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Is it really worth trying to travel carry on only? (3-4 months)

Wife and I are refining an itinerary that will have us in Europe for 3-4 months next September to December/January 2023. As of now we have at least 2 additional flights within Europe on top of the trans-Atlantic initial flight from Canada.

We will be flying for sure from Munich to Dublin, and then from Lyon to Croatia somewhere. We’ve charted
Our average temperature and it seems like a low of 8-10 deg C and a high of 20-24 or so.

My question is, is it really worth it to try and travel carry on only or will we be forced to check bags regardless on some of the lesser carriers we may travel on?

Right now I typically travel with a 65L Arc’teryx Altera which I can sinch down to carry on size. My wife is looking for a new bag as she is sick of her “touristy” backpack she currently uses. So we are really weighing whether we want to go carry on size only. I know I can manage and would love to scale down, but if some of these crapier airlines which only allow “one peice of hand luggage” don’t see our bags as carry on worthy, is it really worth it to sacrifice 15-20L of space for the added convenience?

Posted by
3024 posts

will we be forced to check bags regardless on some of the lesser
carriers we may travel on?

It depends on the size of your bags and what airline you are flying, all airlines as far as I know has max size and weight on their website.

Posted by
37 posts

So to add to that, we are somewhat begrudgingly flying Condor from Vancouver to Frankfurt due to using points. On their website they list the size requirements but then also say somthing along the lines of

“Due to health and safety reasons each passenger will only be allowed 1 peice of hand luggage”

So I’m a scenario like this if I have an additional day bag, or my wife uses a purse, we would likely have to check the “carry on” luggage anyway no?

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks Aimee, that’s kind of what I was looking for in terms of reassurance.

I know rick and other travel vloggers etc. seemingly travel with carry on only but I’m always concerned how often one may be forced to check it. Because as you say, if you do have to check it it kind of defeats the purpose

Posted by
8408 posts

In addition to the airline requirements, and possibly having to check a 'carry-on' size bag, do you really want to haul bigger bags for that long?

Posted by
9991 posts

Tyler,

As to Condor, we love them so perk up! OTOH, their economy section is cramped so you might look into Premium Economy if you can. (Their Business Class is excellent.)

Carry-on for flights versus packing light are, IMO, different things. We always check our main bags as we take hiking sticks which cannot go i hand luggage in the cabin. We carry-on day packs with electronics, meds, and a change of underwear, just-in-case. We spend at least one night in the city where we land so if our bags are delayed we have a chance of getting them efficiently.

We do pack light-ish, in 26-inch rolling duffle bags that are not difficult to lift on-and-off a train as we travel exclusively by train once in Europe. We travel from late-August hot weather to late-October cool-to-cold weather and for 8-10 weeks. The one bag is sufficient for all we need including 2 months worth of hubby's meds and sturdy hiking boots.

Posted by
497 posts

How many cities/towns do you plan on visiting?
This will help to give you a better answer.
If in 4 months you will be in only 4 cities I think (IMHO) that you can take a bigger suitcase since you won't have to pack that often and you won't be dragging the suitcase too often.
If the opposite is true (one location per week or so) then the less you pack the less time you will waste changing locations.
Of course, the less you pack the more laundry you will have to do.
Things to consider.

Posted by
5459 posts

Unless I am going for a short city break, I always take a checked bag. I always hire a car wherever I am going, so it’s easy to manage the bags. I also tend to stay in one place rather than moving on every few nights. Even so, with wheels, I can easily manage a 20kg bag.

EasyJet (my default airline) have recently reduced the size of permitted hand luggage, meaning most baggage bigger than a handbag now needs to be checked in.

Buying clothes in Europe rather than taking your own then junking them at the end of the trip really isn’t environmentally friendly. Trying to squeeze clothing for different climates into a small bag isn’t easy. And no room for souvenirs!

Posted by
37 posts

So we are only going to be doing 4 countries in 4
Months:

Germany/France/Croatia/Portugal and maybe Spain

However, we are going to be moving quite a bit.

Our itinerary in Germany looks like

Rothenberg - Munich - Southern Bavaria - back to Munich, then train to Colmar. That’s over 25 days or so

Most travel done by train, occasionally renting a car

Edit* both my wife and I are experienced European travellers, 5 trips each between the 2 of us over the past 11 years or so. I can manage with a pair of runners and likely a new pair of boots like Blundstones etc. for any incliment weather. My wife has a bit more trouble with her feet but can probably manage 2 pairs of shoes as well so only 1 would have to be packed

Posted by
270 posts

Most of my trips are 8-10 weeks. I find that I take a suitcase that if it is not expanded could be carry on, at least on most airline. I often check the bag (if it is included in my ticket) it is easier to manage airports and just the easy of not having to carry it. By the time I am coming home the bag is expanded . I am looking at how to do this from Italy in September to London in Late November, but think I can still manage. At this point my most extreme weather change was Jordan in September to Paris in late October.

For me I find despite all my travels I am still working of figuring out the extras, I am good with clothes, and dont use makeup. But somehow I still find the need for extra stuff just incase I get better each trip.

Posted by
5221 posts

Laurel makes a good point -- "carry-on" and "packing light" are both desirable but for different reasons. Carry-on saves you time in airports and avoids the small risk of bag loss or delay.. Packing light saves you energy throughout the trip as you haul less weight and bulk around. But how important each is depends on other variables others have mentioned -- how many flights, how many cities, driving vs. trains, range of possible weather, how you feel about doing laundry, etc.

Keep in mind that avoiding checking fees with the "lesser carriers" is a pretty small part of this calculus. If your trip will go better because you have the right clothes for different weather and won't have to do laundry as often, don't let a few checking fees make the decision. Like most on this forum, I've learned to pack lighter as I get more experience, but I've never done a trip with as much weather variation as you're likely to see. In the church of Packing Light, let him who has carried-on through a 32-degree-celsius range over 3-4 months cast the first stone! ;-)

Posted by
37 posts

Yea the fees aren’t a concern for us

It’s really just taking that full dive into going carry-on only or not, and you guys aren’t helping me!! Lolol

No, but I really appreciate all the input a lot of you guys have expanded on my thoughts and feelings of the choice. When there are two of us it’s really all or nothing. I personally see no point in even attempting to do strip down our packing to a full carry on if our bags are even remotely close to having to be checked.

The cost of new bags also comes into play somewhat as my wife can probably recoup roughly half of the cost of a new bag by selling her backpack. But with mine I’m very hesitant to sell it as I got an amazing deal on an otherwise unaffordable bag.. hmm.

Posted by
9 posts

I went to Europe for a month in the fall with the biggest Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack (42L) - and I wish I had gotten the medium sized one instead (35L). I did a ton of schlepping between cities mostly via train and the weight of my bag was brutal at first. A week or two in, I had gotten used to it and it wasn't so bad, but it would have been nicer to have a smaller bag. The design of the bag is great I think and I really liked the rain cover. I initially put it on because of a rainy day but then ended up using it all the time because it fit very tight so it gave me some extra security on my bag.
I'm fine to check my bag on the way home, but I do like to carry on on the way there just so I'm positive my bag won't be lost or delayed. I'm similar to you in that the fees aren't a huge deal, but I do like knowing my bag is with me.

Posted by
10930 posts

It's important to do as you please. If you are happy the way you are traveling than continue to do so.

My average interntional trip is 3 months. I take one carry on size bag and one personal item (backpack). While the carry on bag works for most airlines, occassionally I have to check it. Not a big deal. I also take numerous trains and buses as well as sometimes have to walk from station to hotel. I find it is easier for me to have the size of bags I use rather than something bigger.

In October, taxis refused to take me from the train station to my hotel in Colmar due to the road being closed in front of my hotel. So I walked. It was about ten minutes and having the smaller bags helped.

Some of those airlines that only allow a small personal item as carry on, you will find, for a little bit more money will allow two bags.

By the way, I use a spinner and it was not problem.

Posted by
295 posts

Whether or not you check your bag - is different and rather minor decision. As you've discovered there is no "standard" to carry on size (and far more importantly), weight.

To me the real question is do you have a single comfortable bag to take on and off trains? I wouldn't travel with a 65l unless I was carrying a tent or possibly polar weather gear. I have a 46l Osprey which I think is a good compromise - fully loaded its probably over size and definitely over weight for carry on size . So if you shop (I don't ) then at the end you'll be checking the bag. But its got a decent harness for me and I'd happy carry it on/off trains without about 10kg in it.

You're don't doing that much of a range of climates. I'd back one very light water proof jacket, one other layer - probably merino as its so compact, plus a base layer if you feel the cold. Otherwise I'd pack for the summer. As it gets cooler you can always pick up socks, hat / gloves. I once landed in London early December straight out of Malaysia. First stop was primark - cost us maybe GBP20 to be fully kitted out! Left the gear with rellies before we flew back out

Posted by
13387 posts

Okay, my advice for what it is worth (because I am a non-conformist on the RS forum)

Condor states (and this is pretty typical of the European Carriers:

All passengers in Economy Class may carry one small personal item and
1 bag measuring up to 21.6 x 15.7 x 7,8 in (55 x 40 x 20 cm) and
weighting up to 13 lb (6 kg).

The weight of the cabin bag in Premium Economy Class must 18 lb (8kg).
Customers in Business Class are allowed to take 2 bags into the cabin
with a total weight of max 26 lb (12 kg).

So, for me that would mean a 21" Hard Side Spinner. For me just easier to deal with. The lightest one you can find. Mine weighs in at just a hair under 6.5 lbs which means I can pack about 11 pounds of clothes. Well, the volume of that bag wouldnt hold more clothes than that so it works for me. But clothes only, because they allow a personal item with no weight limit.

Condor doesnt state the size of the personal item, but has to fit under the seat (if required by the flight attendant). Turkish Air sets that at 40 x 30 x 15cm (15.7 x 11.8 x 5.9in) and thats a pretty good guide. The beauty is no weight limit. So pack it with all the heavy stuff. Fabric only in the carry on and everything else imaginable in the personal item.

Okay, that's the limitation. Is it enough for 3 months? Do you only do laundry at home once ever 3 months? Some people carry a weeks worth, others two weeks, both possible within the limits for most of us. Then before you leave locate where you will do laundry along the way. Sure, I guess I could do the 1 gallon zip lock shake and wash routine, but I am spoiled and rely on hotel laundry and nearby laundry services; I am on vacation after all.

Why the hardside spinner? Well, this is being debated on another thread, I just find it all around easier to deal with and if you buy the right personal item you sling it over the carry on handle and you are carrying zero weight on your body. But its a personal choice.

In short, yes, you can do it. I would at least give it a try before I start messing with checking or multiple bags. Nothing worse than dealing with a carry on AND a checked bag (then you really do need a spinner cause its miserable to drag two bags behind you).

If you are interested in my gear, PM and I can send the names, but I dont carry designer or name brand stuff. Its all pretty cheap and has lasted for years and years and years.

Have fun.

Posted by
319 posts

For any trip, 1 week, 6 week, 12 week, whatever, I tend to pack exactly the same. I pack the same way whether I am going to Europe or Asia and other places along the way. If a winter coat is required, I wear it since it cannot get stuffed into my bag without taking space away from the rest of my gear.
I carry on one bag that has all of the clothing I require for one week along with a small backpack/computer bag with my laptop, extra phone, one pair of underwear and my medications. I have never had a problem with any airlines although I do occasionally have to gate check the carry on depending upon the airline/plane size. I expect to do laundry after the first week but depending upon how much I am moving around, I will do it whenever I have a chance.
Carryon is my habit on the way out. It reduces the risk of arriving in Europe (India, Singapore, wherever) without my bag. If there are connections (train, car rental) at your destination waiting for a lost checked back can be a real bummer.
On my way home, the bag is checked....

Posted by
2407 posts

I am surprised no one is pointing this one out. You now have the trip to the 4 countries shown for 3-4 months. These are all Schengen countries, and you are limited to 90 days in a 6 month period.

As for the packing issue, now late 60s, have travelled for as much as a 23 day trip during the last bunch of years until Covid hit, using only a RS Convertible backpack each, with no problems. We were not traveling during early winter. We have never had an issue with at boarding gates. We've flown Lufthansa with their 8 kg, which we likely exceed by a little, but as we are seen with the packs on our backs no one has ever thought they needed weighing..

Posted by
37 posts

In regards to the Schengen zone we are going to “build” time in Croatia for 2-3 weeks to extend the Western Europe time.

One additional question regarding carry ons. So say I buy a new 40L pack, is there ever a problem having two backpacks as carry ons? Like would a regular size backpack be considered my first carry on and I’d be checking the 40L bag anyways? I don’t carry a computer/messenger bag, it would just be two backpacks

Posted by
6500 posts

Tyler, most airlines allow one carryon and one personal item. If you're proposing calling one backpack your personal item, you have to look at the specific airline's size limitations for the personal item. Its meant to be a purse or laptop size, not another piece of luggage. Its supposed to fit under the seat in front of you. If you're asking if some people get away with carrying on multiple bags, well that would be wrong.

There are advantages to traveling with less stuff that are beyond just getting on/off your flight more quickly. But if thats your main concern, just bite the bullet and check a bag.

Posted by
5766 posts

I can only mostly echo others comments, in that the issue is not carry-on or not, but how much you want to haul between stops. You obviously will be doing laundry, so packing light makes sense, and in general, the less you take the better.

As for checking a bag vs. carry-on. On the way over, I always carry-on, just risk mitigation, especially if my plans have me taking off from my arrival city immediately. Conversely, on the way home, I nearly always check a bag (usually have some liquids anyway).

For your flights within Europe, you likely will find it best to check a bag. Any budget airline will make it difficult to bring a bulging carry-on bag over 20 pounds onto a flight, even national carriers have strict limits for intra-Europe flights. Since the base price of the ticket is so cheap, pay to check a bag and save yourself some hassle and worry.

Regarding Schengen; your plan is sound, except do keep an eye on Croatia and it's entry into Schengen. They have received approval to enter the Schengen agreement as of March 2021. I do not believe they are planning on entering until maybe early 2024, but they could announce a date in 2023, if so, that would put a major kink in your plans.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks everyone, great input overall thank you

I completely agree it’s not just the ease of travelling carry on only but also packing light, and that’s what we are hearing towards as well.

Honestly after all of this I’m probably still leaning towards keeping my 65L bag and just sinching it down and checking it while carrying a very light, packable, day bag. While the 65L pack is still “big” I think the ergonomics and straps this bag have are and will be, more comfortable overall than a less expensive, smaller bag. I’ve lugged this bag around full of crap on my first longer excursion back in 2012 (where I was carrying a suit and dress shoes of all things lol) so if I can cut my packing in half and still use the same bag I think it will benefit me.

My wife can figure her own situation out lol jk

Posted by
6500 posts

" . . . My wife can figure her own situation out lol jk. . . "

famous last words, Tyler 😐.

Posted by
319 posts

" . . . My wife can figure her own situation out lol jk. . . "

famous last words, Tyler 😐.

Too funny.....my wife refuses to use compression bags to store things inside her bag. She prefers to jam/stuff/cram her bag full.
At every train stop her bag would tip over while we were sitting down waiting for the next train.
We'd both stand up our bags and sit down. My bag would sit there the way I left it and hers would go over and land on its front with the extended handle sticking out like a trip hazard for anyone going by.
And I did win the hair dryer argument. She used it once in 4 weeks. I doubt she will bring one next time.

Posted by
13387 posts

(where I was carrying a suit and dress shoes of all things lol)

I still do from time to time. But almost always a sports coat (yes, in my carryon)

Posted by
5459 posts

If you are likely to be taking flights within Europe, check each airline’s baggage policy. EasyJet’s has reduced to 45 x 36 x 20 - one bag per person so handbags etc have to fit within this limit. It was 56 x 45 x 25 previously. Since the Covid pandemic hit, several airlines have reduced their baggage limits with a view to charging more to check the bags.

Posted by
96 posts

Hi Tyler,

We typically travel for 2-3 months at a time which often includes Africa (Southern Hemisphere, their winter ) and Europe (summertime) and pack for about 12 days. It's an art (clothing that works in the bush and on the streets of Paris) and a fun challenge to fit everything in one carry on suit case (or duffle if it includes Africa) and a backpack for each of us. Often we're dressed with more layers than necessary when we board our flight(s). While it's great to not have to wait for baggage claim we do it mostly for ease and comfortability as we travel and so that each of us can manage our own bags whether on cobblestone streets or in/out of trains, buses, boats, planes.

One of the challenges for me was to downsize my photographic equipment from a Canon DSLR with interchangeable lenses and other paraphernalia to a Sony bridge camera with a fixed lens.

In Italy during 2019 we purchased items that we shipped home otherwise we only purchase an occasional article of clothing , an additional toiletry or med, or I might purchase a piece of jewelry that doesn't take up space or weight. We're at a time in our lives where we're shedding belongings rather than accumulating. It works for us.

Good luck with your decision making.

Posted by
27422 posts

I'm glad that you have planned ahead for Schengen....

Posted by
5324 posts

We have done land trips where we spent 4-5 weeks touring. Even with a standard sized checked bag, we had to do laundry at least every 8-9 days. Finding coin laundry places isn't always easy. Launderettes in the UK are easy enough to find and there is a website that lists them. However, finding one in Spain and Italy can be difficult.

I usually wear a pair of trousers for 3 days and a shirt 2 days. If traveling in a hot place in the Summer, less than that. Hand washing in a sink works for underwear and socks, but not slacks and shirts.

Posted by
37 posts

Yea we almost exclusively stay in airbnbs so I don’t recall there ever being a time where, if the one we we’re staying at didn’t have laundry, the next one almost always did.

Also not all clothes are created equal in terms of re-wearing lol. Imo the best shirts going are the Lululemon 5 year Tee’s or their new “basic tee” you can wear them 3-4 days without smelling compared to other comparable “breathable” shirts from MEC/REI which stink after one.

So I’ve kinda circled back almost on having 1 checked bag and 1 carry on bag. This cuts down on a lot of “stuff” either way and we get a little more space for “vanity” items as we do like fine dining and whatnot that usually requires a dinner jacket or the like.

I’ll definitely keep this thread updated once we figure out what we do lol

Posted by
7419 posts

Be aware that some airlines — like EasyJet, as mentioned above by Jennifer — mean what they say when they say one bag only. I have seen people in tears in the boarding area trying to squash their personal item into their cabin bag.

The main point is to read the fine print of the baggage policies of whichever airline(s) you use during the trip. And follow the rules. You can also, for example, buy a different kind of seat to allow you to bring a second bag on. On a train, you can haul on what you want — your only limit is what you can handle.

As for all the time saved by walking off the plane with one's carry-on, I timed it at Orly on Monday. I got to the baggage area at 12:30; my bag arrived at 12:39. On New Year's Day, I arrived into CDG on a flight from Atlanta. I made it through passport control at 8:20, walked to baggage, and had my checked bag in my hand at 8:31. Nine or eleven minutes just isn't a meaningful drag on my efficiency, in my book.

Yes, obviously it can take longer. It's just not true, though, that it always takes forever or saves significant time.

Posted by
319 posts

As for all the time saved by walking off the plane with one's carry-on, I timed it at Orly on Monday. I got to the baggage area at 12:30; my bag arrived at 12:39. On New Year's Day, I arrived into CDG on a flight from Atlanta. I made it through passport control at 8:20, walked to baggage, and had my checked bag in my hand at 8:31. Nine or eleven minutes just isn't a meaningful drag on my efficiency, in my book

Frankly, that is about the last thing on my mind when I arrive anywhere. For me the issue is that there is a bag.
If you have ever experienced arriving anywhere without your luggage you will understand.
If you have had that experience often, you will change your habits and find a way to overcome the airlines incompetence.
If you have ever arrived at your destination to find that your baggage sat outside in a rainstorm (Dulles, Gatwick, Frankfurt, CDG) and that its entire contents are wet, you will change your habit.
If you have ever watched bags fall off of a baggage cart and get left on the runway you would change your habit.
If you ever had to search through the underground of Chicago airport to find your missing bag, you would change your habit.
If you had to buy new clothes in Penang, the HK Ferry terminal, Barcelona, Shanghai etc. ...................
The airlines have trained experienced travelers to carry on.
A few moments saved on arrival is not even a consideration.

Posted by
7419 posts

So sorry. I have had bags not arrive on my flight, but always the next day or so. And one time a big Lands End duffle bag that literally had a CHOMP out of one end as if a dinosaur had taken a bite.

Still, overall, in nearly 20 years of living in Europe, and certainly 30 years of living at least half a continent away from my parents (i.e. I have flown a little bit, despite being a hick Oklahoman), I happily check bags. For one thing, I guess, I never had anything so irreplaceable in a checked bag that it would be anything more than an inconvenience to lose/have to replace it. I am clearly no sophisticated traveler like you though having to buy replacement items in Penang !

Posted by
319 posts

Kim, you have been very lucky. I once watched my bag get left off of of flight to Ostend from the UK. It was a small plane, so we watched it get loaded before getting on. I asked the agent to make sure my bag was not left behind. He was so helpful. He told me to take care of it in Ostend. Yeah. That airport is basically a hanger in a field without any actual office staff.
I was headed to Brugge for two weeks. I got my bag 4 days later...no need to discuss the gyrations. There were plenty.
I recall doing a meeting in Ischia wearing the same cloths that I Ieft the US wearing, 3 days earlier. Lucky for me, I always travel dressed ready to go...presentable, not perfect, but not wearing ripped out jeans and a golf shirt.
Yeah, good luck getting something from Rome/Naples to Ischia.
As I write this, it dawns on me that I could go on forever. The thing in Penang, I was able to buy underwear and a gaudy looking shirt. On that trip my bag never arrived. Singapore Airlines gave me a voucher to buy new clothes.
If you are on the move when you arrive, do not ever check a bag...that's what 4 million miles taught me.

Posted by
255 posts

There are two reasons to travel lightly with carry-on luggage. First, you arrive at your destination with your stuff and or can make swift changes in planes if necessary. Second and more importantly, you have much less to drag around, organize and take care of during a long trip. Your clothes are practical needs for the trip and not the purpose of travel IMHO.

Posted by
3279 posts

I have never understood what seems to me to be a fetish about doing carry-on only. In all my years of flying (65?), only a couple of times has my bag not arrived with me; and then, it was delivered the next day. I always pack a small under seat size bag with a change of clothes and underwear, toiletries, and meds, just in case. And, very important, my house key.
I know this won’t change the minds of the true believers; but for newbies looking for guidance, the statistics on lost luggage show that it is a very rare event.

Posted by
2877 posts

I travel with a carry on bag because it is easy for me to manage, and I often travel solo. Most of the time I check this carryon bag for the convenience. I find having my luggage with me in the airport annoying. I have traveled a lot in the past two decades particularly…2000 to 2020. Sigh. I have not had a problem, but I help the airline by allowing sufficient times between flights, making sure the correct airport destination is on the bag, have my itinerary inside the bag, and have a photo of my easily distinguishable bag to show airport personel should there be an issue. That being said, my 12 x 16 x 4 personal item has a change of clothes just in case. I have never needed them. You will always hear from those who lost their bag for a while, but you will never hear what they could have done to possibly avoid it. With all important docs, financials, meds, keys, electronics and a change of clothes in one’s small PI, one’s trip can proceed happily with or without the checked bag. IMO

So, if you can easily manage your larger bags and want to use them, go for it. Just plan a little from the start.

Posted by
319 posts

Aimee...Lifetime million mile memberships include preferred baggage handling. I swear the baggage handlers make sure that all lost bags are priority tagged. It does not make an awful lot of difference, some, but not enough to 100% trust. And lost is lost. When you think you can go to your hotel or head out for a meal, instead you need to wait until the last bag comes off the carousel, find the agency office and submit your saga.

Rosylin, fetish is a harsh way to summarize wizened, but call it as you wish. You may have enjoyed many years of lucky travel. Those of us who number ourselves as road warriors share different experiences. Look at several of the ones I shared. There are many more. I always thought that we should trust the airlines and their process. I learned that is foolish and a misplaced trust. I recall a particular night delayed in Chicago. I was on my way to Asia. I had flown from NY. My transfer to SF was cancelled. The airline offered to put us up in a hotel and get us to SF the next day. I asked for my bag and was told where to find it in the bowls of the Chicago airport. If you have ever experienced the underground that exist between terminals you would appreciate the time I spent trying to locate my bag. The folks were super helpful and let me know that the barcode system they used did not actually track the true location of the bag. The scan only told them that they had the bag, not where it was. I gave up and went to the hotel. The next day we flew to SF. Of course no bag...and the flight to Bejing was delayed/cancelled. Another hotel and then a flight the next day. No bag. Upon arrival in Bejing I once again started the lost bag process...reported where I was staying, gave them a description of the bag, showed them a picture of it etc. After that delay, I headed to the hotel. Three days later my bag arrived. The bag was in abstentia for 5 days. When I went to Chicago the first day, it went to Neenah Wisconsin. How, why? Who knows? It sure as heck did not turn up "the next day".
Yes they do sometimes get delivered a day later, but not always and from my experiences, not all that often.

My advice to any inexperienced traveler is to do as you do, carry meds, a change of underwear, your house and car keys and carry your lightly packed bag on. On your way home, fill your bag with wine, streusel, whatever and check it. Do not check the bag with your car keys in it, ever.
But, to each their own.

Posted by
37 posts

I’ll add that during Covid I started using the apple AirTags in checked bags, they are pretty sweet and while they don’t ensure your bags will get loaded, at least you have an idea as to where your bag is