The airlines are making it harder to travel without paying extra fees.  If you noticed, many are downsizing the allowed size of your carry on.  They used to be 24″ x 17″ x 10″ and we had a great wheeled carry on that we used all the time.  Then the airlines started to reduce the sizes to 22 ” (including wheels”) x 14″ x 9″.  All of a sudden, our old carry on’s were no longer allowed.  So we had to rethink what to use instead of a wheeled suitcase and realized that the best carry on is a back pack

These tips were originally posted back in the 1990’s but they seem just as relevant today.

Consider the advantages of a backpack:

  • It leaves your hands free so you can fumble around for your tickets and passport more easily.
  • It usually has neat little pockets that are ideal for hiding dirty socks.
  • It can often pass the carry-on-luggage test at airports.
  • And you don’t have to put it down on wet dirty floors whenever (and however) nature calls

(Source: Paul Waters, Travel Editor, Montreal Gazette, May 1998)

A few more good reasons to use a back pack as your carry on luggage:

  • With all the pockets, there is plenty of room for your electronics, gadgets, snacks and more
  • You don’t have to worry about the wheels getting caught in cobblestones, sand or cracks in pavement
  • You can walk and text at the same time (or read a map, if you need to)
  • They will fit under the seat in front of you, the overhead compartment and will typically fit under a bed, in a small closet or just on a chair to get it out of the way, when you are staying put for a few days.
  • We have never been stopped for at embarkation because our backpack was too big.
  • For United, it can be considered a personal item and you get another carry on as well!


My Vacation Lady can help plan a great vacation or honeymoon for you but when it comes to packing light—- that’s one area, we don’t fare well.  While we have posted many great packing tips, sometimes, we wish we could really take our advice to heart and follow our own suggestions 🙂