The International Air Transport Association (IATA) set the maximum for a carry-on bag to be 22 length X 18 width X 10 depth in inches. This includes the handles, wheels, and side pockets. And, some airlines may have a restriction on weight too.
To give you a visual on how small this size is, I use my smallest rolling bag as a comparison. Here is some background on this bag. It was my mother’s carry on. She traveled a great deal and wanted a bag that would be easy to carry and roll down the aisle while on the airplane and this carry on did just that. She purchased it from Brookstone. I don’t even think they have it any longer, but I included the carry on bag page from their website above. It is over 10 years old.
A visual example of the IATA carryon luggage
My carry on’s length is about 1.5 inches shorter than the suggested length as you can see here.
The width of my bag is actually the suggested measurement – 13.5 inches. Wahoo!
But the depth is 1.5 inches too high when the pockets are full. If I never use the pockets in the front of the bag, it would just fit and that’s not going to happen.
After they announced these new requirements, there were several protests from airlines so IATA backed down. But, I don’t think this change is gone for good.
To help you deal with the shrinking carry on luggage probability, here are organizing carry on bag tips:
Six Tips to minimize your Carry on bag
As always, roll any extra clothes you plan on carrying with you. First, flatten the clothes, even the socks, on top of one another and then roll them starting from one side to the other. This will help minimize the space needed for items that most likely will not be used on the plane. Then, place them in a Space Bag Compressible bag as I mentioned in an earlier post.
Reduce your electronics to one or two devices. Have your phone and another device, like a tablet or laptop in your carry on bag.
If you have kids traveling with you and they have their own seat, have them carry their own carry on backpack. At age 5, we started having our kids carry their own bags. The bag was smaller, lighter and didn’t hold much but it helped them be more independent and allowed us to have more space in our bag. Note: Have them put the backpack on and walk around with it before your trip to help them get used to the weight. Here are cute ones I found on Amazon.com. If you want to buy it, click on the image below.
Fill the front pockets of your carry on with items you plan on pulling out during flight. Items that you can place in these outside pockets are pens, paper, notepads, gum, water bottle, cellphone, etc… Note: Only place items in the outside packet if the pocket has a zipper.
Carry a smaller handbag that fits your essentials (like your wallet and cellphone) inside your larger carry on bag. This way, you can take out that handbag when you get to your destination and not have to shuffle through your larger luggage. Here are smaller bags that can be placed in your carry on bag I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Have all your important items in one place in your bag for access when needed. Be sure to have it in a zipper pocket close to yourself for safety.
I really hope they do not make these required changes for a while because I don’t want to spend the money and buy new carry on bags. How do you feel about these new proposed requirements?
I hope these tips help you make your next trip more organized. What is your favorite tip or item to carry with you in your carry on bag? Please leave a comment below.