Carry on Luggage only versus checking bag

Going on my first RS trip to Italy in October and trying to decide on only taking a carry on bag (advice of my children) versus checking a bag, which might make packing a little easier.  Has anyone had issues with checking luggage going overseas?

  • I went to Italy last November and had no problems with checking my bag. However, you may want to see what the time interval is between flights to give you more assurance that the bags make the connecting flight.
  • Are you going on the Best of Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice one? (Oct.7-20) I am taking that tour and have decided on carry on luggage only. My daughter had an experience, where her luggage was lost, flying to Italy. It wasn't anything connected with Road Scholars, but made me leery of checked baggage.

  • In reply to PLSTANSELL043000:

    Thank you. I am going to Cinque Terre, Carrara and Medieval Hill Towns, Oct. 1. I am considering carry on only, but the limitations of packing liquids; make-up, lotions, toiletries, etc., seems the most difficult aspect.
  • In reply to kakellogg52072904:

    The airline regulations are a pain! I am buying small trial size bottles of everything. Hair Gel is the biggest pain for me.
  • To help ease your mind when you do check luggage: Get the airline's app for your smartphone. The app may make it possible to track your bags. I have used the Delta and the American Airlines apps. No app is going to make sure your luggage is loaded on your flight, but it will tell you that your bags are on the same flight you are so you can breathe easy.
    I attended a AAA seminar on packing and was inspired to see if I can do a 3-week trip to France with a carry-on size suitcase. I did a test packing today and it looks good. But I still intend to check the suitcase.
  • In reply to cgraunke57030221:

    Our experience with 8 Rick Steve 's tours of Europe is with carry on only. Besides not having the lost luggage hassle, much of Europe is not easy to haul luggage around. Rolling carry on worked well.
  • In reply to PLSTANSELL043000:

    I just bought the GoToob bottles and fill them with my regular products. So much cheaper than trial size and always have the brands I use.
  • I usually check a bag, but in addition, I always have a small carry-on with enough clothes for a couple of days in the event that the checked bag arrives late. Once I had to wait 2 days until the airline could get the bag to my hotel. Good luck!
  • In reply to lndg5012042:

    My husband and I have traveled all over the world for as long as three weeks at a time with one carry-on backpack-type bag for each of us, even on trips with widely diverging temperatures. We usually take clothing for 4 -5 days. We have a laundry line and powdered soap, and we hand wash articles we need. All of our clothing is quick-dry and travel friendly. We travel a lot, so the initial expense was justified. We wear any bulky items on the plane. We usually wear Keen Newport sandals, which are good for walking, and hiking, and in cool weather we wear wool socks. Our bags don’t have wheels, saving weight and space, and they average 11-13 lbs each, so they are easy to carry. Works for us!
  • My last airline trips have too many problems: weather issues, delayed flights, waiting for crew to transport elsewhere. Remember delayed baggage will be more of a proble crossing borders without you. Also, will any delayed luggage be able to catch up with you? How many connections do you have where luggage can be delayed? I admire people who travel with less. Check Rick Steves for luggage tips - he never seems to change clothes!
  • In reply to GerryL:

    GerryL I just had a miserable experience with United and American airlines where weather caused flight delays and United rebooked me on American. For 3 days no one had any info on my luggage. And I was on a cycling trip with no other clothing and no place to purchase anything.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    How awful. I now use a personal tracker device in my checked and carry on bags. Also carry a few days of clothes & comfy shoes in carry on. Ridiculous but once you lose luggage you understand. My carry on is collapsible so once I get to my destination it get folded up and goes into my checked bag so I only have one bag to schlep around at my destination. Granted my checked bag is bigger than it needs to be but at least I have what I need to survive in the event of lost luggage.

  • In reply to PLSTANSELL043000:

    Hi I am going on the same trip. I think I have decided to just do carry on. So excited. Sounds like a wonderful trip.
  • In reply to CT_PBW:

    I had confusion with the United website as to what constitutes basic economy. Didn’t realize there were 2 classes of economy and understand that I was allowed only a personal bag as carry on and had to check anything else. Wish I could alwys fly Southwest.
  • Be sure to check the maximum size for carry-on bags. We had what would be considered carry on in the US and Austrian Air made us check it and pay a punitive fee