The Eleven Pound Carryon

We recently provided transport to and from Logan for my cousins.  They were flying on a new airline at Logan, WOW.  The flight was Boston to London via Iceland.  It is a discount airline for which you pay for any extras and it stops in Iceland before continuing to Europe. And I mean you pay various rates for luggage, seats, food, etc.  It is kind of up to you how much you spend.  My cousin A. is frugal, as am I, mostly.  WOW’s basic luggage is one free 11 lb. carryon.  Any other luggage situation requires a fee.   This brought on a discussion as to whether each of us could travel this way or not.  I confess I had no idea what an 11 lb. bag, including purse, looked and felt like  (I hate to carry when not necessary).  My present way to travel is to check my 20 inch, less than 20 lb. carryon and just carry a largish purse with some extras for the flight.  And I want my DSLR, so this would not seem to be a possibility for me, generally, but I still wanted to know, because, never say never.  So, because I am a luggage, packing, ease of movement freak, I had to see what 11 lb. looked like and if I could pack enough to be comfortable.

Here’s the bag I have used for this experiment.  It is sometimes my underseat bag with my purse in it.  In this case, it is packed except for my travel documents, as I’m not really traveling right now.   It weighs 10 lbs. so I’m sure my travel documents would fit.  It measures 14″ X 14″ X 6″.

So this is what I have packed into this bag.

blog 11 lb-1-2

So this picture shows,  what is in my bag, except my brassieres (2), which will remain hidden.  LOL.  I rolled my black jeans and stood them upright.  I rolled the night shirt, two tee shirts, sweater, three pairs of underwear and three socks into the packing cube below, and placed it at the bottom of the bag.

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Below, the square item in the middle is the microfiber towel, which sucks the water right out of the handwashed items so they dry overnight.  Also included is an umbrella, my 3-1-1 bag, my dry toiletries/emergency meds, my purse, and electonics, etc. bag.  The 3-1-1 bag went in an outside pocket for easy access.

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So in my purse, I have the following:  phone, wallet, ipod, pen, and 2 pairs of glasses.  Not in picture are my house keys.

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In my dry bag, I have emergency meds, powder, floss, toothpaste, hairbrush, mirror, eyeglass cleaner, toothbrush, and shoe horn.

blog 11 lb-3

In my auxillary bag, I have a sink stopper, clothesline, ipod charger, phone charger, flashlight, spork, laundry soap, safety pins, compass, duck tape, extra pen and cable organizer.

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All the containers fit in the main section of the bag.  The only things that didn’t make my luggage, btw, were yoga pants, flip flops and a fleece jacket.   And this is what I would wear on the plane: blog 11 lb-2-4

black jeans, reversible quilted vest, pashmina, tank top and cotton blouse.  (Obviously, worn but not in picture, underwear, shoes, and a jacket.

I would be fine with what is in this bag, other than the loss of my DSLR, which is a major loss, IMO.  But even worse than that, while 11 lbs. is not much, I would hate to have to lug it around airports or around town for any length of time…and I love strolling around the airport waiting for my flight!  So, while this light weight packing is fine with me, I won’t be using it.  Give me wheels anytime, and let me check it.

If I did insist on carryon with this airline, I could take the following approach, as I could bring my DSLR.  I managed to fit all the above items in my 20″ suitcase along with my camera/purse case.

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The only thing missing from this photograph is my DSLR with 15-55 mm lens, for obvious reasons.  So all the items listed in this post and this camera bag packed full, fits into this bag:


When full with these items, this bag weighed 20 lbs., which is well below the 26 lbs. allowed for an additional $38.00 each way.  This would be my only bag.  If I can save enough money to make the layover in Iceland and the overnight flight worthwhile, I would consider this option.  But I really think I would just carry my camera bag/ purse onto the plane and check the bag for $48.00 each way.  Sometimes, being frugal at the expense of comfort is no longer worth it for me, but I can appreciate those who are diehards.   However, in reality, I still like my BA daytime flight to London, a nice bed at the airport hotel, and a morning flight out to my ultimate destination…and the deciding factor is really the day flight to Europe.  I HATE night flights and I don’t get a lick of sleep.  The day flight limits jet lag.

Anyway, long story summarized: blog 11 lb-1

This is what 11 lb. look like.  If  you don’t mind the weight and don’t need your DSLR, it works fine.  Now we need to decide where we will travel to in 2016.  Happy day!

About quiltify

Crazy about functional art: quilting; travel, family, and New England.
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6 Responses to The Eleven Pound Carryon

  1. libbylottie says:

    Great post – but – WHERE did you get that gigantic mat???

  2. Your packing skills are impressive as are those neat piles of material. 🙂

  3. I can manage a week with just a carry-on bag, and I have a set of folding wheels for carting it round the airport. My carryon bag will go under the seat in front even with the wheels on. But I appreciate Flybe going back to allowing free hold baggage. My one essential to help the time pass is my Kindle. Please what is a DSLR?

  4. quiltify says:

    Folding wheels are a good idea. We used to do that before wheeled luggage became decent, but I might see how light those folding wheels have become with time. They would make this way of packing more enticing for me. The DSLR is my digital SLR camera…and lenses. I like to take photographs. Certainly, it is not a necessity for most people, but I have fun with it.

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