How to Fit Two Weeks Worth of Luggage Under the Airplane Seat in Front of You

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Mar 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Back in the day, checking your bag on a trip only cost you 20 minutes of your time after a flight. Now you're lucky if it only costs you $20. With rampant theft, high bag check costs, and overhead bins filled to the brim, learning how to pack efficiently matters more than ever. With the right strategy, you can fit everything you actually need into the seat in front of you.

    I hate checking bags. I really hate checking bags. I've had luggage lost, items stolen, property destroyed, and a myriad of other issues. After an incredibly degrading experience with checked luggage, I decided to approach every future flight as a challenge. I tested new ways to ensure I get my bags on the plane and, more recently, that they can fit underneath the seat in front of me if necessary. After four years of practice, I can pack for a two week week trip and fit everything into a tiny space. In this post, we'll look at how.

    Pick the Right Bag(s)

    [​IMG]Most luggage wastes space in favor of added protection or aesthetics. You'll want that protection when traveling with fragile items, but most of the time your primary bag won't require much padding because you'll fill it with clothing. Clothing serves as a wonderful source of padding on its own, so even if you do have a fragile item or two you can pack it inside of your clothing to avoid damage. When fitting a large number of items underneath the seat in front of you, and still retaining room for a personal item (like a medium-sized backpack or messenger bag), flexibility matters most.

    Few bags provide more flexibility than—or cost as little as—the duffel. For around $30, you can get a malleable carrier that houses about as much as a carry-on suitcase. As a result, size isn't paramount because you can fill a portion of the bag and squeeze it under the seat with little effort. You don't have a lot of room under the seat—bags are supposed to measure no larger than 8"x17"x12"—but because a duffel compresses well, the bag's measurements can exceed those limits without causing a problem. This Adidas duffel bag costs $25 and only exceeds standard underseat bag measurements by a few inches in each dimension. It also offers an outer pocket on one side, providing an optimal temporary storage space for liquids you'll need to remove during security screenings. Most any small-to-medium-sized duffel will do the trick, but bags geared towards sports activities tend to be smaller and flex a bit more than their canvas and leather counterparts.

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    OceanBreezes and uggboy like this.
  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    That's the way it goes, interesting article.
  3. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    I learned the hard way how to pack after my first international flight some 18-19 years ago. I now have one bag that will fit into overhead, or is checked and picked up plane side. I have enough room in that bag for a second day bag. My partner and I easily travel for 2 weeks with one bag each, not checking them. Personally I consider the space underneath the seat prime real estate for my feet especially on longer flights. Once I challenged myself to 6 weeks with a book bag size backpack (think what you see in college). I did it, but it was a little silly in the end.
    sobore likes this.

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