Carry-on and Check-in Luggage

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Natalie Rabinowitz

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Smooth Sailing through Security

Carry-on and check-in. To speed up going through security, have your zip-top liquid bag easily accessible, empty your pockets, and take off your jacket, belt and, yes, shoes (in most US cities). Have your laptop and/or electronic devices removed from your luggage and ready for screening. Let’s face it, who wants to wait behind someone who is jumbling through their “stuff” holding up the line? It is inconsiderate. Let us pay it forward at airport security.

Carry-on 3-1-1 Toiletries 

  • Opt for carry-on toiletries. Each liquid and gel toiletries must be in a separate container measuring up to 100 ml (3.4 oz) or less. Not permitted are large containers that are half-full and rolled toothpaste tubes.
  • Carry-on toiletries need to be in one clear transparent zip-top bag (per passenger) measuring up to 15.24 x 22.86 cm (6 x 9 in) and must be able to close completely.
  • Some exceptions exist for necessary liquids, such as baby formula and medicines.
  • If you are staying at a hotel, check beforehand to see if they supply items such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and razors. Do they have a hair dryer available?
  • Pack necessities, buy toiletries upon arrival and try out what the locals use.

Carry-on Luggage

Airlines allow passengers to carry onboard one personal item (handbag, computer bag) and one carry-on bag at no charge. For most airlines, the carry-on bag must be no larger than 45 linear inches and fit in an overhead compartment or under your seat. (Linear size is the length + width + height to give you total linear inches. For example, 8″ thick + 15″ wide + 22″ thick = 45 linear inches). However, do check with your airline for their allowable carry-on size and weight limits.

Check-in Luggage

You’ll have fewer hassles checking your bag than going through security with a carry-on. Some items, such as a Swiss Army knife and hiking/ski poles, cannot be carried on and must be checked in. See the latest list of restrictions with the airline you will be using.

Travelling light is to your benefit even when checking your bag. Why? A piece of light luggage doesn’t run the risk of incurring an overweight baggage fee. Plus, you still need to haul it around once you reach your destination. A light bag means greater comfort and freedom.

By Train

Eurail has no weight limitations but still suggests packing light. In the U.S., travelling by train is less restrictive:  Amtrak allows two carry-ons and four checked-in bags.

Regardless, you will still be lugging your bags around and unless you move, travelling light is always the best option, especially in Europe with short trips and “city breaks”. Whatever train, plane or ferry you plan on taking, check beforehand. Each will be different, and restrictions are always changing.

Luggage Storage

Gone are the days when you could store your luggage at the train station. I came across RadicalStorage when I was in Stockholm and did not want to lug my bag around as the hostel I was staying in did not have storage. It’s a brilliant idea. I searched their website for a location, paid a small fee and dropped my bag at a shop for the day. 

6 comments

  1. So many useful information! I never considered preparing myself and luggage before getting to security checks! plus i never managed to travel light !! thanks for this post I will save it for later to help with packing.

  2. I believe you have everything covered! Thanks for the wonderful information and advice. What an exciting life you live. It makes me envious.
    Wilma

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