To check a bag or to carry on

To bring a checked bag or to not bring a checked bag. That is the $30 to $50 question. Should I pay as that much to check a bag or fill my carryon as full and heavy as I can. There are many different options and opinions but what is right for you on your trip.

There are three ways to bring your essentials with you on a flight.

A checked bag gets taken at the ticket desk. It will cost between $30 and $50 depending on the airlines. There are weight restrictions; generally, if a bag weighs over 50 LBS there is an extra fee. Large items such as skis, golf clubs, surfboards, bikes, musical instruments, fishing equipment, and any other large items can be transported but have an additional cost. Denver International Airport for example has a baggage claim just for oversized items because of the amount of ski and snowboard equipment traveling with passengers. The restriction for a checked bag is far less strict. You may be surprised what can be packed, from ammunition to throwing stars that are approved to travel under the plane.

Carry on Luggage is much more strict and can be tricky. Carry on bags go in the overhead bin and most airlines De must be 22 by 14 by 9 or smaller, or it will need to be checked. Cost varies by who you fly with. Low-cost carriers will charge for a checked bag and carry on while larger airlines let you take a carry on free of charge. Some airlines also have weight restrictions for carrying on items also, so be sure to read the fine print of your ticket before you head to the airport. There is a long list of restrictions for carrying on baggage. TSA.gov has a comprehensive list but here are the basics. Only three ounces of fluids, no aerosols, no sharp or dangerous items, cremated remains vary between airlines, most construction tools must be in a checked bag, and most electronic items are fine to take with you.

Finally is the peripersonal item. The difference between a personal item and a carry on is size. It must be able to fit under the seat and not take up precious room in the overhead bins. For most females, this item will be a purse or diaper bag. For men, this can be a briefcase or laptop bag. Although if you have a backpack that isn’t completely filled and can fit under the seat it should be alright.

●A few thoughts to consider●

How long and what type is the trip you will be going on? If you are going on a business trip, there are certain items you must bring as opposed to a vacation. Can you or are you going to buy items at your destination? There may be great shopping where you are going and if you only have an extremely full carry on you may be limiting your options. Are you willing to wear the same pair of jeans twice? Think about packing lighter. You do not need as much as you think you do. Anything you may have forgotten you can usually buy at your destination. If it’s an international spot or domestic it can be fun to go to a new store to replace a missing item. There are adventures even doing the seemingly mundane tasks.

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