Lessons from Travel Bag Chaos

May 12, 2022

living, travel

Bags, Bags, Bags – Lessons from Travel Bag Chaos

To ring in a new decade, I spent my 30th in Paris. It’s been a dream for a few years, which means I’ve had some time to plan and prepare. However, getting to Paris was more chaotic than expected, primarily due to the choices I made with my travel bags.

Here are my takeaways on travel bags:

Caveat – If you’re a natural planner, you may already know all of this, but if you’re not (like me!) then I hope some of these help you in your future adventures. 


Typically Korey and I travel with a single backpack that meets all airline measurements for a free personal item. We love doing this, one because it’s free of charge, and two, it makes traveling so easy. The downside to this method is that we have to pack lean, and it did not teach us how to travel with luggage (foreshadowing…). Since this trip is longer than our other trips, we decided to add three more bags: one more backpack and two carry-on roller bags. That was a bad idea. We were completely overwhelmed. Next time we’ll opt for one really big checked bag instead of three cabin-friendly sized ones. Our big takeaway is that we should make sure the bags accommodate our style of travel and comfort. We like to have our hands free. We like to take public transportation (over taxis and Uber). So for us, less is less stressful. 


Next time I travel internationally I’m triple checking the dimensions for the particular airline because you never know how strict they will be. The French bee was very particular about the depth of the bags and rejected almost everyone’s carry-on. I’d never seen that with an airline, but the 6” depth was technically mentioned on their website. Since no one had such tiny luggage, they checked everyone’s “oversized” carry-ons free of charge. The biggest inconvenience is that we were anticipating having to check three of our five bags, which leads to…

Spare Bag

I’m so glad that I tucked away a tote bag because when we had to check bags, I was able to whip out my tote and fill it with everything I would be devastated to lose if the airlines misplaced our luggage. Additionally, the tote was great when we went through security, I had put all our toiletries and loose-pocket items in there before reaching the bins, so it saved us time.


I was also grateful that I thought to pack extra ziplock’s this trip. Because, wouldn’t you figure one of mine ripped and another had a leaking item, so I was able to replace them! I also wanted to have a few items that would be easy to access during the flight, so after getting through security I was able to grab a new bag and make an “on board” toiletry bag.

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