Carry On Baggage Isn’t Needed

August 11, 2006 at 11:51 am (Travel)

I think I’ve done trans-atlantic travel more than a dozen times in my life. Even before Sept. 11th, I really was frustrated by the amount of carry-on baggage that some people try and bring into the cabin. I realize that there are impatient people out there that don’t like to wait the 10-20 mintes it takes go to and get your baggage from the claim area, so you just cram it all into a smallish suitcase and hope you can get it on the plane. I know I’ve had a few close connections where I had to bring my bags through customs before hopping on another plane, and it would have been easier just to avoid that whole mess with carry on. But really, it’s just not needed.

Seriously – why do you need shampoo on your carry on? I’ve tried to clean myself in those itty bitty sinks in the airplane lavs. You’re not going to get a decent rinse. Need contact lense solution? Wear your glasses. That’s what I do. You’re not going to get a sunburn on the plane, so pack the sunblock. I know that there is pressure to look your best as you leave the plane. No one can say that they want to have bed-head when you see your girlfriend for the first time in four months. I have this silly solution. If I look that bad, I stop by the lav after I get my baggage and sort myself out, or I wear a bandana on my head. No need to pack any gel or mousse.

Yes, I get as bored on 8 hour flights as anyone else. I can see the attraction to bring your iPod or portable DVD player. I praise the DVD gods for those little tvs that keep the kiddies on the plane quiet. But, as a teacher, I was introduced to these wonderful things called books. Coloring books, SuDoKu books, story books, crosswords, magazines, there are loads of non-battery powered items for your entertainment. This is the best time to “spoil” your son with those video game mags, skateboard catalogues, and comic books. Your teenie girl might like those baby-Vogue type mags. Break out those mini-tubs of Play-doh. (And you don’t have to clean the carpet!) A deck of cards goes far, too.

I know that some people use this time to catch up on work on their laptop – I’ve got no solution for that one, yet. Drinks are a toughie. I know I get pretty dried out when I fly, but that can all be solved by one thing: ask the stweards for some water. Yeah, my skin dries out too, but I honestly never thought of packing my $30 moisturizer in my carry on. I just load it on before I leave, and load in on when I land.

I have one of those old-fashioned train cases that I always use for my carry on. It’s about a foot across and six inches deep. It fits right under the seat in front of me. I carry my meds, a bottle of water, my wallet, passport and tickets, lip balm, gum, a skein of yarn and my fav crochet hook. I can deal with getting rid of most of that, to make the lines a bit smaller at the airports.

The day might come sooner than later that carry on bags are at a strict minimum. Keep the meds, the baby formula, the juice for the little ones. Get rid of the rest. I welcome that day.


1 Comment

  1. Deneen said,

    We don’t have a personal DVD player and did bring books on for Elena and it was fine, however, I always bring a carry on. In that bag is a change of clothes, toiletries-including sunblock. Why? Because I have had my luggage delayed because of connecting flights, which meant I landed in my destination and had to wait over 14 hours for my bag to arrive. I always pack sunblock, deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo-the only liquids I pack on my carry on. I do this so if my bag doesn’t come, I have some stuff (so I don’t have to go out and buy all new stuff on the first day of traveling). Also, my husband’s luggage got lost on our last flight-mine didn’t, his did and we checked them at the same time. He had nothing-nothing and had to wait til almost midnight that night for the simple toiletries. My deodarant was in the checked luggage and apparently stuff was stacked so high on our bag, it literally exploded in the suitcase-

    I understand the need for the safety measures and will abide by them, but I also understand why some people use the carry-ons for that stuff. Now, if you get to the airport and don’t have the stuff in your checked luggage, with all the warnings, it’s your own fault that the stuff has to be tossed, so stop yer whining peeps (that is all I have heard on the news from the interviews done at airports). BTW, most men traveling for business, just use a carry on and that’s it, so I guess they’ll have to check luggage now and possibly miss connecting flights.

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