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Jarrod Daughtry

Charleston, South Carolina

Check-it or Carry-on?

I'm always curious how others go about handling their luggage when traveling for a 7-10 day trip, do you check your bag (and pack everything you could ever need) or carry-on (and travel was light as possible)?

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27 Answers

  • Ross Sparks

    top answer by

    i havent checked a bag in years! i did a month in spain and Morocco with a small pack and the wife did as well! we are ultralight backpackers when we camp and that has spilled over into our travel style. three ultralight button ups, two pairs of zipp off short pants and only one pair of legs and some travel slacks for nice dinners.a tiny water purifier to fill up bottles in the sink in the mornings and a fixed blade knife. any thing els besides toiletries needs to serve at least three purpuses or it doesn't go in the bag.

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    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      How do you get that fixed blade knife through TSA? · (0 likelikes)

    • Ross S.

      Ross S.

      Most places you need one (jungle, scary cities, the third world, ect) they are available everywhere. I got on in Spain I liked souch I mailed it home. In the Osa and Guatemala I mailed a cheap kukri machete ahead of time. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Pamela Peterson

    answered by

    I have a fail-safe Just One Suitcase packing list for women that fits entirely in my carry-on size suitcase, regardless of destination or length of trip. If I had to translate my list for guys, I would say (depending upon the weather in your destination) pack 2 prs of jeans, 1 pr of khakis (or vice versa, depending upon your style; substitute shorts for 1 pr if you're going somewhere warm), 4 button-down shirts, a V-neck sweater, a polo shirt or pullover shirt, and a rain jacket. Fold everything as flat as possible, and roll up pj's, underwear, socks, and a couple of t-shirts and tuck around the edges. Put a pair of extra shoes in the outside pocket of the suitcase. In a separate (smaller) carry-on bag, put your toiletries, electronics, chargers, and medicines. The suitcase goes overhead, the smaller bag under the seat in front of you.

    You'll never have to stand in baggage claim holding your breath and wondering if your suitcase got to your destination...because you'll have it with you! Bon voyage!


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  • sandra holmes

    answered by

    I always check my bag and (knock, knock) haven't lost it yet. Also travel with golf clubs often and I've gotten those every time as well. Almost always fly United and I'm Platinum but truly, think it's those little RFID tags

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  • Stephen Walsh

    answered by

    Funny about carry-on -- yesterday was returning form SFO to YYZ on AC. flight overbooked. so " please give us your carry-on and we will store it under the plane ...and we will NOT charge you for those bags." I sat and watched these schmucks who were dumb enough to hand over their carryon to Air Canada. The attendants promptly took the carry on outside the jet way where they have a nifty looking plastic chute, like a kid's slide, attached to the very steep external stairs. They took each piece of luggage and placed it carefully in the plastic slide. At this point it Mr. gravity took over and it accelerated, virtually falling the 25 feet to the ground, and smashed into some springy backboard at the bottom of the slide. Long story short, anyone who had anything the slightest bit fragile, which they purposely kept in their carryon was disappointed when they got home... guaranteed. I am not suggesting that checking those bags in the first place would have been better, just be wary of airlines offering to do you a favour. Carryon can go both ways.

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  • Sloan Smith

    answered by

    Anything over 3 days I always check. It's less hassle. Plus I always have not so nice thoughts about the people who cram as much as they can in a carry on and then act surprised when there's no room. However I have lost my luggage once. It was on the return trip home and I had it the next day. No harm done. If it had turned out differently I might have a different opinion.

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  • Danielle Thomas

    answered by

    Hey Jarrod - I'll share what I've written under similar questions:

    I always just bring a carry on - however it's the largest-sized carry-on you can bring (a Hey's hard-sided roller, I think 24"). I do like to leave some space in it though to bring back treats :)

    What helps me pack light is making sure I have a laundry machine in the apartment I'm renting abroad - that way I can pack 3 outfits, wash and repeat! I've also learned every trip which items I can really live without.

    The liquid limitations are not ideal, but I just make sure to bring the absolute essential liquids in the travel-sized containers and have been pretty lucky with my Airbnb hosts typically having anything on-hand that I may have forgotten.

    The reason I do this is I like packing light (it's definitely a freeing feeling!) and had some bad experiences with airlines losing luggage during my first 2 trips abroad!

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    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      Great suggestions - thank you! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Izabel Matos

    answered by

    If you are staying in a hotel a big bag it´s ok, provided you´re not changing the hotel several times during the trip, but if you stay in hostel or at a friends house the best is a small bag with essential items for your travel and lightweight to have peace of mind.


    I Hope this helped a little bit, if you need to plan any other aspect of your trip, don´t hesitate to send me a e-mail.

    izabel@tiptravelinportugal.com

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  • Chad Klumpp

    answered by

    I carry a single bag with my absolute essentials. This includes medications, identifications, etc. Basically anything I absolutely have to have that I can't replace just by simply walking into a store. Clothing, I check. I try to get away with a maximum of 2 bags if possible. 1 backpack, and one suitcase.

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  • Jinny Oh

    answered by

    I depends on what kind of traveler you are! For me, it depends on where I am going, which airline I am taking and what I will be doing at my destination.

    For instance, I've gone 5 days with just a backpack when I wanted to go hiking in China. No need for anything else but my iPhone, passport, a towel, a sweater, undies, running shoes and some change of clothes.

    When I was traveling in Europe, this depended on the airline I took. Most cheap airlines in Europe are dirt cheap (I found a ticket that went from Paris to Milan for 15 Euros); however, they overcharge for any carryon or checkin bag. In which case, I will carry as light as possible, even when I went on a cruise for 10 days in the Mediterranean.

    When I travel within the United States, I bring it all. Most major US airlines allow one carry on and one checkin for free. If not, then at least Delta has free checkin when you get a gold Delta AMEX. I love using this card because you get no international charges when using it abroad, unlike the other amex gold or premier cards. I also bring a large carry-on if i am going on a shopping trip.

    The other times I would bring a huge luggage is if I am taking a bus or driving for a 10 day trip.

    Hope this helps. Check out my travel blog for some interesting stories of a 22-year-old solo traveler: www.jinnygatchi.com

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  • Stephen "Sven" Minor

    answered by

    It has been my experience that carry on by far is the best way to go. You do not have to wait in line to get your bags at the airport carousel, you do not run into the chance of airport or airline employees going through your luggage and you do not run the risk in certain countries of them planting stuff in your suitcase. Plus if you run into an emergency you have access to all your stuff right away instead of having to wait until you land.

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  • Jaleh Najafali

    answered by

    I try to carry-on whenever possible. There are so many positives to doing so: always knowing where your stuff is, no waiting at baggage claim, etc. I believe that traveling light tends to make traveling in general more stress-free. I tend to find that for 7-10 days a couple of pants and maybe 4 shirts are the maximum that you need in addition to underwear and toiletries.

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  • Nathaniel Chambers

    answered by

    I avoid a checked bag whenever I can! I have done 7-10 day trips with just a carry-on plenty of times. For example, I traveled around Spain for 2 weeks and only had a small duffle bag. I did run out of toiletries, however, I was able to purchase them for cheap locally. In terms of clothing, once you map out your activities, select outfits that complements one another. For example, 1 pair of pants can accommodate 2 shirts. Or a pair of shoes that can go with at least 3 different outfits. For guys, shoes and jeans tends to take up the most space and weight in our luggage. Hope this helps!

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  • Sofia Forsberg

    answered by

    I always check in my bag if it's more than 3 nights. But I'm a woman too, I need to bring makeup remover, lotions, makeup, conditioner, deo etc. And if you only bring a carry-on, then you can't bring big bottles of these things...

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  • Scott McNutt

    answered first by

    When I traveled to Montana this past July I purposely traveled light. I stay with friends there every year for two weeks at a time. This time I packed a few days worth of clothes and my usual bathroom kit. When I arrived I was able to purchase other toiletries and a few pieces of clothing that I left there for use next year so I can pack light again. I spent less money on that than if I had checked a large suitcase!

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    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      Montana's one of the only U.S. states I've yet to visit. Sounds like you have a great setup there! Appreciate your comment/tip. · (1 likelikes)

    • Scott M.

      Scott M.

      I highly recommend you add it to your list. It is some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen! Especially the vistas in Glacier National Park. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Tiffany Weber

    answered by

    I do both depending on where I'm going and why.

    Normally, I like to pack light on my way and just bring a carry on, but then I shop, and check my bag coming home.

    Although checking bags can be problematic, I love to be able to walk off the plane with just my purse - no overhead compartment hassles, more legroom.

    Airplane space is small enough these days.

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  • David Ghostlaw

    answered by

    Always carry on as often as I can - too much can go wrong when checking a bag, and if they lose it then that's a serious wrench to be thrown into your trip. Plus, I usually find (especially for backpacking trips where I'm consistently hauling my belongings) that if I have to check a bag, I've probably over packed!

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  • Rachel Johnson

    answered by

    Carry-on. Check out the Tortuga backpack. It fits an amazing amount of stuff in it. I also am head over heels in love with my packing cubes, they are a complete game changer in my organizational world.

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    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      Thanks! I'll definitely have to check out the Tortuga backpack. Appreciate it! · (0 likelikes)

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  • AJ P

    answered by

    really depends on the trip. I have had times when I am going somewhere warm - where I literally just have a 30L backpack - with a pairs of socks, undies, shirts and a shorts and denim & toothbrush.

    Ofcourse, on the other hand - i have done trips that I needed to have alot more than just that. Like a suit, and shaving kit, etc etc !! Yikes !!

    But truth be told, I love my Carry-on trips a lot more.

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    • Jarrod D.

      Jarrod D.

      Very, very true...really depends on the type of trip, doesn't it? Appreciate your comment, AJ! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Staci Nicole

    answered by

    I try to avoid checking a bag when possible. Being a girl, that can be tough with the liquid restrictions for carry on bags! However, here is the advice I have for when it comes to packing:

    1. Roll your clothes. Shockingly enough, it helps. Be sure where you're staying has an iron!

    2. Plan your outfits. I know, I know. Guys don't really do this, right? But if you're going to minimize what you're going to bring, it helps planning ahead so you don't over pack.

    3. Buy your toiletries when you arrive. If this is possible, it saves you space. Just go the a store and get the travel size and that way you don't feel like you wasted money when you can't bring it back.

    For some more info, check out this post on my blog. I packed in a carry on for two weeks!

    Good luck! :)

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  • Jessica Rhynalds

    answered by

    Pack less pants and always do carry on.... I like to bring an open 'beach bag' that I put my computer / purse / extra shoes / snacks in... Airports like PHL > Philadelphia participate in work release programs with local jails/penitentiaries to let the inmates work at the Airport during the day and go back to jail at night... What I'm getting at is > THEY STEAL FROM THE LUGGAGE. I know this for a fact and suggest you get a luggage like BlueSmart with a GPS and locking system built in to ensure your luggages safety & location if you HAVE to check a bag.

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