I’ll be the first one to admit my distaste over the proliferation of variations on the now-famous Keep Calm and Carry On wartime phrase. (I’m sure we can all think of at least one example we’ve seen recently – Keep Calm and Obi-Wan comes to mind for me.) But when I decided to write about the advantages of carrying on your luggage while travelling, I couldn’t think of a more fitting phrase to use. With many airlines now charging for checked baggage, carrying on luggage has become the way of travelling for many passengers. Based on personal experience, here are the five reasons I try to always bring my luggage with me onto the plane:
- As I mentioned above, many airlines now charge for checked baggage. For most airlines, you’re looking at $25 for checking your first item and possibly more for checking additional items. On a round-trip flight, that’s $50 plus taxes per person for one piece of checked luggage. Think of all you could do at your destination with an extra $50 in your pocket, especially if the currency exchange is in your favour.
- I know where my luggage is at all times, meaning that the likelihood of me arriving at my destination without my luggage because the airline “lost” or “misplaced” it is essentially non-existent. After arriving in Paris, France during my first trip abroad in 2008, I quickly learned that my luggage had taken a different flight. When my suitcase did arrive at the hotel 24 hours later it was missing the pullout handle, which resulted in a very awkward week of rolling it around. And, to add insult to injury, the airline was ultimately not prepared to take any responsibility for the damage.
- I have less to haul around with me while exploring whatever destination it is I’m visiting. Because of size restrictions on your carry-on items, you’re forced to be efficient with your packing and pack only what you need (I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve packed workout gear with the best intentions and never touched it until I returned home and unpacked).
- By keeping my items with me at all times, I never, ever have to wait at a luggage carousel. This saves valuable time and frustration, especially if you’re like me and Murphy’s Law dictates that your luggage will likely be one of the last items unloaded from the plane.
- I love the opportunity to save money while travelling. Not only will you save valuable dough by avoiding baggage fees but you will also restrict your purchasing power abroad as your suitcase will probably already be too full to fit anything else. This means no more souvenir purchases destined to be shoved away in a random drawer and never seen again.
Thanks for reading. Now, please carry on …