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Carry-On vs. Checked Bags: The Puzzling Travel Dilemma

Date 18 May 2016 | Posted by Linda Paul


In today’s times with airlines becoming increasingly strict about the baggage fees, travelers face a lot of miseries. One of these is the famous debate of carry-on vs. checked bags. It’s never easy deciding if you have to pick one of these.

Let’s put this straight. Your baggage is screened through the X-ray. If it exceeds certain requirements, it has to be checked. If it matches the airline requirements, you can keep it safe near you inside the overhead bin.

Let’s try to solve the puzzling travel dilemma of carry-on vs. checked bags.

1. Carry-on

Carry On Vs. Checked Bags

Keep calm and carry-on. Can you possibly travel only with a carry-on?

One of the biggest advantages of traveling with a carry-on is that you get to embrace the simple way of life. Many travelers have the tendency to over pack. We keep justifying how the things we are dumping in our luggage bags would turn out to be extremely useful. Most of the times, it turns out to be crap. If you succeed at becoming a minimalist packer, you’ll save yourself from a lot of hassles.

Getting around the airport and elsewhere is comparatively much easier with your carry-on. If you’re traveling somewhere new, this is exactly the kind of hassle-less experience you require. With less luggage, it is easy to hop on and off from public transportation and you can also save money on taxi because it’s relatively easier to walk with a carry-on.

Many travelers carry their whole universe inside the luggage bags. This makes it so difficult to look after them all the time. With a carry-on, it’s easy to keep a track of the luggage.

If nothing else convinces you to travel only with a carry-on, this would. One of the biggest perks of flying with a carry-on is that you don’t have to wait for your luggage. You leave and arrive with your luggage with no misery of losing it. It’s surely a wonderful feeling to hop off the plane and escape all the crowds while they miserably wait for their luggage.

To master your carry-on packing, you must study the airline policies in detail. Think about the outfits you would be packing and minimize it as much as possible. It’s best to wear the bulkiest items instead of packing them up.

2. Checked Bags

Checked Bags

If you are still toying with the idea of carry-on vs. checked bags, let’s take a look into what happens when you check-in your luggage.

Traveling evokes a lot of temptations and brings out a new side for us. All of us like to look forward to our vacations. However, some like to make it extra special for themselves. From dressing up like they’ve never done before to getting amazing souvenirs. Sometimes you never even realize the space you’d need to pack all those items. This is where the checked bags are a clear winner. You can pack whatever you feel like, and don’t have to face the misery of repeating your clothes. Ladies, you can relate to it better than anyone else!

Another advantage of going with checked baggage is that you don’t have to carry your luggage everywhere. Walking all over the airport with carry-on can sometimes become really daunting. This becomes a hassle especially when you are put through connecting flights. Looking after the luggage and moving it around is what most travelers would wish to avoid at all times.

It’s true that airlines have become strict when it comes to checked baggage. However, that doesn’t mean they are being generous with carry-on either. If there are about 280 passengers boarding the plane, expect a lot of space wars over the overhead bin. Let’s take an example of American Airlines. If you really wish to secure your space in the overhead bin, you’ll have to board earlier than most of the passengers. The airline charges you $10 each way if you wish to board in Group 1, the early boarding group. Everything comes with a cost. Unless you don’t have a guarantee that you’re boarding ahead of everyone else, you’re putting yourself through a risky situation.

On a lighter note, checking your bags mean you wouldn’t face those deadly glares of the cabin crew and passengers since your bags are out of sight!

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