Keep Calm and Carry On: 5 Small Travel Bags That Qualify as Personal Items

cabin luggage best personal items carry
Image courtesy of Amazon

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* Five travel-friendly bags that qualify as “personal items” on most airlines
* All five bags fall within the correct dimensions to escape additional carry-on charges
* A design for every travel style – from a tote to a backpack–and even a beach bag

Bag fees are ridiculous. First they took away our free checked bags, and now they’ve taken away free carry ons, too. Beat these extra charges by traveling light and packing only a “personal item.”

For many traditional airlines, a personal item is defined as a purse, laptop bag or other similar bag. However, with new stricter regulations, many budget airlines have strictly defined the size of a personal item. Both Spirit and Frontier think this bag should be no larger than 18x14x8-inches, while JetBlue says it shouldn’t be larger than 17x13x8-inches.

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Don’t start your trip with a downer. Get one of these small bags to give you peace of mind while providing plenty of carrying space.

1. World Traveler Duffle Bag

With two front pockets, two side pockets and a central carry compartment, this world traveler bag provides plenty of storage space for your weekend away. The 16-inch bag features a choice of carry options – two handles or an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap. You’ll also find over 30 exterior designs available.

personal item carry on zebra world traveler duffle bag Image courtesy of Amazon


2. BordingBlue Personal Item

A bag designed specifically for under-seat storage, the BordingBlue will maximize your personal item carry space. Available in six stylish designs, this multi-pocket bag also features a shoulder strap and easy-to-carry handles.

BordingBlue personal item carry on airline-approved Image courtesy of Amazon


3. Baja Beach Bag

This may be the bag for  you if you need a little help getting in the holiday mood. You’ll certainly be able to walk straight off the plane and onto the beach with it. With a phone-sized end pocket and an inner pouch for your valuables, this eye-catching bag features reinforced stitching, a magnetic button seal and fancy rope handles to complete the beached-out look. Oh, and it can hold a load of clothes, too.

personal item carry on airline approved beach bagImage courtesy of Amazon


4. Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350

Using a traditional backpack design, the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 provides plenty of travel-focused add-ons to help you stay safe during your trip. In addition to two zip compartments for carrying your clothes and other items, you’ll find a hidden eXomesh Slashguard to prevent slash-and-run theft, a lock-about security clip and smart zippers for additional security and pickpocket prevention.

pacsafe carry on personal item airline-approvedImage courtesy of Amazon


5. London Fog Satchel Tote

The London Fog Satchel Tote has a woven jacquard exterior and two sizable carry handles. It brings some serious style to our list. Within this 10×8-inch tote, you’ll find a large main compartment area that can be sealed using the zipper and secured with a small lock.

london fog satchel toteImage courtesy of Amazon