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Best Type of Luggage

Tips on the best type of luggage for air travel.  Business travelers could use garment bags and a rolling suitcase. Souvenir buying vacationers could use a nesting luggage set.  Traveling with a pet requires airline approved pet carriers.

What kind of luggage is best?

As with anything, the more money you spend on luggage the more you will get...most of the time. However, the average traveler won't need to spend a fortune for a quality bag. Any brand of luggage you can buy today is pretty sturdy and should hold up to the burliest baggage handler.

Leaving this question best answered by looking at your travel purpose and lifestyle. If you're going on a business trip and you need your cloths to remain wrinkle free, get a garment bag and a rolling suitcase with a garment bag hook. Off on a vacation filled with outdoor activities where all you will need are your shoes, tee-shirt and shorts; grab a locking duffle bag with a reinforced handle. Going to an exotic location that will require the purchase of many souvenirs, definitely get a nesting luggage set. Pack the smaller bag with the things you will need for the trip and place it inside the larger case so you have a way to bring your treasures home.   

Carry-on verses Checked Luggage

Again this goes back to the purpose of the trip. Decide how much stuff you are going to need while you're away. Pack an imaginary suitcase, and then ask yourself, "What I can do without." From here, find a piece of luggage that the items will fit in without requiring you to overstuff the bag. Always leave some room for new items that you just can't go home without.

Once you are packed then you can determine which option is best for this particular trip. If the piece of luggage is 22"x14"x9" or smaller, definitely go with carry-on. Things to remember when doing carry-on luggage include the following:

  • Don't over stuff carry-on luggage, the flight attendant will make you check the bag if you do.
  • Passengers are only allowed one piece of carry-on luggage. However, most airlines exclude items such as computers, purses, cameras, diaper bags and child safety seats (if they will be occupied during the flight). 
  • Pay attention to your bag after you have placed it in the overhead. Other passengers may move it to another area to make room for their bag.

If your suitcase is larger, or you have more than one bag, get them checked. However, be sure to pack a small carry-on bag filled with a change of clothes, any prescription drugs you need as well as any money or jewelry required for the trip. Most airlines will allow passengers 2 pieces of luggage free of charge. Things to remember about checked luggage include:

  • Passengers will be charged for any luggage weighing more than 50 lbs.
  • There will be a charge for luggage measuring more that 62 inches.
  • If there is a fee paid on one carrier and then you switch carriers on a connecting flight, you will be required to pay the fee again.
  • Fees are charged for each flight, not by ticket. Even round trip ticket holders will be required to pay the fee for the return flight. 
  • Don't mark you luggage with a red ribbon. Everyone is doing that; find another marker to make identifying your luggage easier at the luggage carrousel.

Pet Carriers

Pet carriers come in many different styles today. There is the hard plastic kind and the fancy wheeled carriers that can also double as a backpack for your pet. Before you purchase your carrier, contact the airline to find you what type of requirements they have on carriers. Things to remember about flight with pets include:

  • Airlines will only allow cats and dogs to fly.
  • Carry-on pets are not permitted on all flights, check with you airline before you go. 
  • Maximum size for a carry-on pet carrier is 23"x13"x9".
  • Maximum size for a check pet carrier without a fee is 40"x27"x30" and cannot weigh more than 100 lbs with the pet inside. 
  • Pet carriers must have ventilation on 2 sides and be made of hard plastic to be checked. 
  • If the air temperature at the departure city or arrival city is below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees pets will not be allowed to fly in the luggage area. 
  • Pets not accepted on a flight are still the responsibility of the owner. You must make arrangements for your pet to be picked-up before the flight departs. 

Related Article: Airport Security >>

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