I’ve read a number of times – in books, articles, and blogs – that you should never check a bag with the airlines. I have done it myself – I did a 6-day trip to the United States for business in 2007 with only carry-on luggage. And it worked, but it meant that certain things had to be in place, primarily that I had access to the hotel laundry service to keep my clothing up-to-spec.
For recent trips, even when I have had a flight a night for a week on end (and therefore have to wait every time for my luggage to come through), I have checked my main bag into the hold. I haven’t had a problem with lost luggage (yet) – long may that continue – but my reasons have been:
– I haven’t been in one place long enough to get clothes washed and dried between meetings and workshops. Eg., in October 2010, I arrived at the hotel at 1am, was out at 8am, was in a meeting until 4pm, and then flew out at 7pm. There’s just not enough time to get clothes clean with such a schedule.
– I can take more stuff. When you travel with only checked-in luggage, you are limited to the number and variety of clothes you can take. I actually like having my Crocs available to wear in the hotel room, but with only checked-in luggage … they would have to stay home.
– Often I have books to carry too, for workshop attendees. Thus if books are going in the hold, my clothes might as well too. Sure I could mail them ahead, but that often creates various logistical challenges too.
I like the idea of no checked-in luggage, but I struggle with its practical implementation. What has your experience been?