When travelling, which is better—using a carry-on or checking your luggage?



Advantages of Carry-ons

  • I always travel with a carry-on. Fits everything I need for a week, fits on top, and fits underneath. Main reason, Easy on, easy off.
  • Carry-on....I know it will arrive with me at my destination and will not be "beat up" by baggage handlers.
  • Definitely carry-on. Much faster, much more secure.
  • ABSOLUTELY carry-on!  It's easier to get out of the airport, and forces me to reduce the amount of volume I'm bringing.
  • I very rarely check my luggage. Not only for the money savings, but my luggage has not arrived at my final destination too many times to count on both hands. This is very frustrating especially when I am on a tour and moving from place to place. This makes it very difficult for my luggage to eventually catch up to me. I have also had my luggage lost overseas (notably in Morocco) where buying new clothing is challenging to say the least. Sizes are not comparable and often the styles for women are not what I am used to wearing! Baggage handlers have often been quite careless with my checked luggage. I recently flew to Florida with a brand new checked bag that was not inexpensive. I would not have recognized it on the carousel if the color had not been so distinctive. It was filthy, dented and one corner was torn. I have learned to be a minimalist when traveling and have taken enough clothes for a 3-week tour in Europe in my carry-on. You can always buy health and beauty supplies when you arrive. I do not overstuff my bag, and I always let others go before me if I have to remove my luggage from the overhead bin. Pack wisely and be courteous and carry-on luggage will work for you.
  • It arrives when you do. You're not standing at the baggage pick-up wondering if your luggage will show up.


Advantages of Checked Luggage

  • No worry about all of the compliance issues, or having to drag it around through the airport. No pushing and shoving to get the larger carry-ons in the overhead storage. And if you board toward the end, the storage is all taken.
  • I'm short, so I always check luggage and fly carefree on Southwest Airlines. Best airline, free first bag. I don't travel a lot, but when I do, I fly Southwest.
  • Check bags if: Connecting flights and/or small aircraft. Hauling bags around airports will cause your body damage. Small aircraft is not equipped for on-board luggage.
  • There's no hassle trying to find bin space, and it's easier to deplane when you're not fighting with other passengers who are all trying to grab their belongings.
  • No need to get sample-sized liquids. It's easier to get through security. Also, it doesn't really save you all that much time getting out of the airport. For me, the extra hassle of dragging a bag around the airport, getting through security, stowing and pulling it out of the overhead bins is enough to check my bag.
When my wife and I fly, we certainly use both, depending on the trip. But, we always have carry-on luggage. We have essential items in our carry-on bags, such as medications, a few intimate items or shirts, along with toothbrush and toothpaste and such in the requisite quart bag to freshen us up along the way. For longer trips of 2 weeks or more, we share one larger bag for items we don't want to stuff into our carry-on bags, especially if we need to pack nicer clothes for less casual affairs. Since cruises have a little dressier dining, at least some of the time, for those, we'll check a hanging wardrobe, with or without a checked bag besides that. During my infrequent trips involving commercial carriers over the years, including around the world, my checked luggage has always arrived with me. From what I've heard, I guess I've been lucky.

A long time ago, we would each carry a large and a small suitcase.  The large ones got checked and the small ones were carried on.  


Over time, we reduced this to one large, and our carry-ons.


Our checked luggage has been lost numerous times - in Europe, South America and Asia.  And in North America.


The lost luggage issue notwithstanding -  the dragging a large suitcase up and down steep stairs had become increasingly tiresome - sooo - we now use only our well-packed carry-ons.  Whatta relief!!  Smiley Very Happy                   

Travelled extensively for business and pleasure over the last 30 years and always check in as much as possible.  Only ever had a bag go astray once.  Usually fly with Delta and BA. Great to have your hands free while walking around in the terminal and not fighting for overhead space when you board. Even more true now with increased security and long lines. Keeps life simple!

When I traveled for business, I always carried-on to ensure I was prepared for client meetings once I landed. Everything was time-critical. Now that I'm retired and only travel for pleasure, I buy budget fares mostly with connnecting flights and often in the last boarding group. I make it a point to relax and enjoy the airport experience and the opportunity to meet new people. I pack a carry-on suitcase with my clothing and a backpack with prescriptions, snacks, overnight essentials and my tablet. When the gate agents ask for volunteers to check carry-on bags since most flights are full or nearly so, I step forward with the suitcase and check it to my final destination at no additional charge. Most of the time my bag is already at baggage claim by the time I arrive and I haven't had to lug it through the airport to make connecting flights. 

Cary on

I always find the nearest Walmart to airport at destination prior to travel; no checked luggage; then donate clothes to nearest site, also checked out prior to travel.






I don't travel like most people, I would guess. I can't possibly fit everything I need for a typical trip into a bag that I take onboard.

   A 'typical' trip for me would be a combination of extensive walking and/or hiking. So, I need hiking boots, pole, emergency gear that goes into a day pack, and a combination of warm and cold weather clothes. So, always have a large, stuffed, suitcase to check along with a daypack I can take on board. We've only had a problem getting luggage once in all the years of travel.

I miss the days befor 9/11 when air travel was much simpler. My career had me on 2-3 flights per week for over 30 years. I always checked bags before security became so heavy but began to carry on to save time. Now that I am retired we tend to check bags again but all of the travels are for pleasure and time is not as critical.

checked luggage. i need to carry what  want also. ususally southwest. and small shoulder carry on. tried small checked luggage didn't work. can't keep wearing same clothes over and over. and  can on  do light underwear washing.


Carry-ons, especially if I have a flight connection to make. If I pack right, I can carry

enough for a 7 to 10 day trip, depending on where I am going. Having access to a

 washing machine makes it even easier to pack. I use soft sided bags I found on

Eddie Bauer, sturdy but weighting less than 1/2 lb that I can stuff loads of clothes

and travel items, and when you get to your destination they fit in the corner of a 

drawer. Think about what you wil need for the trip, pack, unpack to see if you packed

too much or missed something, then repack and have a safe enjoyable trip.

If the author carried enough clothing for three weeks in a carry-on, she either took "wash 'n wear drip-dry clothes, or there were a lot of days when she wore the same, dirty clothes!!  I'll take my chances with checked-bags, Thankew!

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