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Why I never check bags and why you shouldn't either


You know those people. 

They're at the ticket counter, screaming at the agent to let their oversize bag for a three day trip on the plane without paying extra for it. You know those people, don't you? I do, too.

Unless it's absolutely necessary, (like I'm leaving the country for weeks at a time) I try to never check a bag. I don't even want the gate agent to "complementary" check my bag to its final destination. I'm good. Let me keep my bag, fam. 

I like to pack light. I hate digging in suitcases for things and I have a tendency to lose stuff when I'm unorganized. 

I just wrapped up a three-day stay in Los Angeles — more on that later — and I took only a backpack. I stuffed three days worth of clothes and toiletries into two packing cubes (which I highly recommend! They're great) and used my backpack as my personal item. It's a Burton backpack. I think I got it from Urban Outfitters a few years ago. It has a bunch of pockets to keep things like your wallet and passport in. I have two packing cubes, a pair of Vans, a pair of flip-flops, my Beats by Dre headphones, and my glasses case all in this backpack. I'm able to quickly reach for whatever I need without tearing my bag apart. I don't have to fight my seatmate for overhead bin storage because my bag goes under the seat in front of me. 

For short trips like the one I'm on, I recommend a backpack. If you're going out of the country for less than a week, then a small suitcase is fine. I still prefer carry-on sizes to avoid having to check a bag. There's no better feeling like getting off of a flight, grabbing my backpack, and heading for the exit. No waiting at the baggage carousel, or, God-forbid, searching for a bag because it didn't make it on the flight. Save yourself some time, if you can, and pack lightly. 

The ultimate Spotify playlist for traveling

Some people have different routines for preparing for a trip. Some people obsessively pack and repack clothes. Some people try to fit all of their toiletries into TSA-compliant Ziploc bags.

Me? After everything is packed and my itinerary is printed, I always curate a playlist that serves as an anthem for the trip. It’s a mix of songs that inspire me or get me amped up for my trip. It’s mostly r̶a̶p̶ trap music, with other genres sprinkled in. Take a listen, and hit the follow button. What types of music do you listen to ahead of a trip?