Carry On Bags for International Travel

I made a bold move and booked a flight to Spain in September. It will be my first international trip in two years since I traveled to Peru and I am doing a happy dance knowing I get to hop on a plane in just a few months and visit a foreign country. I’m traveling with two besties, the same girlfriends I traveled with to Peru, and we are zig zagging our way through Spain: from Barcelona –> Valencia–> Madrid –> Zaragoza –> San Sebastian–> Bilbao.

My go to suitcase is this Samsonite Carry On Spinner, its dimensions work for both domestic carry-on and also international checked bags if I keep it in the weight limits. When I travel domestically, I squeeze most everything into my carry on spinner and bring it with a backpack on the plane. International travel requires a more thought out strategy because size and weight limits are different. With international travel I check a bag (the Samsonite spinner I mentioned) and carry on a larger tote that fits under my seat, one for toiletries, tech, and a change of clothes.

I went shopping for a bag that would fit international carry on regulations and rounded up some great options. Some of these have a trolley sleeve so they can sit on top of your rolling luggage, making transport through a terminal or to your accommodations much easier.

International carriers have different dimension limits for hand baggage (carry on). This little chart is as of June 2021 shows restrictions for a few major international airlines. (These are subject to change at any time at the discretion of these carriers so *always* double check with your airline.)

INTERNATIONAL CARRIERS – CARRY ON LUGGAGE DIMENSIONS – ECONOMY CLASS

AIR FRANCE
55 x 35 x 25cm
21½ x 13¾ x 9.9 inches
AIR NEW ZEALAND
l + w + h = 118 cm
l + w + h = 46.5 inches
BRITISH AIRWAYS
56 x 45 x 25 cm
22 x 18 x 10 inches
DELTA AIRLINES
l + w + h = 157 cm
l + w + h = 62 inches
EMIRATES AIRLINES
55 x 38 x 20 cm
21½ x 16 x 8.5 inches
IBERIA AIRLINES
56 X 40 X 25
22 x 16 x 10 inches
KLM AIRLINES
55 x 35 x 25 cm
21½ x 14 x 10 inches
LUFTHANSA AIRLINES
55 x 40 x 23 cm
21½ x 16 x 9 inches
TAP PORTUGAL
55 x 40 x 20cm
21½ x 16 x 8 inches
VIRGIN ATLANTIC
56 x 36 x 23 cm
22 x 14 x 9 inches
UNITED AIRLINES
56 x 35 x 22 cm
22 x 14 x 9 inches
QUATAR AIRLINES
50 x 37 x 25 cm
20 x 15 x 10 inches

So if you’re like me and making plans to fly international sometime this year….

Carry On Your Flight Bags for International Travel (for Overhead or Under Seat)

dimensions listed are inches

convertible 16 x 19 x 8 / vera bradley 18 x 12¾ x 7½

stevyn duffel 19½ x 10½ x 14 / murphy underseat 14 x 15 x 8½

chatalet duffel 21½ x 14½ x 10 / baggalini duffel 16 x 13¾ x 7

stowaway duffel 19½ x 10½ x 8¼ / navy & leather 15½ x 10 x 6½

metro duffel 17½ x 10½ x 9½ / main line duffel 20 x 11 x 10

canvas rolling duffel 19 x 18 x 12 / adventure weekender 19 x 16 x 7

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