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The Best Carry On Bags for Travelers

Updated on March 14, 2016
DeborahDian profile image

Deborah has four daughters, son-in-laws, seven grandchildren and other people for whom she buys gifts. She writes about her best gift ideas

Airline Travel is Much Easier When You Can Carry On Your Own Bags - And It Can Save Money, Too!

Wherever you are traveling, having dependable luggage that is easy to carry onto an airplane can make your trip much easier and less stressful. It can also save you money.
Wherever you are traveling, having dependable luggage that is easy to carry onto an airplane can make your trip much easier and less stressful. It can also save you money. | Source

Carry On Travel Bags make Air Travel Easier

Nearly everyone needs a good carry on travel bag if they travel by air frequently. They are convenient and can save you money. If you need to check your bags, use ones that get torn up easily, or if they will not fit into the overhead compartment, air travel can be especially difficult.

As we all know, it has become increasingly expensive to travel, especially if you are accustomed to checking a suitcase. While some airlines still allow you to check a bag without a charge, other airlines are charging $25 for your first checked piece of luggage and significantly more if you need to check more than one bag.

As a result, many people are discovering that they can save a significant amount of money if they have a carry on bag that fits into the overhead space on the airplane, especially if it is large enough to carry everything they need for a few days. To add to the confusion, many airlines have slightly different luggage size requirements for carry on bags. In general, if your piece of luggage is about 22 inches x 13 inches x 9 inches (or 56 cm x 33 cm x 23 cm), then it will meet the carry on requirements for most airlines, even if the bag has an expansion panel that allows it to be enlarged to about 11.5 inches.

However, some airlines, especially foreign airlines, have made their overhead compartments a bit smaller. If you travel overseas frequently or your wish to be particularly cautious when selecting a bag, you may want to limit the length to 20 inches. More and more manufacturers are designing bags that are compliant with the requirements of virtually every airline, including the vast majority of foreign carriers.

If you want to be absolutely certain that your luggage will fit in the airline's overhead compartment, you may want to check the airline's website or call the airline's customer service number, to be certain that any new luggage you purchase is the right size for the airline you are most likely to use.

The nice thing about carry on travel bags is that they can do double duty. They are also convenient when you need an overnight bag for a trip when you are traveling by car or train. Small carry on bags are typically the perfect size for a short business trip or a weekend away.

An Excellent, Durable Bag That is Only 20" in Length!

Samsonite Luggage Winfield 2 Spinner Bag, Silver, 20 Inch
Samsonite Luggage Winfield 2 Spinner Bag, Silver, 20 Inch

Samsonite is well known for its durable, practical bags. This one would be perfect to carry on your plane. Carry on bags like this one, which is only 20" in length, are more likely to fit in the overhead compartments of a wide variety of airlines. It is a safe choice if you are purchasing a new carry on bag.

If you want to learn more about this item or read the reviews, simply click on the blue product name above and you will be taken directly to Amazon where you can learn more about this specific item or search for other colors and designs.

 

Many Designers Make Appropriate Carry on Luggage

Whether you are buying a gift for a college student, a retiree, or a young person who has just gotten their first job, buying them a nice item of designer luggage is a great way to get them started. Many of them will really appreciate a carry on bag from their favorite designer, especially if they are going to be doing a lot of travel for work or pleasure.

There are a variety of options available. While one of our daughters loves Coach luggage, my husband prefers Italian leather. Choosing the appropriate piece of luggage for the right person is important.

However, it is wise to not fall so in love with a specific brand of luggage that you choose pieces that are not durable or practical. Every piece of luggage should be made to withstand a bit of rough handling, while holding everything you need.

Garment Bags That Can Be Carried On

One item that businessmen, in particular, seem to appreciate is a garment bag. At one time, many airlines had a closet by the front door of the plane where passengers could place a hanging bag. However, many newer plane designs have eliminated this closet. As a result, owning a rolling garment bag that will fit into the overhead compartment can be a good solution.

If you are looking for a handy garment bag, make sure it is designed to be only 22" long, or smaller, and will hold the items you need for a typical trip. Check with the airlines you use most frequently in order to be sure of the size limitations.

A Rolling Garment Bag is Ideal for Many Travelers

Travelpro Crew 8 Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag (22 Inch),Black,One Size
Travelpro Crew 8 Carry-On Rolling Garment Bag (22 Inch),Black,One Size

This rolling garment bag is perfect for the traveler who needs to take a suit or dress along and wants to use the overhead bin.

If you want to learn more about this item or read the reviews, simply click on the blue product name above and you will be taken directly to Amazon where you can learn more about this specific item or search for other colors and designs.

 

Carry on Luggage Styles that are Right for You

Many people have specific types of carry on bags that appeal to them. For example, you may want a backpack style carry on bag, leather luggage, or luggage with either two or four wheels.

Some people also want bags that come in certain colors. For example, you may want a bag that stands out from all the others when it comes down the chute at baggage return. On the other hand, you may want a bag that comes from a particular designer, meets specific price criteria, or looks professional and conservative for a business trip.

If you decide to purchase your luggage online, make sure you read the product reviews that have been written by people who purchased that particular bag. Those reviews may help you decide if the luggage is likely to meet your expectations. In this way, you really can choose the best carry on bag for the only person that matters ... you!

Even if you do not order your luggage online, you may want to check the online reviews before purchasing your suitcase in a store.

What is your favorite kind of carry on luggage?

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    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      3 years ago from Orange County, California

      With the right carry-on luggage, many people can take trips without ever having to check their bags. This is especially appealing to business people and people who do not like the idea that a baggage handler could steal something out of their checked bags.

    • Venus Rivera profile image

      Daisy Rivera 

      3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I hope so thanks.

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I hope you find your daughter and yourselves the right style of luggage in order to have a comfortable trip.

    • Venus Rivera profile image

      Daisy Rivera 

      3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Deborah, thank you for writing this great hub piece. My daughter is going on vacation soon and my husband and I, needed some help finding a quality carry-on luggage. Great tips and suggestions.

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      3 years ago from Orange County, California

      If you love to travel, one of the bags in this collection is sure to make it an easier experience for you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      I prefer a compact bag that fits in the overhead bin and has lots of zippers and pockets inside and out for things I want to stash. It must have wheels and an easy-slide handle as well. Durability matters, and weight. Leather is too heavy for me. I prefer the Gore-Tex type fabrics. My dream luggage is a matching set, one for the overhead bin, one to double as purse, lunch bag for long flights, laptop carrier, etc., and that fits under the seat. Oh, and did I mention the Holy Grail in luggage: Made from sustainable materials by a company that does business only with Fair Trade Certified companies. Now that would be something indeed.

      Afraid I may have answered more than you intended with that question. : ) Thank you for all the tips for choosing the right luggage.

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: Having a bright colored bag is a terrific idea!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 

      4 years ago from New York

      I do a lot of traveling so am always looking for ways to make it more efficient. One thing I do now is use a bright colored bag (turquoise) so if I have to check it I can spot it right away amidst all the black bags when coming down the conveyor belt. Helps to keep your eye on it better too if unable to store it close by if carrying it on the transport

    • LauraCarExpert profile image

      LauraCarExpert 

      5 years ago

      anythign with wheels and a handle works for me =)

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @LornsA178: There are so many practical handbags for women, today!

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 

      5 years ago

      These are cool carry on bags, my favorite is the handbag briefcase purse.

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @CoolFool83: Thank you! I agree that having the right luggage makes traveling much easier.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 

      5 years ago

      Good luggage comes in handy when traveling. Really good stuff!

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @endamclarnon: I agree that taking carry on bags on planes is so much easier than dealing with checked bags. I especially like using carryons when we have to change planes. We don't have to worry about whether or not our luggage made the transfer!

    • endamclarnon profile image

      Enda McLarnon 

      5 years ago from Belfast, Ireland

      We moved to backpack carry on bags especially with the introduction of the low cost airlines. We also hated waiting for baggage at the end of a flight as that can truly waste an hour of your life. This is a very good article with great detail.

    • DeborahDian profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Carr 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      @TACTCI LM: Thanks! I try to use carry on bags as much as possible, and I avoid checking bags if I don't have to.

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 

      5 years ago

      Great looking carry on luggage bags!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      I like ones with wheels.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 

      5 years ago

      I like carry-on and there are so many stylish designs now. Nice selection here.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 

      5 years ago

      I am a traveller! On the Internet, but also in real life, where I prefer to travel light, with a practical bag - that can be used as cabin luggage on the plane - yet big enough to hold the essential.

    • Escapes2 profile image

      Escapes2 

      5 years ago

      Carry on bags definitely make travel easier. Great selection of luggage.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      5 years ago

      Nice selection of Carry-Ons; too bad they make you spend an extra $50. or more to check them in. I sure do miss the old days of flying (pre-911).

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