Carry-On Vs. Checked Luggage

This is always the debate, do I check my bag or do I carry it on? This decision gets me every single time. There truly is an art to making this decision. So how do you decide whether to check your luggage or carry it on?

Here’s my checklist for deciding on whether I should check my bag or carry it on:

1. Are there checked luggage fees?

I always try to determine if it is worth it to check my bags. I fly almost exclusively United and take advantage of their credit card to get free bags but when I do travel with other airlines, I have a look at how much it’s going to cost before weighing it out if it’s worth it. Then there are situations where I just have to check the bag.

2. Can it all fit?

Do I really need 5 coats for a weekend trip? Probably not, so let’s make some decisions, plan ahead and take two coats — I then can probably check my bag.

3. Am I pressed on time?

Checking bags means extra time pre and post departure, this is something to keep in mind. Am I in a rush when I land or can I hang out an extra thirty minutes for my suitcase?

4. Can I afford to have a lost suitcase?

Airlines on average lose 17% of checked luggage (though they have made measures to bring this number down). When I am going on a trip that has multiple locations and am going from place to place, I cannot afford for my suitcase to be lost. It can take two days or more for your suitcase to catch up to you and if you are on the road, this can complicate things. When I want to make sure my belongings are with me, I usually will not check my bag. If I am headed somewhere to hangout for a week or two, it’s really not going to affect me if my luggage is lost and delayed in arrival.

5. Do I really want to carry it?

Yeah, dragging suitcases through an airport can be a pain — so I check it for simply just this reason. I do love to just have my purse and not worry about the suitcase.

Hopefully this is helpful for your next travels, stay tune for a “how to pack a carry-on” soon!

Bon travels xx

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