The In-flight Bag



I’m sure you’ve seen this person a number of times before. She is walking up the aisle in the cabin with some difficulty. The straps of her bags are falling off her shoulders. You start counting her bags. One back pack on the right shoulder. One laptop bag hanging on her left. Her hand bag on her right hand, with her right elbow bent to support her backpack. Her left arm is raised, carrying duty-free goods to take home. She is carefully maneuvering herself through the cabin while you hear a collective sigh of  relief from the row behind her and the nervous clearing of throat from the rows in front of her.

You start looking around and you see vacant seats beside you. You hope and pray she’s not going to be your seat mate for the entire duration of the flight.

You join the sigh of relief.

She sits a few rows behind you, and you hear a chorus of:

“I’m so sorry!”

“Pardon me!”

“Can you help me please?”

“I’m seated by the window.”


You hear a cabin crew member mumble something inaudible as he passes by.


Please avoid being a “BAG LADY” on the plane. This shout out goes to men too!

Remember that cabin storage bins are quite small and there are other of passengers who are entitled to that space as well. So be considerate of others.

Most of all, save yourself the embarrassment  and difficulty of travelling.  “Travel Light!” as the saying goes. One small in-flight bag is enough for you.


I prefer a backpack for an in-flight bag. This enable my hands to be free. Free to hold my rolling luggage. Free to check in my rolling luggage. Free to make final phone calls and text messages. Free… just in case of an emergency. Remember,  you also need to fill things up in the airport like immigrations cards, customs cards, departure and arrival cards et cetera.

Another reason why I prefer a backpack is because it balances the weight distribution on my back. I’m sure you’ve experienced sling bags where in one shoulder is heavier that the other, and often times you have to transfer the bag from one shoulder to the other to relieve the strain. You’re already tired even before you’ve boarded and you’ll be even more tired when you’re traveling. Trust me.


To the right is my in-flight bag (which doubles as my traveling bag). I bought this at a sports store in SM City Cebu for Php 1500 pesos.

I first saw this on the back of one of those professional dancers when I was younger. I have been wanting to have one for years. I had the perfect excuse to buy one when Cholo and I were planning to go to Italy. Italy is known is not only known for its beautiful scenery and rich history, it is also known for pick pockets and snatchers. Since this bag is made of light weight hard shell plastic, I knew it would be perfect not only for my trip to Italy but for any other trip after.

Pick pockets couldn’t rip through the hard shell exterior which keeps all my valuable safe. It is accessible by a zipper located at the very back of the bag which is close to my back when I wear it. I also like the concave  bottom of the bag. I usually put a pair of slippers there for a flight or a big bottle of water when I’m traveling around.

Sitting by Il Campo, Siena Tuscany

When searching for an in-flight/traveling bag make sure that it is sturdy. Check all the seams, zippers and locks to see if it could hold up to 10 kilos of weight. Though 7 kilos is really only allowed in-flight, it pays to think ahead. Who knows you might need to check it in.

For the fashion conscious, when choosing a color, make sure that it is neutral (i.e. Black, brown, grey). When traveling extensively, you have to keep in mind that dirt is one of your worst enemies. You don’t want carrying around a stained white bag do you?

One more thing, make sure it is big enough to accommodate some paper works, some toiletries, medicines, a good book, even a day’s worth of clothes; You will never  know when you’ll need it. After all, flights can get delayed, some get cancelled, even luggage get lost. Your in-flight bag is your saving grace.


About tor

Tor is a freelance Makeup Artist in the Philippines. His work can be seen around the Southeast Asian Region in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Tor loves traveling on a budget and backpacking in different countries. Life is bringing out the TRAVELER in him.

4 responses »

  1. Pingback: A SMART Way To Fly « TOR Guide

  2. Pingback: A SMART Way To Fly « TOR Guide

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