Tips of the Trade

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Check A Bag!

Sometimes you have no choice and you have to check a bag for different reasons. If you can avoid it, then definitely do so. I promise you can pack a lot more onto a carry-on than you think. Maybe you haven’t thought of the reasons why a carry-on is better than checking a bag. Well I am going to give you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t check a bag!

Save Money. Wouldn’t you rather have more money for your trip? Most airlines charge for a checked bag. That money adds up, especially if you are checking more than 1. Then you need to consider going roundtrip. No bueno if you happen to be overweight to boot. The money you spend checking a bag, you could have eaten a good meal, bought some souvenirs, or done an activity at your destination!

Avoid Lines. Unless you have Clear, you will probably have to stand on a line to go through security. Even with TSA pre check there are lines. Do you want to spend more time standing on a line to check your bag? Sometimes those lines get so long that by the time you get to check your bag, it could be too late to even check it and then you need to stand on another to be rebooked.

Get Through the Airport Faster.  Since you aren’t checking a bag you don’t have to stand on that line. Using a mobile boarding pass or printing one out at a home or a kiosk will help you. Then all you need to do is head over to the security line. It also helps when landing at your destination. I have had friends wait up until an hour internationally before getting their bag back. Wasted time. Instead you can just get it and go, no waiting,

In Good Hands. Who is going to take better care of your belongings than you? I have checked bags in the past and gotten them back with holes, wires popping out etc. Keeping my bag means I know it is being handled properly. I also know my belongings are safe and are less likely to go missing or break.

Just in Case. Long layover, cancellations, change of plans, delays, loss of luggage etc. You never know what can happen with air travel or your plans in general. If you have your belongings with you already you can make a decision on what you are going to do in different situations. Many times when trying to switch to a different flight, you have a better chance of getting on earlier flights etc if you don’t have a checked bag.

I haven’t checked a bag in years and unless I have to I don’t plan on it. It allows me to move quicker, save money, and I have all my things safely with me. It has also helped me be able to be more flexible with plans. If you have been checking bags, maybe you should reconsider and not check one.

Are you a carry-on or checked bag type of person?

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May 25, 2018
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  • Fiona Maclean

    I check my bag if I am going for a length of time that means I need the luggage. And I don’t for an overnight stay or similar. Seems obvious to me – that’s why there are cabin baggage allowances.

    • Holly Dayz

      I know plenty of people who travel for a week or more with only a carry-on bag. If that is what you need to get you through your trip that is cool, but it isn’t necessary.

  • Bradley Cine (@bcine)

    Yeah. I traveled to Japan, South Korea, China, and the Philippines through NY going and coming back to where I lived (Utah at the time) without checking a bag. It was a 20 day trip. It was tough packing smartly for that but I made it happen. I’ll never check a bag if I can help it.

    • Holly Dayz

      That is pretty awesome that you did all of that without checking a bag. Especially with the amount of time.

  • Jenn and Ed Coleman

    I (Ed) am a carry on guy and Jenn is a checked bag girl. I just feel better knowing that things are in my control. Jenn likes to pack a little heavier so she would rather check a bag and take everything she wants. We actually got an airplane credit card to get check bags for free so we would never have to discuss the issue again.

    • Holly Dayz

      Yea, I like having my stuff with me if it is possible. Yes, those credit cards are very helpful for the purpose of the fee.

  • The Travelling Mermaid

    I actually don’t check bags for short trips (usually 3-7 days) holidays to save money and for security as well. For longer trips, I don’t have a choice but to check my bags coz I bring more stuff which I hate doing because of my parents’ experience of losing a luggage on a 1 hour flight. Whenever I check my bags all I can do is pray they arrive safe and sound to the destination. lol

    • Holly Dayz

      You gotta do what ya gotta do. I haven’t checked a bag in a few years and that is only because I split it with one other person. Losing luggage is not cool.

  • Efthimis Kragaris

    Sometimes I do check a bag, especially if I have a long trip e.g. for 2 weeks but if I am about to go on a short trip, I also avoid checking in bags. Traveling light is much better, saves time, money and is less stressful for me!

    • Holly Dayz

      I like to travel light if possible, which is most of the time.

  • Claire

    I couldn’t agree more, I always try to go with hand luggage only when I can – I recently managed up a month in Europe without checking in a bag. I save soooo much money flying with budget airlines and not checking in a bag. And there is nothing worse than getting through customs and having to wait ages for your bag!

    • Holly Dayz

      That is awesome. It is possible for sure. That is a great point with the budget airlines. I hate waiting for bags when landing.

  • Marcus and Mel

    We usually check our bag because as our carry-on case is usually stuffed with computers, cameras and gadgets and there’s no room for anything else. Although, after waiting 50 mins at the KLM bag drop today I wish we didn’t have any checked bags!

    • Holly Dayz

      I usually put all my electronic stuff in my book bag.

  • Dorene

    All super valid reasons not to check a bag and force yourself to be super efficient with packing. That TSA check is a real pain, didn’t think of the safety of just having your own things always with you. Good tips!

    • Holly Dayz

      Thanks. Yea, I like having my stuff and knowing where it is.

  • SkyeClass

    Personally, I hate checking in luggage. If I do have a bag that too big, I try to stick to buses and ground travel. Besides, there’s just no reason to travel with too much stuff (unless you’re going for months at a time, which I am wont to do).

    • Holly Dayz

      I don’t care to check in bags unless I have to.

  • Karla Ramos

    This is going to be a challenge for me since I am really terrible in packing light but it really makes perfect sense. Thanks for this post.

    • Holly Dayz

      I tend to overpack even with a carry on. It can be done! I have faith in you.

  • Medha Verma

    Believe me, if I can avoid checking my bag in, I do! Not only is it highly inconvenient, I dislike having excess luggage on me. I completely agree with all your points – many budget airlines charge a fee for even one checked in bag and it makes sense financially to keep only hand baggage. I usually try to restrict my luggage but sometimes when you’re travelling for 3 weeks or to a place that’s really cold and you need to carry your woolens, its unavoidable!

  • Lydia

    I couldn’t agree more with you Holly! A carry-on is definitely better and I warmly recommend it. Packing light is awesome and very convenient!

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