Adventures in Carry-On

I was to be in the States for 10 days and was determined to achieve my 'effortless travel' goal of looking fabulous while toting carry-on luggage only. I espouse Kipling bags because they are light and they compact down flat. With pockets on the outside and a top zip, I have easy access into my carry-on rolly bag. This cuts down on airport faffing and makes it much quicker to get through security.

I have mostly concerned myself with size dimensions when selecting carry-on bags. But after recently helping a neighbour select a suitcase, I became aware of suitcase capacity, which deserves a bit more investigation. Each airline has their own cabin size bag allowance, but let's call it an average of 55x38x23cm (21.5x15x9in) with weight restrictions from 10kg (22lbs) to unlimited. My Kipling carry-on is 55x35x23cm (21.5x14x9in), just about average, with a volume of 33litres (9g). Rimowa, the hip, hard side luggage brand has a carry-on that is a 31L (8g). A similar soft case to mine by Samsonite is 55x40x20cm (21.5x16x8in), but the volume is 57Litres (15g)! Could this be why others can swag with their rolly bags, but I cannot?

The plus side of having a smaller volume bag is that the weight will never exceed limitations, and I will always be able to manage to lift it into the overhead bin without help from the burly flight attendant. Louis Vuitton's wheeled carry-on bag has a great feature in that the handle is on the outside, leaving the floor of the inside of the bag flat, therefore creating more capacity. Probably not worth the extra thousands, but a good idea other brands could adopt. Needless to say, I failed miserably with my Adventures in Carry-on. The weather was so hot I went through three changes a day and after checking the cost of laundry, I found it cheaper to just buy new. In the corner of my mind, I knew that I had to bring an extra checked bag home with me, giving me the wiggle room to buy lots and lots of books!

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About Us


Fearing the empty nest? Don't! Since my children have flown the coup, I have had time to refocus on my passions of travel, art, and writing.  This little blog is a handy tool that helps me share what I have learned with others.


I grew up in the States, but have lived a large chunk of my adult life in the UK. I now split my time between London and South Africa as well as chasing the sun around the world. 


 When my nest emptied, I began to plan my trips according to my own schedule, indulging in going solo. Once one gets used to traveling solo, it can be a very freeing experience. I seek out interesting, informative and unique experiences, and proffer advice with my network of readers.  I also have a lot of fun!


 Spa retreats and personal growth travel are core to what I do.  If there was a master's degree in the art of booking massages, I would be a scholarship student! I also plan to conquer Europe one city break at a time and with all that effort, I need as many beach holidays as possible. 


So please enjoy reading my tales of travel. I hope you are encouraged to get on that plane and perhaps have a few giggles along the way.


When my large family was quite young, we lived in several international postings. In an age before Google Translate,  I negotiated the grocery stores of foreign countries in search of tasty ingredients. I soon became an expert at discerning information from food labels and also learned to cook healthy, quick meals from local sources. 


From this experience, I became quite the foodie, even before 'foodie' was a word. And now as an empty-nester and devotee of food travel networks, I  interpret those old recipes into smaller, even tastier versions. 


Being an editor and food/wine travel columnist,  I travel the world sampling indigenous recipes which I share on Old Bag on a Plane. I also love wine!


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As we are all not traveling much, now would be a great time to share favourite travel, wellness, and food stories. We would love to include your best tales on this blog. If you would like to collaborate, please email us here at

Around this time each year, we would create a recap of all our best adventures from the year just passed. As this is 2021, and there were no adventures in 2020, here is a short video montage of all the things we did while we were not doing anything at all.