Carry-on versus checked luggage

pink luggage.jpeg

In the past, I’ve been known to push the limits on weight restrictions for my checked baggage. Once on a trip to Spain and France, my luggage came in just a handful of ounces under the 50-pound limit. Another time, my suitcase weighed 51 pounds. (Thank you to the wonderful airline employee who didn’t charge me extra that day, or make me remove any items to reach compliance!)

In more recent years, however, the more I travel the more I wonder how in this great big, beautiful world I ever lugged around all that weight.

In other words, I am now a full-fledged carry-on-only-whenever-possible convert.

Here’s why:

I only pack what I need.

I used to take so many unnecessary items with me on vacation, namely clothes that I never wore.

Nowadays, limiting myself to a carry-on means that I more thoughtfully consider my outfits before packing to make sure I have everything I may need while traveling. Not only does this lighten my suitcase, but it makes picking out the perfect outfit abroad much easier since I’ve pre-planned them. Even better? This helps me not waste precious vacation minutes sifting through garments and vacillating between options.

Even with just a carry-on, I find that I still return home with a handful of clothes that haven’t been worn.

And for those of you concerned about “what if” situations that may require donning something you couldn’t fit in your carry-on or just didn’t think to pack—well, that’s one more reason to check out your destination’s local shops for a knockout dress or top that doubles as a honeymoon souvenir!

Lost luggage? No way.

Opting to carry-on your suitcase versus stowing it in cargo means there is zero chance someone else will lose your bag. If this is a concern of yours—or if you’re making multiple connections with little time in between them, increasing the chances of your luggage not finding its way to your final destination—then the carry-on route can alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress.

It saves precious time.

When I arrive at my destination, I’m usually more than ready to be done with the traveling portion of the trip. By this I mean navigating airports and lugging bags up and down escalators. Choosing to pack my goods in a carry-on allows me to bypass baggage claim and instead make a beeline for transportation to my hotel.

Yes, this may only save 20 to 30 minutes, but, at the end of a long day, it can be a relief to shave minutes off my travel time.

Do you prefer to check a bag or carry-on your luggage?