The (dreaded) Carry-On

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As air travel has become more expensive, one of the first areas where travelers have tried to have a leg up on the airlines is via carry on luggage. Most airlines allow passengers to carry on one small piece of luggage as well as one personal item free of charge. Checked luggage beyond this is then often charged at $25 for the first bag, $50 for the second, and so on — of course, specific charge amounts vary depending on the carrier. Once these common regulations went in to affect, I noticed an immediate reaction by passengers in the form of what they attempted to make fit in the overhead compartment as well as under the seat in front on them.

It’s now typical to see someone (try to) stuff an absolutely overflowing roller board piece of luggage in the overhead compartment while simultaneously shoving a “personal item” the size of a duffel bag underneath the seat in front of them. I kid you not, when I flew to Cincinnati last year a guy in the row in front of me had two overstuffed bags that he was trying to sneak in as “carry on” — he was absolutely thrilled when he made it on to the plane and the flight attendant informed him that his luggage was too large and would need to be checked to his final destination. With a chuckle, he confided that was his hope all along — he was crossing his fingers that he’d make it on the plane before they told him the pieces were too big so that he wouldn’t have to pay the checked baggage fee!

All of that to say, we’re less than a week out from our Spring Break trip to Austin, TX and I’m starting to think about packing. Since Matteo is 2 years old now, we had to pay for his ticket as well which means that between the three of us, we’re entitled to bring 3 personal items as well as 3 carry-on sized pieces of luggage.

Tony, ever the travel researcher, recently purchased new backpacks for he and I via Ebags. I learned early on when traveling with a little one, anything you can do to free up your hands will benefit you 10 fold — so backpacks became a staple of our carry-on routine. Originally, I just purchased one I found at clearance on Target, and it was fine, but our new bags from Ebags are specifically meant for travel. That means plenty of organizational compartments and zippers built in to make packing as a carry-on a breeze. In addition to the backpacks, we also ordered packing cubes to help us make the most of the space that we have. Hopefully, these purchases will allow us to travel solely with carry-ons, meaning we can get to the airport later and don’t have to wait at the luggage corral.

Full review of the products we purchased to come after our trip, but wish us luck in traveling as a carry on only family. Also, wish us luck in choosing the correct shows to download for Matteo — he’s usually a Wild Kratts loyalist, but lately the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been giving the Kratts a run for their money.

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