If you want to avoid lost luggage and time wasted at the baggage claim carousel on your next short business trip, your best bet is to take a carry on. The savvy shopper knows that not all carry-on bags are created equal. Look for these features in your next carry on bag to ensure that you have everything you need for your quick, successful business trip.
A laptop compartment or tablet sleeve is no longer an option for carry on luggage for business travelers. You will need a compartment in your luggage that will accommodate the size of your laptop computer. A standard laptop has a 15.5-inch screen size, but there are some with 17-inch screens, and those require much more space for storage. Keep this in mind when looking for a carry on bag with a laptop compartment.
The Travelpro Crew 9 Business Backpack is a tough backpack that is suitable for even the busiest of business travelers, and it holds laptops with screens that measure up to 17 inches. It retails for around $130.
Lockable zippers help to keep your luggage secure. Unlike checked baggage, carry on luggage is accessible by many people on your flight or train. Just think about the last time someone moved your bag out of the overhead bin. If you can lock your zippers together, the things inside your bag stay safe, and your bag is less likely to open while you carry it.
A $150 carryon bag might save you from having something invaluable—like your laptop or important business papers—stolen. The Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender lightweight bag includes locks on the zippers to keep your computer or whatever you have in your main luggage compartment safe from prying eyes and thieving hands. It also comes in olive, black and a sleek looking sienna color.
Keep all of the cords and chargers for your computer, phone, tablet and other electronics like curling irons and hair dryers neatly organized. With cord organizers in your carry on bag, you won’t have to worry about untangling a mess after checking into your hotel. These cord organizers usually come in the form of simple bands to tie up your cords or special pockets in the bag to keep everything in its place.
When you need a bag that has a place for everything, check out Solo’s Rolling Overnighter. This 16-inch carryon case includes pockets for cords, hard copies of files you want to carry and much more, and the average retail price is an affordable $100. To get even more organized, pick up some cable clips ($8) to bundle all of your cords in a tight, orderly fashion before stowing them away in your carry on.
If you have to travel extensively for business, lugging a laptop bag, backpack or shoulder bag through airports between flights and layovers can be tiring, not to mention a huge stressor on your back and shoulders. You will want a set of sturdy wheels on your carry on bag. Look for wheels that will support the weight of a fully packed bag and are designed for easy maneuverability.
For skating through an airport, why not have a wheeled bag with in-line skate wheels? That’s what you get with the Samsonite Business One Mobile Office. This bag’s wheels have ball bearings for smoother movement as you cross the concourse or traverse the terminals. Though the suggested retail price for this bag is around $260, it can be found for around $82.
All carry on bags have at least one handle, but when you have to pick up your bag to store it under your seat or in the overhead bin, you will need multiple handles to grab the bag from any side. Look for long-lasting handles that are firmly attached to the bag. All handles must be able to individually hold up the packed bag without breaking.
Wenger’s Terrain Crossing 21″ Pilot Case has all the handles you could possibly reach for while moving this bag. It has a handle on the front of the case, a telescoping handle on top and a pair of shoulder straps that tuck away in the back. You get all this convenience for around $160.
Business trips call for focus, efficiency and punctuality—all things that can be compromised when traveling with cumbersome luggage that can cause inconvenience and disorganization. If you’re a frequent flyer, it’s worth it to hunt down a carry on bag that has all the functionality you need when flying to and fro.