5 Reasons to Use a Carry-on Bag

You’re about to go on a trip which means it’s decision time: Do you take the roomy checked-bag or the smaller carry-on? You know where we stand (well, you do if you read the title) but let us explain why.

Using a carry-on? Pack this, not that

LISTEN: FareCompare travel ace Rick Seaney won’t travel any other way – here’s  why.

5 Reasons to Use a Carry-on

1. It’s cheap: On most airlines, a carry-on bag is free (exceptions: Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit). Foregoing a checked-bag means a savings of $50 on most airlines and surely you can find a better use for fifty bucks than lining your carrier’s pockets.

2. It won’t get lost: A carry-on bag stays with you.* That’s means it won’t wind up as a mishandled baggage statistic (translation: lost bag). Save yourself a lot of grief – not to mention filling out the paperwork – by keeping your bag by your side.

3. It’s liberating: You won’t pack any of those maybe outfits that you’ll never wear because there won’t be room. It’s amazing how you’ll whittle down your belongings to the essentials yet still have everything you need. Not sure about the best way to pack a carry-on? This video shows you how.

4. It’s convenient: Anything you might need during a flight is at your fingertips, from snacks to medications, from electronics to important documents and more.

5. It’s quick: Many travel pros cite this as the very best thing about using a carry-on – you get to skip the crowds and the long wait at the baggage carousel. Just walk off the plane and out of the airport. Bonus: You’re first in line for a taxi.

*Well, usually, but once in a while an airline may relieve you of your carry-on as happened to FareCompare’s Rick Seaney. Tip: Make sure your bag meets your airline’s size and weight requirements.

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Published: June 19, 2014