The Art of Carry-On Travel

Reader Contribution by Marilyn Jones
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The positive part of checking luggage is you can take more to your vacation destination and bring back more souvenirs. The negative side is the addition fees for domestic flights and some international flights, collecting luggage for customs on internationals flights when connection times are tight, and the possibility of your luggage being lost or delayed.

So what’s the solution?

Until recently, I was in the checked-bag camp; always taking along anything and everything I thought I might need during the time I was away. When I was planning a March trip to Finland, I decided I was going to figure out a way to only take a carry-on suitcase and backpack.

I already had the suitcase, but I needed a backpack. Partnering with Eagle Creek, I chose a backpack. It was just the right size to comply with airline regulations for a “personal” item. In it I packed two DSLR cameras in a protective padded pouch, headphones, medications, paperwork and magazines, cellphone, toiletries divided by liquid and non-liquid, and my car keys.

Now for my carry-on suitcase. I found three Eagle Creek products that turned out to be invaluable to my goal of carry-on packing — a compression sac set, mini crossbody purse and packable duffle.

The compression sacs worked perfectly. Remember I was going to Finland, so I had sweaters, heavy wool socks, ski pants, gloves and other outdoor gear to pack. After filling up a sac and sealing it, I put it on the floor and knelt on it to get all the air out. Everything fit.

I wore the crossbody purse to hold my passport, credit cards and money as well as boarding passes. I could easily put this little purse in my backpack when I got past security if I needed to. The RFID feature also assured me that no one could electronically steal the data from my passport or credit cards. I carried my coat and wore my snow boots.

In Finland, after unsealing the compression sacks, I had the packable duffle to transport anything from hotel to hotel that wouldn’t fit back into the suitcase. On the return, I put all my clothing back in the compression sacs and resealed them.

I was also able to fit small souvenirs in my backpack. If you make larger purchases, you can easily ship them home with the help of merchants or a local post office.

My next trip is to the Galapagos Islands and again I plan to take only a carry-on and backpack. I love my new system!

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