can Fit More Than You Think You Can Into Your Carry-On

Unless you are going away for more than a week, there is no reason why you can’t fit all you need into your carry-on. By rolling items, packing sensibly, and making use of a nicely sized personal bag for electronics and extra items, you can make that trip without having to pack that extra bag. Read more on packing your suitcase here.

5) The Right Luggage Gets You Moving Faster

Luggage manufacturers are developing all kinds of clever carry-on styles, including piggyback systems that allow you to attach your personal bag to the carry-on. And the many rolling options will definitely speed you on your journey, whether checked or carried aboard. Take a cue from airline personnel. You, too, can make your way through the airport speedily with smart luggage choices.

6) If It’s Business, You May Want to Check Your Bag

While an overnight business trip is certainly amenable to carrying your luggage, especially for efficient travel, a longer trip may require a bigger bag. Suits can be especially challenging to pack with wrinkle-free assurance, unless you are using a garment bag or luggage specially designed for business attire. And gone are the days where you could be certain the flight attendant would let you hang your suit or garment bag in the coat closet, even if you are in first class. Hot Tip: Wearing your suit jacket on board for overnight trips will keep it less rumpled. Just remove it when you sit, fold neatly with shoulder pads matching, and store.

7) Take Your Toiletries With You, No Matter What

Whether you choose to carry on your bag or check it, you will find that the custom pre-packed travel kits from Convenience Kits International will take one less worry off your plate. With the Build Your Kit option, you can choose your own items from bag to toiletries and accessories and more. All items are completely TSA-compliant, guaranteeing that you won’t lose your travel kit from your carry-on bag, and you’ll always have your beauty and shaving supplies, even if a checked bag gets lost. What a relief!