Think you’ve got your packing routine down-pat? I’m sure you do but there’s a piece of luggage that you might not be using and should consider: The underseater bag. This kind of bag, specifically designed to fit neatly under the seat in front of you, will help to make your travels easier and more organized. Plus, with all your valuable safely stowed at your feet, you can keep a closer eye on them. RELATED: In-Flight Theft is Real – Here’s How to Prevent it and Protect Your Stuff
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I’ve been an advocate of traveling with carry-on only for almost exactly 16 years. I remember when I converted from an overpacker to a streamlined, carry-on only traveler. I was living in Toronto at the time and my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I were taking a 16-day trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii to Australia and then back to LA for a wedding. Obviously, I was going to overpack for this long and exciting trip! That is, until my boyfriend called me and said something along the lines of, “Hey, you know how you like to pack a lot? Don’t. We’ll be traveling on some small planes in Australia and we don’t want to have heavy, oversized luggage weighing the plane down.”
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Welp. Pretty hard to argue with that. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pack for this trip in just a carry-on suitcase but it was a mission I accepted … and succeeded at! And I never looked back (until I had kids and now it’s a circus but that’s another story.)
Traveling with carry-on only has so many benefits:
1. It’s just so much easier
A small, carry-on suitcase is so much easier to manage and it’s liberating to cruise through an airport with all your stuff with you in an easy-to-roll bag.
2. No baggage fees
Cha-ching! Traveling with carry-on only means not paying the airlines EVEN. MORE. MONEY.
3. The airline can’t lose your bag
Lost luggage numbers went through the roof over the summer due to a confluence of events, namely unprecedented demand for travel met with unprecedented labor shortages. That’s why experts recommended popping an Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag into your checked bags to track them. But with carry-on only, none of this is your problem.
4. No wasting time at the baggage carousel
Whether you’ve just arrived in a new destination or have just landed back home, waiting for your bag at the baggage carousel is annoying and time-consuming. And that’s if your bag even makes it out …
5. It’s easier (and cheaper) to get around
If you have a small, manageable bag, getting around is so much easier and can be much cheaper, too. It’s easier to hop on shuttles and buses or even just walk.
Check out this underseater bag packing video:
@billiefayepinionRyanAir Small Bag / Under seat bag ??♬ original sound – OTP Control
These days, airlines are nickel and diming customers at every turn and baggage fees turn into way more than small change for the big carriers. You can take a closer look at how much money baggage fees net airlines here but, spoiler alert: In 2018, American Airlines alone raked in $1.2 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) in baggage fees.
Most airlines will still let you board the aircraft with two pieces of luggage (one suitcase and one personal item) free of charge but to make the most of those two pieces, you’ll want to invest in a smart underseater bag that can fit easily but still hold a ton of stuff so you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips, I mean … feet. The advantage of an underseater bag is that it’s made specifically for this purpose. It should slide neatly into place so you don’t have to push and shove your bag into place, its contents spilling out. It’s a much more organized option. Most underseater bags have a strap on the back so they can attach to your rolling suitcase.
Here are 5 underseater bags to consider for your next trip, most of which, at the time of publication, are on sale for Cyber Monday:
1 Amazon Basics Underseat Carry-On Rolling Travel Luggage Bag with Wheels
2 Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port
3 Travelpro Maxlite 5 Lightweight Underseat Carry-on Travel Tote Bag
4 Rockland Melrose Upright Wheeled Underseater Carry-On Luggage
5 American Tourister Expandable Softside Underseater
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