Pack light this summer and don’t check bags…

As tempting as it is to pack lots of clothes on a long trip, it is in your best interest to pack light and travel with only carry-on luggage whenever possible. That’s always good advice, but it’s especially true this summer.

My challenge to you: don’t check in your luggage when you fly this summer

First a warning about this summer. The situation is bad, especially in Canada and Europe:

The old joke that there are only two types of bags, a carry-on bag and a lost bag, isn’t really a joke these days…as thousands can attest.

Understand that airlines on both sides of the Atlantic are facing critical labor shortages and we have seen recent meltdowns in Montreal, London and Amsterdam with thousands having their bags severed.

Don’t think this can’t happen in the US either: at Award Expert we’ve been dealing with lost luggage issues all month, particularly in Newark.

You probably don’t need checked baggage

Experienced travelers know that human nature is too heavy baggage. It’s amazing how many trips I’ve taken over the years only to return home with a suitcase full of clothes I haven’t worn.

Sure, bring a change of underwear for each day (or multiple days if you have access to laundry), but let’s be honest with each other. For most people, wearing the same shirt for a few days isn’t a big deal. I’m certainly not advocating that we stink to avoid a bag check; but I don’t think that’s the compromise.

Instead, roll up your clothes, pack light, dress in layers when flying, and you’ll likely find that you can manage just fine with one carry-on and one personal item.

It’s true that budget airlines sometimes charge more to bring a carry-on bag on board than a checked bag, but that’s not the point, it’s about minimizing the risk of losing your bags during a very busy summer travel season.


I challenge you to leave your checked bags at home this summer and find that you’re fine with a carry-on. Sure, you might not have four pairs of shoes and two evening dresses, but you can have peace of mind knowing your belongings are directly above you or below your feet.