How To Choose Carry On Luggage

Most air travelers will need some kind of carry-on luggage when they fly. What should a traveler look for when buying carry-on luggage? Where is it available? What can he expect to pay for a carry-on bag?

  1. A traveler needs to first acquaint himself with the airline's carry-on size regulations. Most U.S. airlines' specifications are fairly standard, but some are more lenient about allowing bulkier items in the cabin. A great deal depends on the kind of aircraft. Some have more overhead or under-seat storage than others, and a traveler needs to think about this when considering carry-on luggage.

  • A piece of carry-on luggage should ideally contain a change of clothing and underwear, and some toiletry articles, in case the checked baggage does not reach the destination at the same time as the traveler. So, the bag should be large enough to contain these items. Most airlines allow one carry-on, plus one personal article, such as a briefcase or handbag.
  • Roll-along or carry? This is another question a traveler must answer. With the popularity of backpacks, many travelers opt for these as their carry-on luggage. The advantage of a backpack is that it leaves the hands free to carry other luggage. Backpacks do not hold a lot, however.

    A duffel bag is another carry-on option. These will usually stow easily overhead or under a seat. If packed with mostly soft items, they can fit even under a low seat in a regional jet. A duffel must be carried in hand or over the shoulder, though, which means a traveler may not be as able to carry other luggage.

    A roll-along carry-on has a telescoping handle and wheels that allow the traveler to pull it along. These will fit in most overhead compartments, or under most seats, but the roll-along advantage may be lost if the traveler has another roll-along bag in his checked bags.

  • Regardless of type, carry-on luggage is available online or in stores. A traveler will probably want to look at several different kinds of bags available before making his decision. A great deal depends on where he is flying, how long he expects to be there, and what he will be doing at his destination. Carry-on luggage can run from $15 up. It depends on the store and the manufacturer. In most cases, a traveler should expect to pay about $25 for a carry-on roll along of good quality - slightly less for duffels and backpacks.

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