4 Great Reasons to use a Backpack as your carry on

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 🙂


About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.