To Carry On vs To Check Luggage

Some people are completely against traveling with a carry on–as in your luggage in carry on size. They need to bring the extra-large bottle of shampoo and conditioner and hairspray, and full body wash and lotion. 4 outfits a day for a 7 day trip, plus some extras, “just in case”. I learned the very hard way of traveling with luggage.

  1.  It was extremely heavy and I had to carry it around old European streets AND up millions of flights of stairs (not even an exaggerated amount, have you ever been to Mont Saint-Michel?!).
  2. I will NEVER do that again.

Not only does it welcome you to bring more things than you need, it also gives the airline a chance to misplace your luggage. Now, you’re in a brand new place, possibly with a language that you do not know very well. I’m pretty sure the budget you placed for this trip did not include a brand new wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t happen all the time! Most of the time, it doesn’t. When I travel, I just think.. what if..? And that’s enough to keep me invested in carrying everything on. (I also worked for an Airline, and when people called about their lost luggage, they were the most difficult due to we didn’t deal with that in Reservations, and could only give them the baggage number.)

If you are going to check your bag, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s one thing less that you have to worry about while you’re walking through the airport. But PLEASE always keep these very important things in mind.

  • Don’t EVER put these things in your checked bag. These are things that get stolen, as well as these are things you don’t want to be without when you get to your destination.
    • Money
    • Keys
    • Jewelry
    • Glasses/Contacts/Contact Solution
    • Medicine
    • Electronics
    • Important Documents/Documentation
    • Valuables/Expensive Items
  • It doesn’t hurt to have at least one outfit in your carry on (just in case). Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean it gets lost, but if you have a delayed flight, misconnect, or decided to take the next flight, which may be tomorrow, your bags are still on that flight.
  • If you have a connecting flight, your bag is going from one plane to another (if it’s with the same airline). If there are 168 people on your flight, let’s say connecting with 15 other flights. Some of those bags are staying at that airport, and being transferred to 15 other planes, some of those planes may not even be at the airport yet. It’s easy to see where a bag may have gone to the wrong place.

Now, I’ve traveled with several different types of carry on luggage. If you’re more of a backpacker type–I would definitely recommend an Osprey Kyte 46. It fits most carry-on requirements for International Destinations, including RyanAir, Iberia Express, Alitalia, Southwest Airlines. It sits in the correct place so it doesn’t kill your back after a while. I would also recommend getting sized so you make sure you get the correct size of backpack. Very important.

Carry on liquids are great. Honestly, I’ve never run out of anything, nor have I ever had any issues with them either. And in one quart-sized bag, you would be surprised and what you can fit. I did a trail run of packing, seeing what I was going to bring for the most part, but I made sure my liquids were all packed, so I could easily throw that in my backpack while we weighed everything out.

3.41oz // 100mL

That’s the key. You’d be surprised at what you could bring that come in those sizes. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in my bag. And you’d be surprised, I have some extra space if I would like to bring a bottle or two of something else.


I downsize items into smaller bottles. For example, I found a shampoo/conditioner mix that works amazingly with my hair, so that’s what’s in the small white bottle. I have a hydrating mist in the spray bottle, a sample perfume bottle, primer, and concealer. All these things will last me 10 days, if not more. I can always throw them away, if I don’t want to carry them back. That’s the best thing about it!

Side note: My hand sanitizer has been back and forth from Europe 4 times and went to Bali, and has been used several times of day. That stuff lasts if you use it correctly. It is also something I recommend that you MUST bring with you.

Some gals are all about their Body Wash. And that’s awesome, you wear that body wash girl. I’m going to minimize my liquids and take a bar of soap. Just like make up remover, I have make up remover cloths. In my previous post I did mention that I have facial cleanser wipes, and I do, however, I’m weird about my face, and like the option of both.

How do you know if what you’re bringing needs to be in your liquid bag or not? My favorite website is TSA (<< you can click that). Type in what you’re asking about, and voila, it tells you exactly where it needs to be.

Also, please remember, any prescription medication does not need to be in your quart-sized bag. You can put that in something seperate, however, you may need to declare it. For the most part, I’ve never had an issue.

Now when it comes to clothes, I’m a woman. Somehow, I always over pack. Granted, I usually pack less when I travel abroad, than when I travel domestically. I’ve learned the art of public laundromats and washing my clothes in the sink–which is always an adventure, but sometimes the easiest method you can do. Mixing and matching your clothes, one cardigan that you can style differently with different outfits–I just got a Cardigan for the Three Kings that you can style two different ways in itself! I’m super excited to bring it to Europe with me!!

Plus, with less clothes and more space,
think of all the things you can bring back!
Haha, my friend did mail her clothes home from California,
and a hostel-mate mailed her clothes back from Austria as well.

I wouldn’t recommend bringing a hair dryer or straightner, I’ve blown mine up and my converter and adapter up. As well as it takes up space. I suppose a travel straightner would be much better–granted, with my frizzy, thick, curly hair, that would take me hours! But I have friends who always bring it with them.

That’s all for now lovelies 🙂

Categories: Adventure, Airplane, beauty, france, Germany, Italy, Make up, passport, Spontaneous, travel, Uncategorized, Weekend Trip

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