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Joy of the Week : Carry on Luggage Only

Man with Suitecase webI travel so frequently I can’t tell you how much I am over it.  The cost and the time it takes to travel seems to be increasing exponentially over the last few years.

Anything that saves me time and money is my friend, so this week’s joy of the week is Carry-On Luggage.


So, the time has finally come when you’re indulging yourself on that well-earned vacation or like me your off on another delightful business trip, only to get stopped at the airport. While checking in and being told that you need to pay an extra fee for overweight luggage, so you have to spend precious money that might have otherwise been used on a nice meal, or travel souvenir.

Sadly my company does not reimburse for luggage fees. To pack or not to pack? We’ve all been there and, in some situations checked luggage may be inevitable.  Did you know that, in 2013, Delta Airlines made USD $833,183 in revenue from baggage handling? And if you combine Delta’s revenues with all other US domestic airlines’ figures, it adds up to a mind boggling USD $3,350,072. In 2013 and only from baggage handling fees!

With figures like that, I don’t blame you if you consider forsaking luggage of any kind and sticking to carry-on bags only.  Well we’re pleased to inform you that this is not only possible but, is very recommended by frequent flyers as well.  As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you can take all you might need on your trip, while saving money. Read on!

Good Choices For A Carry-On Bag

First thing’s first, the most important part of planning your trip, aside from the destination and lodging, should be acquiring the best carry-on bag suited for your needs. This bag must be light, built to last, comply with the dimension requirements of the airline and, above all  it must be spacious.

If you’re a frequent flyer  your best choice would be to invest in the best carry-on bag; one that will last you through the years and include a warranty against damage by airline mishandling. The list is ample  but, I can recommend a few bags for this purpose.

Take Travelpro’s Platinum Magna 22” bag as an example. This bag comes with a hefty price tag of USD $249.99 on Amazon, but it comes with all the features that you might ever need; it combines plenty of space with convenient features like magnetic stabilizers on the wheels, so you can easily pull it in all directions without having to constantly readjust its course.

It also includes a removable padded foam bar so you can keep your clothes wrinkle-free when travelling. When you combine these features with the superb durability that the bag offers, then you get a solid investment for the most frequent flyers.

However, not everyone is a frequent business traveler like myself so you may not need a carry-on with all those extra features. For those of you who want a bag that would satisfy all your requirements while, keeping that extra money tucked in your wallet. I would recommend the Kirkland Signature™ 21.5″ Expandable Upright Carry-On. This 21.5-inch bag offers plenty of pockets for your convenience and also offers a detachable garment carrier, has a zip-around expandability of 2.5” and tie down straps.

These are just some recommendations your choice may differ, but as long as the carry-on bag is in compliance with airline policies.  And offers sufficient space for everything you may need than you’re set. And speaking of things you may need…


Pack Only The Essentials In Your Carry-On

If you’re going on a trip and want to avoid checking a bag then you’ll want to travel light. You need to consider which objects are necessary. Here is a short list of tips that you can apply in your travels to help you save space and money in the process; your preferences may vary:

  • If you’re going to rent a car, then turn down the pricey GPS that they offer to rent you and, instead opt to download one of the free GPS apps for your smart phone. These programs offer the same benefits as the GPS that the rental shop offers, and are completely free. Some popular choices might be Waze which, offers you navigation utilities and social media integration to report gridlock, report accidents on the road to other drivers so they can take the necessary precautions, and much more. Google’s very own Maps is also a fine alternative.


  • Odds are that you’re going to stay in a hotel. Most hotels offer free bathroom utensils like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, shampoo, conditioner, etc. The staff in most hotels are instructed to replace them every time they clean your room, so you will always have access to hygiene products. This allows you to leave these objects at home to make space for other stuff.


  • Make sure to always carry a small kit with medicines, so you can always pop a pill for the common ailments like muscle pain and headaches. This is a smart choice because airport kiosks tend to over price their medicines and, in some cases, won’t even offer medicine at all.


  • Keep a backup laptop/cellphone battery charger. One of the worst things that can happen when you’re abroad is to be stranded on a foreign country with a dead cellphone because your only charger suddenly stopped working. This is easily one of the most important objects and is also the one that occupies less space, so make sure to keep a backup always handy!


  • Pack only the amount of clothes you need for the number of days that you are staying. If you still have space in your bag after packing your clothes, leave it empty for the possible purchases you might want to make in your travels. If you leave with a full bag, then you will need to purchase an extra bag at your destination for the extra stuff you purchased, and possibly being charged for overweight baggage on the way back.


Benefits Of Using Carry-On Luggage Only

As I said, your requirements may vary, but by following the guidelines mentioned above, you can save a lot of money on your travels, which can then be spent at your leisure during your vacations or simply keep it safely stored in your bank account.

Not to mention the great benefits that you get for sticking to Carry-On luggage exclusively:

  • For starters, you won’t need to waste time on the pesky unloading process after disembarking at your destination. Sometimes this is far more important to me then the fees of checked bags. Being able to walk off a plane and right into your cab or rental car vs waiting 30 minutes to an hour for your bag’s to appear on the luggage carousel is a real plus.
  • You won’t worry about your suitcase being damaged by airline handlers (more like mis handlers  right?); the security and longevity of your carry-on is totally on you. Once an airline lost my bags and I had no professional wear for the next day. That was over three years ago and officially the last time I checked a bag with an airline.


  • You can save a lot of money on baggage handling fees. Some airlines even charge for bringing just one suitcase, not to mention if they are overweight or if you bring more than one.

By mastering the techniques required to successfully travel using only your carry-on bag  you, will be able to travel anywhere and save a lot of money in the long run. So, commit these tips to heart and start saving!

Frank Good

Ashford Global Consulting

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About this author:


Frank is a leading trainer in IT Security.

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