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what is allowed for carry on-domestic and international?

I have a simple, maybe stupid question.
It has been almost 5 years since I flew internationally and I have forgotten what I can take on a plane.
On my flight to and from Rome, I got an exit row window seat. I am planning to use a Rick Steves carry on Ravenna bag, but can I also carry over my shoulders a small day pack? Can I use the same setup when I fly from Rome to Palermo? On the same airline, ITA a few hours later? Which I assume is a smaller plane.
I have not gotten the Ravenna bag yet, because I am not sure what I can carry on the plane.
Is it easier to take on a plane, a legal sized rolling case, plus day pack as opposed to a legal sized back pack, with the shoulder straps tucked away, and a small day pack? Or does it not matter?
I'm trying to figure out the best way to carry the most I can on a 3 week trip, using only carry on.
Thanks, D. Ross

Posted by
531 posts

Recommend checking with your airline's specific rules and regulations around luggage, both checked and carry on. They are all so different. For example, I'm flying KLM to and from my upcoming tour, and they have a 26 lb total limit for carry on bags, which I've never seen before.

Also, with respect to security, even if you have TSA PreCheck and don't have to worry about liquids when you leave the US, if you have to connect in Europe, you will. Some airports are stricter than others, but most still follow the same 3-1-1 quart size bag rule.

Posted by
7710 posts

ITA specifies what is allowed on their website, but a carry-on and a day pack is allowed, search "ITA baggage allowance" for sizes and weights, the only thing a bit concerning is that you carry-on would be limited to a weight of 8 kg, just over 17 lbs, tough for an overseas trip, you might consider a checked bag.

Another quirk, most air regulations will prevent you having your day bag with you in the exit row, at least during takeoff and landing.

Posted by
14246 posts

Thanks Frank for linking the ITA regulations on baggage.

To me the Ravenna is too heavy to consider getting when you've got a total weight of 8k/17.6#. The Ravenna itself weighs 7.25#. Since you are going to get a new suitcase anyway, I'd look at the brands in the 5+# range (none of Rick's are this light) which will give you a bit more flex with packing.

Posted by
3234 posts

I fly to Italy and other parts of Europe each year.
Since I began going carryon only (only 3 trips so far), I have taken a carryon rolling case, a backpack that is day bag sized, and my crossbody bag.
I’ve never been asked to put the crossbody into the daypack to go down to two items.
Airlines I have used were KLM, Air Canada, ITa, Air France and Lufthansa.
I flew ITa Rome to Palermo this past April.
They took my carryon suitcase and gate checked it for free as the overheads were full.

The one thing with European airlines is to be very strict in complying with their rules for your bag size and weight.
They can be very picky.

Posted by
127 posts

Thanks to everyone for the helpful information.
I found an LL Bean Approach Med. bag. 2 wheels, 21x14x8.5 inches just over 6 pounds. With tie down and mesh screens on both sides, and outside straps too. It seems like the closest bag, size wise and weight wise to fitting on international flight regulations and still give me decent packing room and security. I will take a small daypack that is light enough and I will carry 2 days of clothes and necessities in that. Even though I am in an emergency aisle, I could carry both on and put them in overhead. I could if had to shove the daypack in the carry on and use the straps to cinch it all down, like I did once before with an Osprey porter 46. Which is the worst, most uncomfortable bag to put on your back for more than 20 seconds. Useless hipbelt, and a hard pack panel.

Posted by
7011 posts

Since I began going carryon only (only 3 trips so far), I have taken a carryon rolling case, a backpack that is day bag sized, and my crossbody bag. I’ve never been asked to put the crossbody into the daypack to go down to two items.

In the past decade or so, I have always managed to get my crossbody, a dayback and carry-on on board ... until this year. I've heard several airlines have started cracking down on that and have made announcements that people will only be allowed to bring 2 items on board. It happened to me earlier this year when I went to Scotland, so I wound up tucking my small crossbody into my personal bag.

Posted by
3234 posts

Airlines take all the items that you would put under the seat in front of you at the seats in the emergency exit row away only for takeoff and landing.
Otherwise you can keep them on the floor in front of you in-flight.
Nowadays, it’s considered bad form to put two items in the overhead locker when more people than ever are taking carryon bags.
People still do it of course……🧐

It sounds like you have bought the perfect carryon bag!

Mardee: which airline were you on?

Posted by
127 posts

I looked for a long time at rolling 2 wheeled bags. I found a great one at LLBean. The Approach medium. It is 21 inches tall instead of 22, X 14 in. X 8.5 inches and weighs 6 pounds. It opens like a book and both sides have straps and mesh covers. It also has two exterior straps. It is one of the best small international carry on bags I could find. I usually only like to use a backpack like an Osprey Farpoint or Cotopaxi 42 liter bag. I think since I have more airport time on this trip, and no trains, the rolling bag will work best with my small 20 liter daypack.

That approach bag by LLBean looks nice. LLBean is finally catching up with flying travelers in terms of luggage dimensions. I would like to see LLBean take it a step further and make a smaller version of this bag with a length of 20” or 19.5.”

Pack for 5 - 6 days and do laundry every 4 - 5 days. Paying for laundry service at a laundromat or doing it yourself at a laundry facility is worth it on a 3 week trip. A little down time is necessary for a 3 week trip.