As tempting as it is to pack a lot of clothes on a long trip, it is in your interest to pack light and if at all possible, travel with only a carry-on bag. That’s always good advice, but particularly applicable this summer.
My Challenge To You: Don’t Check Bags This Summer When You Fly
First, a warning about this summer. The situation is bad, particularly in Canada and Europe:
So you think travel can’t get worse? Behold Montreal/YUL airport BAG DROP. Not the baggage hall. People are being told to tag their bag and leave it here and “hope for the best”. They are not sure when they can accept bags again. #TravelPatiently pic.twitter.com/jDhoYrZxzL
— Paul Andersen (@pandersen) July 5, 2022
Luggage chaos at London’s Heathrow airport….. pic.twitter.com/tj66gWR33F
— Citizen 1 (@citizen1448) July 6, 2022
If you’re flying anywhere in Europe this Summer try your best to not check any luggage. I’ve been told Munich has 5000+ luggage and London seems to be the same. 👍 pic.twitter.com/F72McdlVB0
— Andrea Mengucci (@Mengu09) July 2, 2022
The old joke that there’s only two types of bags, a carry-on bag and lost bag, is not really a joke these days…as thousands can attest to.
Understand that airlines on both sides of the Atlantic are facing critical labor shortages and we’ve seen recent meltdowns in Montreal, London, and Amsterdam in which thousands were separated from their bags.
Don’t think it cannot happen in the USA too: at Award Expert we’ve been dealing with lost baggage issues all month, particularly at Newark.
You Likely Don’t Need A Checked Bag
Seasoned travelers understand that human nature is to overpack. It’s amazing, over the years, how many trips I’ve taken only to return home with a suitcase full of clothes I did not wear.
Sure, bring a change of underwear for each day (or several days if you have access to laundry), but let’s be honest with one another. For most people, wearing the same shirt for a couple days is not a big deal. I’m certainly not advocating that we go about stinking in order to avoid checking a bag; but I don’t think that is the tradeoff.
Instead, roll up your clothes, pack light, layer yourself when you fly, and you’ll likely find you get along just fine with a carry-on bag and personal item.
It’s true that budget carriers sometimes charge more to bring a carry-on bag onboard than to check a bag, but it’s not about that, it is about minimizing the risk of you losing your bag during a very busy summer travel season.
I challenge you to leave your checked bag at home this summer and discover that you get along just fine with a carry-on bag. Sure, you might not have four pairs of shoes and two dinner dresses, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your belongings are right above you or under your feet.