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It’s a great debate in the travel world, maybe the biggest one you can imagine. The age-old debate of bringing a carry-on or checked bag to the airport. Depending on who you talk to, the type of traveler, and the bags that you already have, there can be many factors that go into your decision. Let’s get right to it!
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You can save time at the airport (and get there later)
If you are one of those people who loves getting to the airport at the very last minute, then rejoice! With the freedom of only a carry on you can roll up to the airport and head through security as last-minute as your heart desires. Typically with checked luggage, the cut off time is 30 minutes prior to taking off for domestic flights.
You can move locations on your trip easier
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Sometimes a trip involves moving locations, and if you have a small footprint it can be much easier and less stressful.
Layovers can be tough
If there is one thing that is unfortunate about carrying your own bag around, it’s that if you have a layover these can be particularly frustrating. Airports like Chicago O’Hare for instance can lend way to insane terminal changes especially if you go from an international to a domestic flight.
It can be tough to pack for a longer trip or cold-weather destinations.
Beach vacations are wonderful because most of your outfits will include swimwear attire, which takes up less space. Going to a cold-weather destination, on the other hand, can be tough in just a carry-on.
You might miss out on overhead space
The majority of major airlines have a specific boarding order. If you are not up in the top 1/2 of this boarding order, you often could find yourself struggling for overhead bag space.
You can bring as much as you want!
Can’t decide on the perfect shoes, or amount of outfits? As long as you have the baggage space, you can pack to your heart’s desire (just be careful these bags don’t go over 50 pounds!)
You may have to pay baggage fees
Depending on the airline, or the size of your bag, baggage fees could apply. This frustration can be mitigated by having the right credit card.
If your flight is delayed severely, then you may be unable to be flexible in getting to your new destination quickly.
One of the great things about having a carry on over a checked bag is the flexibility of being able to adapt to travel changes quickly. Delays happen, and if your bag is already under the plane it can be difficult to change plans quickly.
How Credit Cards Can Help
Depending on what card you have you can have excellent peace of mind when you head to the airport. Some airline cobranded credit cards such as the United Explorer Card and the Citi Advantage Platinum Select Card (American Airlines) can get you and your companion the first checked bag free.
Cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, also let you “erase” purchases with the points that you earn. So if you do happen to incur baggage fees, you can erase those at the conclusion of your trip.
Earn a 100,000 welcome bonus once you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months from account opening. You can earn 50,000 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. You will then have 12 months to spend the remaining $17,000.
Basic Thoughts: We love these Venture Miles as they are incredibly easy to use and redeem. You also always earn an unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, every day.
Learn More Here.
Many cards also offer some form of travel insurance and can help in the event of a lost bag. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve can not only help you replace your bag in the event of a loss, but also give you are insured against incidental costs arising from baggage delays of over six hours, up to $100 a day for up to five days. If it turns out the airline does in fact lose your bag, you are insured up to $3,000 per passenger.
Earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- $300 Travel Credit
- Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
- $100 application fee credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre Check
- 3x points on travel & dining after earning $300 in travel credits; 1x everything else
So what do you think, basic travelers? Is it a carry-on or checked bag for you? I’m dying to hear your opinion in this great traveling debate. Although, you are unlikely to be able to sway the most diehard of travelers out of their go-to method. Let us know what you think in the comments below or over in the 4,000 + Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!
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Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
The comments section below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.