Traveling is expensive, and checked in luggage makes it a tad worse. Airlines also have a nasty habit of misplacing baggage, stranding passengers without their personal belongings for days or even weeks. It is for this reason that we see a large number of travelers take up flying with only their carry on.
But is does it apply for when backpacking, you might ask.
Don’t you need to pack lots to make sure you are ready for whatever may come?
Yes, and no. Carry-on luggage is great for several reasons and not so much for equally good reasons. We’ll let you make up your mind.
1. You don’t need to pay for it
Carry-on luggage is baggage you carry with you at no cost.
Do however check the weight and size limitation for carry-ons with your airline. Some are very stringent with these and might charge you extra.
2. It doesn’t get lost
You carry the carry-on, making it very difficult to get lost.
This is advantageous as it gives you access to your belongings when you want unlike with a checked-in bag.
3. It’s easier to carry
Carry-on bags are lighter and much easier to lug around than the bigger bags that we usually check-in.
4. You don’t need to wait in like to check it in
With only carry-on luggage the only line you have to wait in is when you’re boarding the plane.
5. You can walk out of the airport as you land
You don’t need to pray for your luggage to not be lost and hold your breath till it appears on the conveyor belt since you now travel light with carry-on luggage.
1. You can’t pack much
Carry-on bags cannot accommodate much and this might be troublesome if going on very long journeys.
Don’t let this bother you however, clothes can be bought wherever you go!
2. If waiting for a connecting flight, you’d have to be carrying it
Some layovers are short while some are very long and being stuck with a large carry on and hauling it around the airport isn’t ideal.
You can, however, store your carry on in a locker for a small price.
3. All liquids will have to be taken on 100 ml bottles
All airlines as you probably know require their passengers to not carry liquids exceeding 100 ml.
You will, therefore, have to make sure you stay within these security parameters.
4. You’d have to be one of the first to board the plane to have enough space for your bag
The cabin has limited space and it’s important that you become one of the first to board it and stow your luggage before it gets too congested.
5. Not all airlines have equal carry on policies
As travelers are getting smarter, so are airlines.
Some decrease the size of the carry-ons allowed and some have begun charging for carry-ons, making our #1 Pro invalid.
It is, therefore, best that you familiarize yourself with what is allowed with your airline to prevent any unpleasant surprises during boarding.