Overhead Compartment

This is one of the old bags we have around; like all the others, it is not at all suitable for this trip.

Why is it so hard to find a suitable carry-on suitcase? Every luggage company advertises carry-on suitcases that fit in an airline’s overhead bin. Much of that is false advertising. Almost every one of those suitcases exceeds the allowed size on most airlines.

We have suitcases at home. All of them are ancient. Each has broken wheels, a torn handle, or a zipper that doesn’t quite zip. The only ones that are intact are the enormous one that is way too big for this trip, and another one that is way too small. Where is my Goldilocks luggage?

I am hoping to make this trip with only a carry-on bag, but I acknowledge that it may be necessary to go up a size to a checked suitcase. Whatever I bring, I must be able to cart it around by myself, often on foot, over old cobblestone or brick pavement in Umbrian hill towns with no-car zones. So it must be relatively light. It must roll easily on good, strong wheels. I think I want a soft-sided case for a carry on, but might go for hard-sided for a checked bag.

So far, I have found very little — unless I want to pay $300 or more for a carry on. But even in that price range, bags that actually fit the airlines’ rules are few and far between. And now I must add the stipulation that I have to be able to get it quickly. I am running out of time.

United says a carry-on bag cannot be larger than 9 x 14 x 22 inches, and that includes wheels and handles. And overseas flights are much pickier about the size limits than domestic flights, so I don’t want to go bigger. If you have a suggestion for a bag that actually fits the size limits, I am open to suggestions.

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