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You Should Ask Yourself These Questions Before Buying A New Carry-On Bag

Women's Health Logo By Emily Becker of Women's Health | Slide 1 of 14: While airports look a little bit different these days, one travel rule that has stood the test of time: You shouldn’t check a bag if you don’t have to. Sticking to a carry-on is just so much more convenient, says Amina Dearmon, owner and luxury travel advisor at Perspectives Travel. That's why she almost never checks a suitcase when traveling. After all, you get to skip the baggage carousel once you land, everything you might need mid-flight is right above your head, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that your luggage will make it to your destination.Granted, packing all your travel essentials into one small-ish bag is easier said than done (shoutout to all my fellow over-packers!). But, with the array of top-notch options on the market, the perfect carry-on luggage for your next getaway is out there—and easier to pick than the quickest security line. When shopping for your new baggage buddy, start by thinking about how often you travel, the types of items you pack, and where you travel. The answers to these questions will help you determine how much you should spend, what special compartments it should have, if it needs wheels (which, Dearmon says, you should test on multiple types of carpet), and, last but not least, size. "For size, it's important to consider if you fly more regional routes, because the overhead space on those planes is typically smaller," Dearmon explains. Then comes the great hard-side vs. soft-side debate. Many people think a hard-side carry-on will better protect what’s inside, while for those who tend to try to squeeze in just one more t-shirt, a soft-side bag will be more forgiving. "It's truly a personal preference," Dearmon says. "If the fundamentals of the carry-on are there, then what makes it great doesn't change."If all this luggage talk has you ready to book your next trip, here are the 13 best carry-on suitcases, all travel expert-approved:

While airports look a little bit different these days, one travel rule that has stood the test of time: You shouldn’t check a bag if you don’t have to. Sticking to a carry-on is just so much more convenient, says Amina Dearmon, owner and luxury travel advisor at Perspectives Travel. That's why she almost never checks a suitcase when traveling. After all, you get to skip the baggage carousel once you land, everything you might need mid-flight is right above your head, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that your luggage will make it to your destination.

Granted, packing all your travel essentials into one small-ish bag is easier said than done (shoutout to all my fellow over-packers!). But, with the array of top-notch options on the market, the perfect carry-on luggage for your next getaway is out there—and easier to pick than the quickest security line.

When shopping for your new baggage buddy, start by thinking about how often you travel, the types of items you pack, and where you travel. The answers to these questions will help you determine how much you should spend, what special compartments it should have, if it needs wheels (which, Dearmon says, you should test on multiple types of carpet), and, last but not least, size.

"For size, it's important to consider if you fly more regional routes, because the overhead space on those planes is typically smaller," Dearmon explains.

Then comes the great hard-side vs. soft-side debate. Many people think a hard-side carry-on will better protect what’s inside, while for those who tend to try to squeeze in just one more t-shirt, a soft-side bag will be more forgiving. "It's truly a personal preference," Dearmon says. "If the fundamentals of the carry-on are there, then what makes it great doesn't change."

If all this luggage talk has you ready to book your next trip, here are the 13 best carry-on suitcases, all travel expert-approved:

© Christine Giordano

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