Taking carry-ons only


Dec 7, 2000
Do any of you take carry-on luggage only when you go on a trip -- instead of checking luggage through to your final destination? My husband and I have been discussing trying to do this on our upcoming WDW trip, to save time and the hassles of waiting for luggage to arrive, retrieving the luggage off the carrousel, etc. I think we are allowed 2 carry-ons of the correct size per person? We think we could do this -- we've been to WDW numerous times and know just what to bring (we always seem to bring too many clothes with us!). Your thoughts and/or tips on how to do this would be appreciated.
My DB and his wife pride themselves on doing this on every trip (even to Europe!), but he got nailed this last weekend flying US Air from Philly to Milw. People had so much carry-on that most of it got taken away and put in the regular luggage compartment anyway. So, not only was his flight almost four hours late, but he had to wait for his carryon to come off with the regular luggage! I do believe every airline has different carryon requirements, so it's best to check with whomever you're flying.
My husband and I did this last trip and will do it again in a couple of weeks. If I don't have enough clothes, I can always do laundry. I would rather spend my time sitting at a Disney pool while waiting for my laundry than waiting at the luggage carousel at the airport!

This also works great if you are renting a car from the National Emerald Aisle. No waiting for luggage, no waiting at car rental counter.

We usually bring some food with us, but with carry-on we don't have the room so this trip I am ordering from NetGrocer.

Margaret in CT
Last September when we went to WDW, there was an announcement before boarding that any that any carryons that were large sizes or had wheels would need to be checked. We have also seen some of the later people on the plane have to check their luggage because all the overhead space was filled up. So, you never know.
If you take carryons only, my suggestion is to take the smallest size ones that you can fit all your stuff in. ¨

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES
Thank you for your replies. We will be flying Delta and will check out their carry-on requirements. SueM in MN, what airline was it that said anything with wheels would have to be checked? I have a friend that used to work at a lot of trade shows and so she did a lot of flying. She traveled with all her clothes hung inside a garment bag, and a small carry-on containing her personal items, and that was it! Never had to check any luggage. I would rather do laundry too than carry a whole bunch of stuff we don't need. :rolleyes:
We carried on our bags when we went to WDW this Christmas. We didn't have a problem finding space for them. If they'll fit under the seat you shouldn't have any problem. We were only there for 4 days & didn't have any kids, so we were able to pack light. We also weren't planning on buying any souvenirs, so we didn't need any extra space.

Do make sure you have a tag with your name & address both on the outside & inside your bag in case you do have to check it.

Also, we have found that tightly rolling our clothes takes up less space. Undies & socks fill in the gaps pretty well too.
I've traveled to WDW with only carry-on luggage at least 6 times-but those are all trips of 3 days or so-one small bag (backpack), one duffel-style. A few times I've had difficulty on the trip home, only in finding room for all my souveniers! This last time, I checked a bag on the way home, just filled with dirty laundry, nothing expendable in case it got lost, but carried on all my souveniers, both bought and "acquired" (I always save paper napkins, paper plates, bags, etc.) I don't think I'd ever check luggage again-once I get to Orlando I'm so excited and anxious to get started, I can't imagine waiting for luggage.
The airline that announced even before boarding was Sun Country, but I've been on flights with Northwest and Delta where they limited larger carryons pretty quickly after boarding began. One was coming home from a conference in Cinncinati where there were a lot of people taking what looked like all their worldly goods as carryons. I swear one woman was carrying on enough to fill up 2 overhead bins herself. She had a full tantrum in the airport when they told her she would have to check some.
If your stuff will fit under your seats, you won't have a problem. Even if the overhead bins fill up, you won't have to worry.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES
I swear the Orlando airport is so big that our luggage got to baggage claim before we did last trip. I always carryon at least 1 change of clothes & a bathing suit, toiletries, camera, film etc for everyone. Also if you check luggage, don't think of each piece as belonging to a certain person, but put some of everyone's in each suitcase, so if 1 piece is lost, everyone still has some of their things. My sister went on a long businees trip to Eastern Europe with 2 suitcases, the 1 with all her business & dressy clothes was lost, all she had was pjs, shoes & lingerie in a country where she couldn't speak the language or anything.
How big is a carryon? We have those small suitcases with handles.... Maybe 2' high (if that).
I was thinking of doing the carryon myself. Dh is a excellent packer (traveled a lot as a kid) and w/3 of us, thats 6 carryons (technically). I can see each of really only needing one.

Rachel in Alaska
Mom to Joey 9
Taking him to Disney for the first time March 23, 2001
I nearly always take only carry-ons on the way TO WDW, but coming home is generally another matter! I've been known to get a box from Publix to pack stuff in and check as luggage on the way home. My last trip I bought a Fantasia 2000 water globe sculpture at Art Of Disney (Epcot) and it was in a huge box - which was JUST the right size to fit in the overhead bin. I was lucky that flight wasn't crowded.


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