I thought I would have a light hearted discussion about travel bags. I traveled extensively for decades and although I am traveling mainly within Asia, I still travel at least once a month. I have been watching the travel bag industry and I have some comments.
Please keep in mind I haven't traveled within or to the United States for almost 6 years now. This is by choice and I say frankly I am glad I have the choice to not do so :-) ... After the Underwear Bomber I could see how the security theater that pervades air travel within the U.S. was going to go and I just decided I wouldn't do it any more. I like traveling on airlines where one still gets metal cutlery to eat with :-)
OK. Having got that minor rant out of the way ... I see in the travel bag industry (because I follow it on Flipboard) there is this huge push towards trying to design a bag that can carry all you want to travel with in a carry on. Why on earth would anyone want to do that?
First: Given current security restrictions about liquids, nail clippers, small pocket knives, etc., how can you POSSIBLY carry what ought to be necessary just in a carry on? I always like to carry a small toolkit with me (nail clippers, a small pocket knife, or a Leatherman with the bit attachments etc.) Always comes in handy on the road - and will never make it through current security.
Second: I travel through varying climate conditions, and in Asia especially, where things tend to be hot and sticky, I like to change my clothes quite often, sometimes three times in a day. I just don't like being sweaty and sticky. I don't see how one can do that if you have two changes of clothes in a carry on. Makes me shudder to think I'm traveling with people that may have been wearing the same clothes for a couple of days.
Third: RELAX! - Check in a bag - and don't be in a hurry. When you get your bag, then get your transport. So what if checking a bag costs a little more and takes 30 minutes more to get on one end of the journey? Relax! :-) ... Travel is stressful enough. Pack what you need, check a bag, enjoy. That way you don't need to stress about filling your carry-on to bursting point (which on some budget carriers in Asia [not to mention Cebu-Pacific by name] doesn't work anyway because they limit one to 7 kg for a carry on and make you weigh it)
Fourth: If you take the third point to heart, then the carry-on becomes easy. Enough clothes if you get stuck (always carry a two changes of underwear and socks + a change of pants and shirt), your digital stuff and / or books, and your done. :-) And yes - your bag can get lost ... although in 40+ years of travel I have had that happen to me one(1) time ... but your clothes in your carry-on - that's your back up.
So regardless of whether you travel for business or pleasure ... stop stressing yourself out trying to fit everything into a small carry-on. Relax. Carry what you need :-).
For what is best in travel bags? I'll do another post :-).