Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thoughts on Carry-Ons

I know I am not the only one who has noticed the large numbers of people who now attempt to carry on to an airplane the largest piece of luggage permissible. This is presumably so they do not have to check luggage and risk it being lost, or maybe just don't want the hassle of checking and picking up luggage. It is a great idea. In theory. In reality, airplanes are not built to accommodate such large amounts of bulky luggage in the overhead bins. People end up storing their items rows away, which frankly, is not fair. If it does not fit in the compartment above your row, it should be checked.

I was a bit apprehensive about checking my one piece of luggage for my trip, but as I had to take suits, shoes and a variety of clothes for a week, I had to do it. My carry-on was perfect. I only took a messenger bag. I was able to fit in two paperback books, my netbook, some Luna bars, toothpaste, toothbrush and other personal items, plus a lightweight change of clothes. It was all I needed for the flights, plus a safety back-up in case I got stranded somewhere without my suitcase for a night. It easily fit under the seat in front of me. I did not need to worry about overhead bin storage and anything I wanted during the flights was easily accessible. In addition, it was lightweight and easy to sling across my body for travel through the airports. Even once I had my large rolling suitcase, the messenger bag was easy to carry. I had no problem making it through airports and even the London tube system with that combination of luggage.

I have mentioned messenger bags before, and I swear by the two I have. Although a backpack might be easier to carry long-distances, for safety and ease of movement, a messenger bag is the way to go. On the tube, a backpack would not have worked well - I could not have seen if anyone was trying to get into it, or if I was about to hit someone behind me with it. I would have needed to take it off and carry it. Also, I could even get things out of my messenger bag without taking it off - can't do that with a backpack!

Messenger bags are found for sale with luggage, and if you don't have one yet, consider it the next time you need to take even a day trip. I have never been sorry that is my choice of bag I carry to work every day and also my top choice for travel.

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