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Posted by
359 posts

Ah, I remember the good old days when I could check a bag and take everything I wanted! It was wonderful. Unfortunately now it's not a philosophical issue of checked vs. carry on. I just can't lift even the max size carry on up those steep train steps!

Posted by
2764 posts

So the reason the writer checks is so they can belittle passengers who don't.... hmmm...

Sad article and sad that it got posted here.

I do both but don't feel the need to trash talk.

Posted by
10289 posts

I have no dog in this fight, but...

There was a clever article from the Times, but I see this is something else all together.

Since I detest trendy buzz words, such as virtuous, I didn't even finish the first sentence.

Posted by
15532 posts

I hope everyone who likes to check a bag continues to do so. In fact, I' m going to encourage anyone who is even comtemplating checking a bag to do so.

More overhead space for me.

Posted by
4230 posts

55% of people still check a bag and I'm in favor of getting that number to 65% or even 75%...as long as it's not me. At first I was wondering if the author was trying to be humorous but at the end I wasn't sure if her point was to be anything but condescending. All I got out of it was a lazy, angry person wanting to rant that she doesn't like to be inconvenienced. I wonder if she also packs an iron to deal with the linen outfits she brags about.

Posted by
914 posts

If you want to check a bag, go for it.

Verge Deals / Sign up for Verge Deals to get deals on products we've tested sent to your inbox daily.

I pulled this off of their website. I am sure both the author and The Verge will be happy to give their linked recommendations for luggage.

Posted by
2732 posts

I could tell she was not on my wave length as soon as she said she wore three outfits the first day of her trip. And she takes face creamS. How many do you need? Zero for me, but who cares? To each his own. Everyone should do what makes them happy, at least when it comes to luggage.

The only thing I can’t understand is why she thinks it’s so difficult to edit your wardrobe. It is super easy to select three pairs of black leggings or pants, five or six tops, a lightweight jacket, a fleece and a waterproof windbreaker.

Posted by
14157 posts

You do you. I’ll do me.

I’ve never felt the need to do a “costume change” in the middle of the day. Well, possibly in Yellowstone where I started out the day in below freezing AM temps and by 2PM it was 75 so stopped by the cabin to go from jeans to capris.

She misses the main reason I’ve gone back to carry on and that is lost luggage. Pictures of Heathrow and Schiphol last summer with thousands of bags stacked up still float thru my head. I’m glad her outfit for the wedding made it with her.

It’s fine with me if anyone wants to check a bag but please don’t expect assistance if you can’t get your 26” bag up into a European train.

I do find her tone condescending and holier-than-thou. For me it misses the clever mark for writing and is a fairly weak piece when viewing with a neutral eye. But each of us enjoys different things.

Posted by
5353 posts

I do both. If it's a short weekend city break I'll take a carry on but for longer then I'll check a suitcase or two. I typically rent a car when on holiday so hauling luggage around isn't an issue. I also self cater a lot so I'll bring along a set of decent, sharp knives I have specifically for travelling. I have a foldable chimney starter for easy barbecue lighting and even a US plugged Nutribullet! Throw in a bluetooth speaker, various changes of footwear, gym clothing, casual clothing and smart clothing it's easy to see how it all mounts up. I'm currently in Crete with my family renting a villa so four fullsize cases went straight from carousel to car to villa.

I can, however, see the sense in packing light if there is going to be lots of travelling around by public transport.

Posted by
602 posts

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but we all too often these days act like our opinions are the same as facts. They are not. I say carry-on or check your bag. It's no skin off my nose either way what someone else does. She can pack a suitcase full of face creams if she wants; maybe she needs them. Who am I to say she should or shouldn't? In the end, all I care about is getting to my destination safe and sound, and that happens, hopefully, no matter where my (or your) luggage is stored. Happy travels!

Posted by
154 posts

I do find her tone condescending and holier-than-thou.

Well, yes, but unfortunately, I find that attitude can be here as well. I’ve seen posts where people share a packing list and someone comes along and asks/questions/states “ why do you need 4 pairs of pants? I take 2” or “7 pairs of underwear? You only need 2…one to wash and one to wear”.

I do agree with you….everyone should be nice and do what works for them. Obviously, ask questions when you are really seeking information, but don’t ask questions just to feel superior.

Posted by
6801 posts

There are really 3 camps here. She didn't mention the "in-betweens." People (like me) who check a lightly packed carry-on bag it because they just don't want to deal with it at the airport. I have a TravelPro Maxlite carry-on spinner that weighs 5.4 lbs, and is relatively easy to maneuver, but I don't want to have to deal with it in the security lines, at the gates, and during the layover. It's easier to maneuver with just a personal bag and I think the risks of losing a bag are low enough that I don't worry about it.

Posted by
602 posts

Mardee, My thoughts exactly. One can pack light and still check the bag, for the reasons you stated and others. Too bad we all can't just, literally, mind our own business. But that seems to be in short supply these days.

Posted by
5032 posts

Ah, some people need to take a chill pill. I thought it was an amusing, lighthearted article from the other side of the packing debate. Its refreshing to read a different viewpoint on this issue for a change. The carry on or die brigade seems to have no problem taking jabs at those who check bags, but can't seem to take it when the lighthearted jabs are directed back at them.

She sounds like she is quite capable of managing her luggage, but chooses to check; and I'm right there with her. As for changing her clothes more than once a day- I do that more often than not. I almost always shower and change into fresh clothing before going out to dinner. Especially in warmer weather. And while I'm not averse to doing sink laundry or hitting a laundromat, I choose to pack enough that I miminize how often I need to do it. Many people here consider that heresy, but feel free to revel in your packing virtue. I'll continue to happily fill up my 25 incher.

Posted by
6801 posts

After I wrote the above, I was scrolling through the article's comments and someone in there referenced this article from the NY Times. Got a Flight? Don’t Even Think About Checking a Bag (no paywall). BTW, this article is pretty funny - the author is gay (and references that frequently, tongue in cheek). Here is one quote from it that I laughed out loud at:

My boyfriend is, somehow, even worse than I am. His philosophy when it comes to luggage is progressive: Leave no shirts behind, lest they feel excluded from our vacation. He doesn’t want anyone at a hotel to see him in the same outfit twice.

I find it really funny sometimes how traveling has become inundated with social mores like this. It seems (to me, anyway) that it's gotten stricter over the years. Maybe it's because more people travel and so this is a way of coping with the crowds. But it does seem to go from one extreme to the other sometimes. :)

Posted by
154 posts

Mardee, me too. We often get free bags because of status, so cost isn’t a factor. My husband does not like carton bags unless it’s for a very short trip.

However, I also pack an emergency set of clothes in my carryon, when I check a bag. I almost exclusively wear slacks on a plane, because I get cold. So I pack a second top, and one more outfit depending on the trip (like a dress), sleepwear, a second pair of underwear an d socks and for the beach, a swimsuit.

Posted by
14157 posts

Mardee, I did think that article about the trip to Vegas was very clever. I loved what you quoted...so funny.

Posted by
15976 posts

"Check a bag, you glamorous beast."

Best laugh I've had today. 😂
Nothing in my checked Travelpro but jeans and utterly un-glamorous shirts and grungies but dang it, the traveling kettle is a GOTTA HAVE. You do not want to deal with me until I've had coffee, instant or not, and we tend to get up at a ridiculous hour.

Like wise Pam said, "You do you." Works for me!

Posted by
18504 posts

Nasty article.

Who cares with the subject matter? Trouble is that its the norm now for any subject matter.

I may be a Basic Economy L.L. but I have more class than the author.

Posted by
5635 posts

I do find her tone condescending and holier-than-thou.

Really? I thought it was humorous, not serious.

Posted by
455 posts

Yes--I'm more in-between. Carry ons for city clothes, toiletries and misc, and a checked bag for outdoor gear/activities.

Posted by
8500 posts

I think the most interesting aspect of this post is that a valued forum member (Scudder) felt some vindication when he read it. In order for someone to feel vindicated, they have to have previously felt under attack.

I think the underlying issue here really isn't checking bags vs. carryon, I think it is respecting the travel choices of others. I think people do feel a little under attack sometimes on this forum when they ask a question about a hot button issue or unknowingly ask a question that has been answered multiple times. This is a good reminder to me to make sure my responses don't feel like an attack.

Posted by
217 posts

I’m a fan of the hybrid model. Carry-on for the departure because if I’m traveling, I don’t want to worry about my luggage catching up with me. Check on the way home because I’m tired, don’t want to schlep through airports, worry about overhead space and the luggage will catch up with me eventually at home.

Posted by
10 posts

I'm increasingly trying to go with a single bag even on ROAD trips. In the car. With plenty of trunk space. (Snacks and drinks do get their own separate bag, and I do also have my everyday purse-backpack.)

Having multiple bags, and getting X from one and Y from another and Z from another, and then putting it all away before we leave for the next destination, makes me...twitchy. Irritated. It adds immensely to my travel stress.

And while I could probably analyze my packing and try to optimize it so that things I need together are likely to be in the same bag...that's a lot of work that I'd rather put into everything being in ONE bag.

However, it DOES make me more understanding of people who carry multiple bags, because I'm assuming that for them, trying to figure out what thing will serve three purposes, and how to jam all the things into one bag, and how to get them out without having to undo a Rubik's Cube of perfectly packed items, makes them...twitchy. Irritated. Adds immensely to their travel stress.

But I'm not them. So. One bag for me.

Posted by
3240 posts

I thought it was humorous. It made me chuckle. Why be offended by a light hearted opinion piece about packing?

I'm with Mardee:

She didn't mention the "in-betweens." People (like me) who check a lightly packed carry-on bag it because they just don't want to deal with it at the airport.

Also, I can't pack a lot because I also have to carry it and I don't want to do that.

Many reasons and many systems. Do you.

Posted by
1677 posts

Whether I carry on or I don't carry on, one thing I don't choose to carry is a big chip on my shoulder, like the author does, and some posters in the thread seem to.

Posted by
7389 posts

"Packing your clever little carry-on is an awful lot of planning, an awful lot of work, and an awful lot of compromise — that is, it’s awful."

Made me laugh! To each their own. : )

Posted by
2267 posts

What a fascinating set of replies to what I thought was a more lighthearted post.

In circumstances such as these, I like to meditate on my second favorite quote of Maya Angleou's, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Posted by
3240 posts

In circumstances such as these, I like to meditate on my second favorite quote of Maya Angleou's, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Great response. And I've always loved this quote! I'm so curious now...I'll have to meditate on what your favorite quote of Angelou's is.

Posted by
18504 posts

Scudder, it was probably written with good humor so I presume no mal-intent. Unfortunately these days no-one can have a serious discussion on the important things without it being nothing more than a listing of personal attacks. Intelect is dead. What would have otherwise been funny, for me at least, just echos the mindless hate in every other debatable subject. And yes. I am just burned out. So, not you or your choice in humor, just me.

Posted by
195 posts

And don't forget the holier than thou, "only bring one pair of shoes". As if an extra pair of 6 oz sandals would kill anyone or prevent them from carrying on their luggage.

Posted by
2211 posts

After following this thread, I decided to check out the author of the article. It definitely looks like she was going for a light-hearted take on the check versus carry-on debate and maybe missed it for some of us. I probably should have carried more face-cream over the years and, in looking at pictures, I could have used more hair implements, but as we sailed by all the people trying to figure out how to free their checked luggage from the May LHR debacle with our carryons, we’ll continue to be hybrids.

Posted by
332 posts

Hybrid here.

I’m so jealous of the article author. This was like a dream. As I was reading I started fantasizing. Ah, the luxury of just tossing a 16oz bottle of shampoo in my suitcase without thinking twice. Packing a scarf for every mood. Bringing sandals, water shoes, sneakers, walking shoes, slippers, boots AND a pair of adorable heels for that one evening at the ballet. Change of costume?! That sounds fun - can I be a pirate?

Then I woke up and remembered that, oh right, I have to carry that suitcase. Sheesh, I could seriously injure myself, or have a cardiac event if I had to haul a 50 lb suitcase up that always-broken-escalator-from-that-deepest-tube -station-in-London. Traveling with my 21” travelpro Maxlite is not a moral decision, or even terribly philosophical - just what works so I don’t hurt myself. : /

Recently, I was reading a hotel review on booking.com and someone gave the otherwise very well-reviewed hotel a “1” because — “there was no bellman to help me with my luggage”. Ah right, some people need/want help with their luggage. That’s cool. OK, I thought, “no bellman” not an issue, this hotel looks just fine for me. (Moldy bathrooms and lumpy beds, that’s another story and another post.)

Posted by
9766 posts

Patty, I love this so much !!!

I probably should have carried more face-cream over the years

Posted by
1194 posts

I’m always disgusted by people that assume the thoughts of others. Invariably, you know they are projecting. Add in name calling and I know I’m dealing with a toxic person.

A healthy person would simply… own their choices. Check their bag if they want to, carry on if they want to.

But no, the author stirs the pot by creating a false dichotomy. Check through Vs one baggers!! They militantly shove their own preferences in the face of others.

BTW, I know I’m not trying to feel virtuous. I just don’t want the airline to lose my bag. It has nothing to do with the author or anyone else.

Posted by
14580 posts

Flying to Europe and inside the US, ie, outside of CA, I have always checked in, ie, the main piece, would not feel right if I didn't This means summer trips in Europe lasting from 3 weeks to 9 weeks, basically bringing 2 pieces, ie, the spinner weighing ca. 30 lbs. and the shoulder sack carry-on ca. 15 -17 lbs. ...ie, full compliment. Clothes (pants, shirts, etc) go into both pieces of luggage.

I could see myself doing a shorter trip in Europe only bringing a carry-on...also doable

Posted by
4421 posts

Whatever happened to "to each his own"? I'm really getting tired of the attitude in the US that my way is the only correct way(except what will soon happen on Saturday afternoons in the only conference that matters)

Posted by
14580 posts

The disadvantage to checking in your luggage, be it one piece or 2, is that it is not free, another nuisance expense. If it were free, I would have no qualms checking in the 2 pieces I bring, the spinner as well as the carry-on, so that when boarding no "carry-on" is with me.

Posted by
2764 posts

All I can say with her attitude in this post I don't think excess luggage is her only "problem" :) Glad I don't travel with her

Apparently her way is "right" and everyone else should be "belittled" to make her feel important. YIKES!

Posted by
898 posts

Well I have to admit that I did feel like a "virtuous" carry-on queen during a recent trip to Scotland. We were traveling with another couple taking a week tour with a tour company then heading out on our own taking Scottish trains. I normally don't do carry-on only but have always done a fair about of planning and organizing. After an awful experience last year managing my usual large bag on/off a Spanish train and around the Barcelona metro I decided for this trip to do the carry-on only thing.

Our friends had never taken European trains, had no idea how you had to handle your own luggage, what the storage racks were like, etc. I tried to prepare them for what to expect - and that they would have to manage all their own luggage. I also shared how I plan my packing. My friends husband thought my efforts were hilarious especially following Sarah Murdochs guidance to weigh items. We arrive at the airport for the trip start and there he is with a fully loaded 25" spinner, 21" spinner, and large full backpack. Other than his CPAC god knows what the heck were in all those bags. His wife was packing close to that amount. And yes, they had a heck of a time wheeling their bags around the train station, on/off 3 trains, and to/from our hotel. When we took a taxi in Glasgow we were all cramped in with this huge pile of luggage and he was particularly annoyed that he was uncomfortable. I managed not to outright laugh but yep - I felt virtuous.

BTW, due to the heat wave in Scotland I came home with 2 tops, a sweater and a jacket never worn.

CJ-Traveler,
You tried to give your travel partners good advice and they ignored it. Good of you not to engage in “I told you so” arrogance. Your travel companions were learning to travel the hard way. That’s when you feel a bit of personal gratitude and relief for planning well.

There are so many ways and styles to travel. I honestly would dislike traveling with a particular dear friend, because her travel style is radically different than mine. Not “wrong,” just different.