As with many other travelers, I decided to NOT check my bag anymore, after arriving to my destiny and BACK home, without my suitcase after a short trip!
Not the best way to start a trip, but like many other things, it takes a small disaster to take us out of our comfort zone, to rethink, act and change a undesirable situation! I had no other choice, but to head straight to the mall and get me EVERYTHING I needed during my stay, from clothes to toiletries, and even a new bag! And I had to do this FAST!
And as it often happens when you are shopping in a hurry, I was running around with a bunch of noisy paper bags, wondering how I was going to get myself out of this mess and still follow my business appointment schedule. By sheer luck, I hit the clothes stores before the bag store and was able to dump all the paper bags and throw everything in a convertible backpack/dufflel bag.
The convertible bag was a great idea, being able to switch carrying modes made it very comfortable, and suitable to walk on business environment or run to catch a subway! But without researching brand or material quality, my bargain bag did not last long, but lasted long enough to make me certain that there was no going back. I was ready to invest on some serious carry-on this time.
From my first convertible bag, I learned that no concessions could be made on material quality, if I wanted it to last and be worries free. And since I was not finding something suitable, on the local market, I asked one of my frequent flyer friends to buy me a really good bag, and he bought me a Tom Bihn Aeronaut.
I spent several years (and made many trips) without giving second thoughts about bags, backpacks, duffel bags, carry-on bags, broken zippers, loose stitches, lost/delayed/damaged/pilfered luggage, but the time arrived to buy another carry-on bag and I decided that this time, I was going to do my homework and enlighten myself about all aspects of choosing an adequate carry-on bag.
Bundle packing, rolling garments, packing cubes, maximum carry-on allowed size, personal items bag, TSA 3-2-1, forbidden items on flights, carry-on restrictions, light clothes, all aspects were scrutinized. That led me to read hundreds of pages of suppliers, costumers reviews and travelers forums, and my finds are summed on my travel set with links to posts with detailed information on each topic. I hope you find it useful.