Does A Purse Count As A Carry On

Are you one of those frequent travelers who can’t leave the house without their trusty purse? Or are you planning your next adventure, wondering about the logistics of what you can bring on board? Well, you’re in the right place! In this article, we will explore whether a purse counts as a carry-on item when traveling. Prepare to have your packing dilemmas resolved, as we shed light on this commonly debated topic and provide you with all the information you need for a stress-free journey. Let’s get started!

What is a carry-on and what are the restrictions?

Definition of a carry-on

A carry-on refers to the bags or luggage that passengers can bring with them onto an airplane. These bags are typically small enough to fit in the overhead compartments or under the seats in the cabin. Unlike checked baggage, carry-ons remain in the passenger’s possession throughout the flight.

Common carry-on restrictions

While carry-on bags offer convenience and accessibility during air travel, it’s essential to be aware of the common restrictions associated with them. Airlines have specific guidelines regarding the size, weight, and number of bags allowed as carry-ons. These restrictions are put in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers on board.

Types of bags that count as carry-on


One of the most common types of bags used as carry-ons is a suitcase. These bags come in various sizes and designs, including hardshell and softshell options. Suitcases with dimensions that comply with the airline’s carry-on size limitations are usually allowed.

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Backpacks are another popular choice for carry-on travel. They offer versatility and are designed to distribute weight evenly for comfortable wear. Like suitcases, backpacks must meet the size restrictions imposed by the airline.

Duffel bags

Duffel bags, known for their spacious interiors and flexibility, can also be used as carry-on luggage. They are often made of lightweight materials and can easily fit into overhead compartments or under seats. However, it’s crucial to check if the dimensions of the duffel bag align with the airline’s carry-on requirements.

Does a purse count as a carry-on?

Defining a purse

To determine whether a purse counts as a carry-on, it’s essential to define what exactly constitutes a purse. a purse is a small bag typically carried by women to hold personal items such as a wallet, phone, cosmetics, and other essentials. Purses come in various shapes, sizes, and styles, including handbags, clutches, and shoulder bags.

Airline policies

Different airlines may have varying policies when it comes to regarding purses as carry-on items. It’s important to check the specific guidelines of the airline you’ll be flying with to understand whether a purse will be considered a carry-on or if additional personal item allowances are permitted.

Airline policies regarding purses as carry-ons

Carry-on size limitations

Airlines typically have specific size limitations for carry-on baggage, including purses. These limitations ensure that the bags can be safely stowed in the overhead compartments or under the seats. Purses must meet these size restrictions to be allowed as carry-ons.

Weight restrictions

In addition to size limitations, airlines may have weight restrictions for carry-on bags, including purses. Passengers are usually required to adhere to these weight limits to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone on board. Therefore, it’s important to consider the weight of your purse and other items when packing.

Additional personal item allowance

Some airlines may allow passengers to bring an additional personal item along with their carry-on bag. This could include a purse, laptop bag, briefcase, or backpack. However, the size and weight restrictions for the additional personal item may be different from those of the carry-on bag. It is advisable to check the specific policies of the airline to know if a purse can be brought as an additional personal item.

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Importance of checking individual airline policies

Differences between airlines

It is crucial to check the policies of each individual airline as they may have different regulations regarding carry-on bags, including purses. While some airlines might consider a purse as a personal item, others may count it as part of the carry-on allowance. Being aware of these differences will help you avoid any inconvenience or surprises at the airport.

Checking specific baggage policies

Before traveling, it is highly recommended to thoroughly research and review the specific baggage policies of the airline you’ll be flying with. Checking these policies in advance will ensure that you pack and prepare accordingly, avoiding any potential issues or extra charges related to carrying a purse as a carry-on.

Alternatives to carrying a purse as a carry-on

Using a personal item

If a purse is not permitted as a carry-on item or the size restrictions are too restrictive, using a personal item such as a laptop bag, briefcase, or backpack can be a great alternative. These items provide ample space for carrying essential items and are often allowed in addition to the carry-on bag.

Investing in a travel-friendly purse

For those who prefer to have a purse as their carry-on item, investing in a travel-friendly purse can be a wise option. Travel-friendly purses are specifically designed to comply with airline size and weight restrictions while still providing convenient storage for all your essentials. These purses often come with multiple compartments, secure closures, and lightweight materials.

Benefits of carrying a purse as a carry-on

Easy access to essentials

Carrying a purse as a carry-on ensures easy access to your essentials throughout the flight. Whether it’s your passport, wallet, phone, or any other items you need to keep close, having them within reach in your purse can minimize the inconvenience of having to retrieve items from an overhead compartment or under the seat.

Security and peace of mind

Having your purse as a carry-on allows you to keep your personal belongings close to you, reducing the risk of theft or loss. You can keep an eye on your valuables throughout the journey, providing a sense of security and peace of mind.

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Disadvantages of carrying a purse as a carry-on

Limited space

Carrying a purse as a carry-on may have certain limitations in terms of space. As airlines enforce size restrictions, the capacity of your purse might be limited, resulting in fewer items being packed. It is important to make strategic choices and prioritize essential items when packing your purse.

Potential inconvenience during security checks

At airport security checkpoints, having a purse as a carry-on may require you to remove it from your shoulder and place it in a separate bin for screening. This can be an additional step in the security process and may cause inconvenience, especially if you have multiple items to manage.

Tips for packing a purse as a carry-on

Organizing essentials

When packing a purse as a carry-on, organization is key. Utilize compartments and small pouches within your purse to keep items neatly arranged and easy to find. Consider using travel-sized containers for products such as toiletries to save space.

Considerations for international travel

If you’re traveling internationally, be mindful of any restrictions on liquids, gels, and other items in your purse. Different countries may have specific rules and limitations when it comes to these items, so researching and adhering to these regulations will help ease your journey.

Avoiding excessive weight

To avoid exceeding weight restrictions, pack only the essentials in your purse. Minimize the number of unnecessary items and opt for lightweight alternatives when possible. Consider using multitasking items or travel-sized versions of your beauty and grooming products.


In conclusion, whether a purse counts as a carry-on depends on the specific policies of the airline you’re traveling with. It’s important to check these policies to understand the size, weight, and number of bags allowed as carry-ons. Alternatives such as using a personal item or investing in a travel-friendly purse can be considered if a purse does not meet the requirements. While there are benefits to carrying a purse as a carry-on, such as easy access to essentials and security, there are also potential disadvantages such as limited space and potential inconvenience during security checks. By following the tips for packing a purse as a carry-on, you can make the most of your travel experience while ensuring compliance with the airline’s policies.


Mila Brooks

My goal for Go Girl Bags is to provide all of my site visitors with a trusted quality experience. Going down the rabbit hole of frustration trying to find the perfect bag for all you needs is not any fun. My researched information not only about bag looks, but also quality of materials and other aesthetics you may not have thought about will help you make a better informed decision. Thank you.

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