To Bring or Not to Bring: Your Guide to Carry-on Luggage as a Parent

To bring or not to bring, that is the question. Packing for a trip can be daunting, especially as a parent trying to avoid checked baggage fees while ensuring that all the essentials are packed and, as much as possible, packed as a carry-on. But what exactly is carry-on baggage, and what can it and can't contain? What is the secret to carry on only travel with kids?

Keep reading for our guide to carry-on luggage.


To bring or not to bring: Your Guide to Carry-on Luggage as a parent


What is carry-on luggage?

Carry-on luggage is any suitcase you "carry on" to an airplane. The majority of airlines permit one piece of carry-on luggage or "hand baggage" that can fit in the overhead bin in addition to a "personal item". A personal item can be any smaller purse, computer bag, diaper bag, small backpack, etc., which can go under one's seat or in one's front).


Are carry-on bags free?

The good thing about carry-on luggage is that they are free, but you can't bring as many bags as you want since carry-on baggage is limited to one suitcase that can fit in the overhead and one personal item. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some airlines usually allow two free carry-on bags if you are traveling with children. It's always best to check with your airline before traveling to see their policy. That way, you can be sure that you won't be surprised at the airport.


Does a Stroller count as a carry-on luggage?

For many parents, traveling with young children can be a challenge. One of the biggest questions is what to do with all the gear. Diaper bags, car seats, and strollers can quickly add up. Although there are some exceptions to the rule, most airlines allow passengers to bring at least one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard, which means that a stroller can usually be counted as carry-on luggage. In fact, many airlines have specific regulations regarding strollers and other child-related items. For example, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to check a stroller for free at the gate, while United Airlines allows children under two to travel in a carry-on stroller at no extra charge. As long as parents know the rules and plan ahead, traveling with small children can be much easier than it seems.


Can Carry-on have liquids?

For anyone who has ever attempted to travel with young children, packing carry-on luggage can be challenging. The question of whether or not you can bring liquids on a plane is often one that comes up. The answer is yes, you can carry liquids in your carry-on bag, but there are some restrictions. Each container of liquid must be no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 millilitres. Moreover, all of the containers must fit into a single, clear, quart-sized bag. The liquids must be placed in the bag at the security checkpoint and should be removed from the bag for inspection.


Traveling on plane with Breast Milk

Many parents wonder whether they can bring breast milk on a plane. The good news is that, in most cases, the answer is yes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when traveling with breast milk:

  1. It is important to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions on carry-on luggage. Some airlines have stricter rules regarding liquids, so it is always best to check beforehand.
  2. When packing breast milk, be sure to put it in a leak-proof container and pack it in your carry-on bag rather than your checked luggage. This will help ensure that the milk stays fresh and doesn't spoil during travel.
  3. Be sure to bring enough breast milk to last the entire trip, as it may not be possible to purchase more once you are at your destination.

By following these simple tips, parents can rest assured that they can safely and efficiently travel with breast milk.

So, next time you're packing for a trip, don't forget that you can bring liquids in your carry-on! Just make sure to follow the guidelines set by the TSA.


What else can I bring in carry-on luggage?

The 3-1-1 Rule of Carry-on Luggages

The first and most important rule of packing a carry-on is to follow the 3-1-1 rule. This rule stipulates that you can bring up to 3 ounces (85 grams) of liquid, gel, or cream product in containers that hold no more than 3.4 ounces (100 millilitres) each, packed in 1 clear, quart-sized bag. You're allowed one (1) bag per passenger. These rules only apply to liquids, gels, and creams; all other items are subject to the TSA's other restrictions.

In addition to the 3-1-1 liquids rule, there are a few other things to keep in mind when packing your carry-on. All knives, scissors, razors, and other sharp objects must be packed in your checked luggage; they are not permitted in carry-ons. You are also not allowed to bring any flammable items, such as aerosols or fireworks, on the plane with you. Guns and ammunition are also not allowed in carry-ons; they must be declared and checked with your airline prior to boarding. Other restricted items include baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, pool cues, ski poles, and spear guns. For a complete list of restricted items, please visit the TSA's website.


What’s the size of carry-on luggage?

When talking about travel guidelines, one of the most crucial factors is to consider the size and weight of carry-on luggage. After all, you want to be able to bring everything you need without having to check in a bag. For parents, this can be incredibly challenging, as you often need to get items for both yourself and your child.

The usual size for domestic carry-on luggage is 22" x 14" x 9", including the handle and the wheels. There may be a discrepancy of a few inches across airlines. Still, the dimensions are usually around 22" x 14" x 9", including the handle and the wheels. This size restriction ensures that your bag, along with those of other passengers, will fit safely in the overhead bin throughout your journey.


Carry-on luggage Weight

Even if airlines publish a precise pound or kilogram limit on their websites, it is quite unlikely that they will weigh your carry-on bags. Numerous major domestic airlines impose no weight restrictions on carry-on luggage. Although there are some cases, such as with small commuter aircraft, that they place a greater emphasis on weight, primarily due to safety considerations. But in general, as long as you are able to lift your carry-on luggage above your head and place it in the storage container, and as long as your bag does not look to be overloaded, you should be fine.


The bottom line

Of course, it's always a good idea to check with your airline before you travel to make sure that your carry-on luggage meets their requirements. But as long as you keep the size in mind, you should be able to find a carry-on bag that's just right for your next trip.

Packing for a trip can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. By following the 3-1-1 liquids rule and avoiding restricted items, you can ensure that your carry-on luggage complies with TSA regulations. The benefits of traveling as a family is immense, so pack your bags and enjoy your flight!


Happy trails...

Tack and Hoe Ping founders of TernX