If you are a frequent flier, you understand how important it is to have a carry-on bag that meets your needs. And you probably have a clear idea of what you want. But if you don’t fly frequently, you might think any bag that meets the size requirements will do. If you’re taking a short flight to Spain for your holidays, you’ll be grand with almost anything. But if you are preparing for a long-haul flight, especially one with a transfer or layover, you want a carry-on bag that makes your trip easier not harder. So here are some criteria to consider.
Obviously, it needs to fit the size requirements. But you need to check the requirements for every airline you’ll be using on your trip, including your return trip. It doesn’t need to withstand the sort of handling checked luggage does, but you still want it to be sturdy. Those are two arguments for a hard-shell carry-on. You don’t have worry about it exceeding the size if you overfill it. (But do check the weight.) And a hard shell will protect your belongings. What else? Here are some of the top things to consider when selecting the ultimate carry-on bag for a long-haul flight.
Top 3 Criteria for Your Carry-On Luggage
1. Your Career
- You are going to be carrying it. If you have a transfer or long layover, you might be carrying it for some distance. So think about what the easiest and most comfortable option for you is. For most people, a backpack is it. A backpack leaves your hands free and doesn’t weigh down your shoulder the way a heavy messenger bag or duffle bag can. Some people prefer a bag with wheels. Before you head out, try loading up your bag and wheeling it around. Does it tip over? Do the wheels get stuck? If you have a tight connection, few things are as annoying and easy to prevent as a difficult bag.
- Consider what you are going to put in it. Having a variety of compartments helps. At a minimum, look for a bag that has enough separate compartments for snacks, toiletries, and entertainment. If you are bringing a spare outfit in your bag, a separate compartment will keep it fresh. Are you bringing a laptop or tablet? Look for a bag that has a section to keep your device safe.
- Is it easy to open and close? Avoid any gimmicky closings such as buttons or buckles. Zippers are best, but make sure they are good quality and don’t stick. Velcro can wear out and get gummed up with lint. You might need to get something quickly. It’s so crowded on planes these days that you want to be able to access your stuff with minimal fuss. And remember, you could the lucky soul the transit authorities decide needs to have their bag searched. Making it easy for them makes things easier for you.
Wherever you are going, no doubt you need to have some of your things with you. Finding the best way to get them there makes a big difference and takes a lot of the stress out of getting there.