Some trips it is just not possible to carry it all in carry-on sized baggage. It depends on the weather, the airline’s carry-on baggage restrictions, your need to take certain stuff (maybe you have some books and gifts to bring along) that you normally wouldn’t. In our case, Pat and I decided to do a year’s worth of clothes shopping in America — something we aren’t usually accustomed to doing.
Still, after our big trip to the USA, I will be converting back to my old ways of less is more in terms of a backpack in hopes of being carry-on friendly as much as possible. Why? Here’s why:
Your checked luggage could get lost or delayed.
Yes, even after the tumultuously long journey from Las Vegas to Sydney, on arrival we found ourselves waiting at the luggage carousel for one of our checked bags. It went around and around until finally no new bags were dropped; we were missing a bag. To our surprise, there was already a long line at the baggage service center of people from the same flight that were also missing some luggage. It turns out that our suitcase was on the next flight out, but it also meant that we had to wait another day for it to arrive.
You could be without important items for longer-than-expected periods of time.
As we stood in line at the baggage service center, I kept thinking about the stuff inside that bag like the new clothes I bought in the States and my $1200 TMJ appliances that I wear at night to keep my jaw aligned and my head from hurting. I cursed myself repeatedly for not chucking the latter into my carry-on like I so diligently used to. For those, it’s not the money that’s the issue; it’s the fact that I can’t find a TMJ specialist in Australia, let alone a dentist that can process the same types of appliances. Plus, I had already been without them for 2 days, and a third day was just going to add to the amount of discomfort I was bound to feel.
Your checked luggage is open to TSA search at any cost.
The suitcase that did arrive in Sydney with us was another special indication of why I need to go carry-on. Even though I’m sure the lock on that suitcase was TSA approved, they proceeded to break the zippers to get the lock off. In other words, the suitcase was damaged just so TSA could get a closer look at what was inside.
Checking luggage can cost you money.
This trip did not involve any extra baggage fees, but there are several airlines around the world that require a fee in order to check a bag. In that case, it is easy to see why going carry-on only would be a wiser, more budget-friendly option.
There’s ease of mind knowing that everything you brought with you is with you at all times. Sure, it may not be easy to whittle down your list into a carry-on size, but it can be done. I’ll hopefully make it happen from this point forward on every trip I take.