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Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

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Granger, In
posts: 281
reviews: 55
Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

I was thinking of traveling this time to PV with just a carry on and a "personal" item bag for ten days. I have been reading up on what liquids and stuff I can bring on. I think the only thing I'm going to miss is my leatherman tool since the blade is longer then 2.36 inches.

Its not so much the cost ($25.00) a bag each way but the principle of the thing. I'm pretty sure I can manage for the ten days with just a carry on.

I always stay on the Southside and I do a lot of walking, laying on the beach and eating street food. I'm wondering if anyone else has tried going with a carry on for that many days or have any other thoughts.


83 replies to this topic
posts: 29,186
reviews: 12
61. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

I just don't get what's the big deal why it's a problem showing your passport and boarding pass as you go thru an airport (regardless of how many times).

I've gotten it too and I am not a frequent flyer. I doubt they care what you were doing 47 years ago, MarlySF -lol.


posts: 8,300
reviews: 14
62. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

For me( and of course I'm in a different situation from others), but it's a pain because I have traveled with 5 people, so you have to have them open to the picture page with the boarding pass and doing that with 5 passports is a PIA. I have kids to hold onto and it just makes one more annoying thing when flying. I am very organized and make it as easy as possible (have the boarding bass in each passport on the pic page,etc.), but it still takes effort with kids and a stroller and your stuff. Probably not a big deal for people without all the kids.

How I am looking forward to our May trip for 3 nights with no kids.lol. Even the airport will feel like a holiday:)

Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
posts: 9,059
reviews: 107
63. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

Well, here we go with a question and gillions of posts but thanks for the laugh, suze, because I don't even care about flying for 47 years. I was joking. Obviously I'm not a scary traveler (to TSA people) but no airline would know I've been flying that long. haha!.

It's not for frequent flying. I only fly about 10/12 airline legs a year (cut that in half for round trips -- not like a business traveler) and it's on different airlines each time. I flew 5 different airlines in the past year. The first time I got a "pass" on not having to take my shoes off, and all that, was going to PV this October on Virgin America and I'd only flown them twice before over the previous 15 months (when I did NOT get that pass, on keeping the shoes and jacket on).

Some mysteries will never be solved. It's always nice when you get an unexpected pass though. Makes for easier flying, almost like sitting in First Class! ;=))

Texas Gulf Coast...
posts: 1,335
reviews: 58
64. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

Interesting thread. Rick Steves, of Rick Steves' Europe (American Public Television host) has some good suggestions regarding packing for travel, especially if one is traveling to multiple destinations.

Rick suggests laying EVERYTHING out on your bed that you want to pack in your suitcase for your trip. Then, before you place even the first item into your suitcase, he suggests putting HALF of your clothing items BACK into your clothes drawers. His reasoning is that you should pack easily washable items and that no one at your destination cares if you wore the same outfit on a previous day, as long as you have washed the item and are wearing clean clothes. And if someone looking at your pictures makes a comment about repeating your outfits, they need to get a life!!

¡Se diviertán!

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,505
reviews: 96
65. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

Marly..... I think they (all the airlines together) have a general data base they can access to review past flight information on people etc.... that allows them to decide, "yes you have always been a safe traveler, not caused any problems, you have traveled a good deal amount and have been successful in following the rules, you "pass" clearance every time" etc....

Therefore you have been selected in the fast boarding lane (whatever) and you go through quicker (no shoes etc). Does not matter which airline. I think they work together on this.

Since you now don't have to take your shoes and coat off etc.... Has this happened every time since the first time they started allowing you to do this? Or have some airlines made you go back to putting your shoes back on etc???

That might answer the question then .....

Shawnee, Kansas
posts: 8,914
reviews: 56
66. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

Same thing happened with me, so I'll answer too and will be interested in Marly's answers. They didn't make me take my jacket and shoes off in October for my solo trip, but they did in November. But, in November my husband didn't have to. That makes it seem very random to me.

Lonestar - that's what I do, lay it out on a bed....it stays there three or four days, then I get rid of as much as possible.

Portland, Oregon
posts: 4,505
reviews: 96
67. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

I'm waiting for my April trip to see if I don't have to take my shoes etc off again. I bet my husband will though. Should be interesting......

Kansas.... with your posting...... it could be random. Dunno..... ;)

Guess they are keeping us all on our toes!

Edited: 12:00 am, January 03, 2014
Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
posts: 10,386
reviews: 29
68. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

I think it is random....it is the same in Canada going through airports, sometimes they make us take them off, sometimes they don't.....sometimes also I think that people start doing it and then everyone follows suit behind them in line, even though it is not required. We have never had to take our shoes off in the Saskatoon airport, for example, but in Calgary we have been told to. Very odd.

I used to work in screening and I can assure you that a LOT of what's done varied from person to person...but that was pre-911. (What a terrible job that was, travelers can be such jerks! To this day I would NEVER talk down to a screener, they are only doing their (admittedly crappy) job.)

Calgary, Canada
posts: 19,950
69. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

"People that are causing all this trouble for us must be laughing their heads off when we have to carefully adjust how many oz of toothpaste and mouth wash we need to pack."

The people who allegedly caused all the trouble with the liquids are most definitely laughing, because they were released from jail without charges EVER being filed, almost 4 years ago now...and we're still dealing with the fallout and paranoia. (personal rant as I have liquid items I take that are not available in travel size, nor in PV)

The priority screenings are fairly recent, and I was told they are totally random. I asked TSA in two US airports last year and I asked CATSA at YYC about it, and that's what they told me. Although the one agent at LAX did admit she felt the "random" aspect of it seemed to favour more business and first class passengers although she had no proof of it other than keeping a mental tally when she was working.

Either way, if you've done any significant travel through the US, you should have the system down pat by now...and if you don't, that's your own fault if you ask me. Just don't push the boundaries, go by the exact letter of the TSA rules (not what each airport interprets as the rules, but the actual RULES) and nobody is going to give you grief or the gears. I've only ever had one problem with TSA, and that was an agent who got persnickety about me using a CATSA approved liquids bag versus a TSA approved one - even though they are almost identical. The only real difference was the labeling, and their supervisor was pretty peeved they made a big deal out of it and waved me through. But that's it, in a decade of doing connections or straight out US trips, I've had one issue, and that's because I follow the rules to the letter and don't try to get cutesy with them. If you aren't trying to push the envelope, they aren't interested in giving you the gears...it's really that simple. They're busy and they have better things to do.

For the OP: you should be fine doing carry on only as a guy for 10 days. Most guys I know do carry on only. The lavanderias on the south side are great, even the ones near the beach are cheap compared to what I have to pay for a load at home (about $4.50/load wash and dry), and even though I took checked baggage last trip I still used them...hey, who wants to do laundry when they get home from vacation? I got it done before I left and simply packed the clean, folded items pre-bagged. Easiest packing job ever. (-;

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 4,085
reviews: 66
70. Re: Going to try just a carry on, good idea?

What I do after every trip is, I make three lists:

- What I took and used

- What I took but didn't use

- What I wished I'd taken

Then when a new trip comes up, I look over those lists and pack accordingly. And my bag gets a little lighter every time.

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