Should I Check my Bags?

5 Reasons You Should Stop Checking Your Bags… Right Now!

 by Brad Kammlah

In This Article, You’ll Learn

  • How changing this one thing saves you HOURS on every trip
  • The ONLY TIME you should ever check a bag
  • What checking a bag is ACTUALLY COSTING you

There you are in the boardroom about to deliver your most important presentation of the year but with one major problem. You’re delivering it wearing Bermuda shorts and a cheesy Hawaiian shirt because the airline lost your bag and that’s unfortunately what you were wearing on the flight.

If you’re still checking a bag at the airport this is a real possibility along with a host of other really crappy things that go along with checking a bag.

Not convinced? Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the things you’re throwing away by still checking that bag.

5 Reasons You Should Stop Checking Your Bag Right Now

1 Checking a Bag Wastes Time

My favorite scene from the movie Up in the Air is when Anna Kendrick shows up at the airport dragging a squeaky, over-sized suitcase. George Clooney, annoyed, just looks at her and asks her how much time you lose checking a bag? She guesses it must be only five or ten minutes. He responds, “35 minutes a flight, traveling 270 days a year, that’s 157 hours or seven days of wasted time. Are you willing to throw away an entire week on that?”

Exactly! Traveling weekly or even monthly multiplies every hassle, every stress, every long line, and every minute of time wasted by however many trips you take a year. Do we really want to waste precious hours of our lives on dumb stuff like waiting for our bag? As dramatic as it sounds, changing these small things changes our lives in a big way!

If anything George Clooney’s estimate was a little low. I think you could easily waste 30 minutes in that huge line you see at the ticketing agent and another 30 minutes waiting for your bag at the sad merry go round we call baggage claim. That’s over an hours for every flight! No thanks!

[clickToTweet tweet=”You waste an hour of your life every time you check a bag at the airport. Let’s learn to travel better! #traveltips” quote=”You waste an hour of your life every time you check a bag at the airport.”]

2 Checking a Bag Wastes Money

Most airlines now charge at least $25 to check the first bag and $50 to $100 for the second bag. And don’t forget if any of those bags are “overweight” then that’s an additional $100. That can easily add up to thousands of dollars a year in baggage fees alone. So checking a bag wastes both time and money? We’re starting to see why this is a lose-lose.

3 Airlines Lose Bags Every Day

Now that you’ve paid the airline extra to keep your bag safe, you can be sure that it will be there for you when you land right? Ah, if only!

About 1% of all bags aren’t there when you arrive, either being sent to the wrong destination, delayed or lost all together. While this doesn’t seem like a huge number, just consider having to

  • Show up to a meeting wearing what you did on the plane
  • Not having your toiletries, shaver, toothbrush, deodorant
  • Not having your medications
  • Not having any clean clothes for the next few days
  • No PJ’s for the night

And don’t forget that if your bag is lost, it comes with a free trip to the “Lost Luggage Department.” This all inclusive destination of misery come complete with another 30 minute of waiting in line, a staff member that’s somehow annoyed at YOU, a room full of other angry travelers only to still leave without your bag and only the vague promise that they’ll “let you know if they find it.”

4 Switching Flights is Easier with Carry-Ons

If you’re trying to catch that earlier flight the gate attendant is MUCH more likely to accommodate you… If you haven’t checked a bag. They don’t have to reroute your bags and is less hassle to get you switched over.

And if you’re flight is completely cancelled, it sure is nice to march right out the airport with all your stuff already with you than to waste another 30 minutes to reclaim a bag downstairs.

5 Carry-Ons Force You to Pack Better

It’s just in our nature to want to be prepared for anything on a trip, but that also makes us pack WAY too much! If you know you’re checking your bag, you’re likely to load it down with as much stuff as possible, but remember you’re still the one who has to lug that thing to the airport, out of your car, off the baggage carousel, into your rental car and to your hotel. Making sure that everything you pack fits into carry-on luggage will force you to lighten your load making your entire trip better.

The ONLY TIME you should ever check a Bag

So is there ever a time you should check a bag? I would say that the only time it makes sense to check a bag is when you are going somewhere for more than 2 months and you’ll be at the same location. But only if you’re going to be in the same place. If you’re traveling across Europe for several months staying at many different hotels along the way, then it’s even more important to travel with lighter carry-on only luggage so your trip isn’t wasted messing with extra luggage.

The Solution Steps:

So if you’re still a traveler that checks your bags, lets change that right now. Here’s what you need to do to get started.
Step 1 Get a better bag that’s the right size for a carry-on travel. I’ve recommended a few here.
Step 2 Commit to packing as a carry-on only traveler from now on.
Step 3 Pack everything you need in carry-on only baggage for your next trip.

Nice one! Now say goodbye to waiting around at baggage claim, and start enjoying travel again!


For Business Trips

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About Brad Kammlah

After years of exhausting, stressful business travel, I was fed up. I just couldn't keep traveling like this so I knew I had to find a better way. That's when I decided to start my journey on finding the absolute best way to travel. I wanted to find the lightest, fastest, best tips and strategies that would make traveling fun again. So I decided to start Jetset Genius as a way to share what I discovered with you!  (READ MORE HERE)