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Most airlines allow you to bring one “personal item” in addition to a carry on bag. A purse, laptop bag, or small backpack all qualify as personal items. Here are some tips on how to choose the best in-flight travel purse!
Travel Purse: Using it as a Personal Item
Size is a big consideration when choosing which purse to use as a personal item. Some airlines limit the size of personal items and may be strict about enforcement.
With that being said, it’s also crucial that your purse has sufficient space for all of your items. Be sure to do a test run before departing on your trip.
I use the Rebecca Minkoff Julian purse backpack, which is spacious enough to fit my 11” Macbook Air, daily essentials, a small water bottle, wallet, passport, sleeping bag liner, neck pillow, in-flight socks, phone, and other small items.
Find out how I traveled one week luggage free using only this backpack!
A zipper is another important feature when choosing a travel purse as a personal item. While many of our favorite purses have a single button or clasp, we recommend you opt for a purse with a zipper.
It’s likely that you’ll have your most important items in your purse, so the last thing you want is everything falling out when you store it under the seat.
Tip: We absolutely don’t recommend that you put any valuables like cash, credit cards, or passports into your carryon, which is stowed in the overhead compartments. While not common, in-flight theft has been reported. Learn more about how to keep your passport safe while traveling!
If your purse has organizational compartments, this is a major plus. It’s important to have your passport and boarding pass easily accessible.
You may want to use small packing organizers to keep everything in place. With limited space on economy flights, it’s best to be as organized as possible so you’re not fumbling around, looking for items, during your flight.
I use this small clear organizer for my daily essentials!
Some airlines, but not many, weigh your carry on items. While this is more prevalent with strict budget airlines, you may want to keep it in mind before stuffing your bag to the brim.
On the other hand, you can use a personal item to your advantage by distributing weight from your main carryon bag. This is particularly important if you’re struggling to meet baggage weight restrictions.
Because your purse will be stored on the floor of the plane under the seat in front of you, avoid material that gets dirty easily and is difficult to clean. Leather and nylon are travel-friendly materials.
Since planes only get a deep clean once a month, you may want to bring along antibacterial wipes like these to clean your tray and seat belt buckle–two of the most germy places on a plane.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring noise canceling headphones in your purse to enjoy in-flight entertainment and avoid fees.
What are your tips when choosing a travel purse as a personal item? Comment below!
For more carryon tips, please read:
- The Best Travel Shoulder Bags for Women
- Anti-theft Travel Bags for Women
- 12 Cute Backpacks for Travel (They’re really purses)
- 10 Step Guide for Carryon Travel
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