5 Reasons Why Traveling with a Carry-On is Great for Hard of Hearing and Deaf Travelers

Had someone told me that they only travel with a carry-on for all of their trips in 2015, I would have looked at them with surprise on my face, laughed and told them that they’re joking. Because, how exactly do you pack for two weeks in such a tiny suitcase? Ha.

Fast forward to October 2018, my plans to visit Warsaw, Poland are set, tickets and hotel are booked, and all that is left is packing a luggage. My intention is to take only a carry-on.

What has changed in three years that made me decide that traveling with more than a carry-on is not worth it? The answer is… actually not much. I simply was convinced to try it, and immediately fell in love.

Here are 5 reasons why I do it (and why you, as a hard of hearing and Deaf should too!):


When all you travel with is a carry-on luggage, you save a tremendous amount of time with airports, because you:

  • Bypass luggage drop off lines
  • Bypass baggage carousels

What this means for you is that you will have more time on your hands to spend at home, the hotel, or the airport. You can spend more time with your significant other at home, playing with your kids, or enjoying a cup of coffee (wine or dinner!) without having to rush around. It also means that you get to get out of the airport way earlier than anyone else on your plane. That gives you more time to explore the new destination, or spend more time with your family.

And as a hard of hearing and/or deaf individual, this means that you get to bypass human interaction with agents, and all the other tourists chattering away in line. We all know that waiting at the luggage drop off line or the baggage carousels is a miserable experience that can be made worse when people are in a bad mood. Luggage drop off lines/ check-in lines can also be the top places for discrimination against hard of hearing or deaf individuals, so by having a carry-on, you avoid all this fuss

It also saves you money because many domestic flights charge you for having a checked luggage, and all airlines charge you for an overweigh bag. Save that money and treat yourself to something else, by taking a carry-on luggage.


Since you do not have to deal with check-in, luggage drop off lines and the baggage carousel (I really hope my bag arrived on the same plane!), you set a different tempo and start to your trip by leaving the airport feeling relaxed and carefree. For hard of hearing and deaf individuals this is a great anxiety and stress reliever because you don’t have to push and shove your way through crowds to drop off the luggage and also pick it up.

Furthermore, upon landing at your destination, you can easily retrieve your bag from the overhead bin and head straight for the exit. No worries about getting lost in the airport on your way to baggage claim, or misunderstanding the baggage claim carousel number. Better yet, if you go through an airport where you would normally have to pick your luggage before continuing on your destination, you can skip the wait lines after customs and head straight to your next gate.

On top of all that, you don’t have to worry about lost luggage and dealing with the folks behind the counter at the lost luggage claims. You also don’t have to make phone calls to try to hunt down the luggage after you’ve left the airport. These people may not be well versed in the needs of hard of hearing and deaf individuals and how to best help you. So by bypassing that, you save yourself hours of time going back and forth, as well as trying to explain to people what you need in order for them to help you in the first place.

Lastly, you’re also reducing the stress on your body by only having a carry-on, because you don’t have to lug around a heavy bag. Even if you are fit, carrying so much weight for a long period of time (like going up stairs) does have an impact on your back and your muscles. By forgoing the luggage and the extra weight, you save your spine, and avoid additional stresses that may result in a lifetime of potential spinal problems or additional injuries (which by the way, saves you trips to the doctor and money as well).


If you have a carry-on and nothing else, your stuff stays with you at all times. You don’t have to worry about people going through your stuff without your watchful eye and your knowledge (where, let’s face it, there is potential to steal our things). You don’t have to worry about customs breaking your locks, because you can easily open it for them if they ask, as you are accessible.

Since you’re managing only one bag, you can put it on the plane’s overhead bin, or keep it with you at all times, which makes it also accessible to you if you ever need anything from it.

This is probably the most important for hard of hearing and Deaf individuals because of the amount of technology we have in our daily lives that help us navigate the world. This technology is expensive, and priceless to our quality of life, so having it with you at all times, easily accessible, in a carry-on gives you the security and peace of mind that your equipment will make it just fine to its destination. After all, you know exactly how to handle it in order for it to work properly, and having it in a carry-on makes it easier to ensure it’s safe.


Having a single carry-on bag makes it far more convenient to get around because you have the flexibility of using all modes of transportation, including public transportation within your destinations. You don’t have to spend more money on a taxi because of your overweight suitcase (some shuttles even charge you for suitcases!). Instead you can get on the bus to your destination, and make an effort to walk around before you even get to the hotel because you do not have much with you.


When you travel with a carry-on, you find freedom. Freedom to throw off the burdens and limitations placed upon you as a traveller by new travel regulations and requirements. You find freedom in the simplest things, like enjoying a cup of coffee because you have the time before your flight, or being the only one to walk out of the airport without a hassle while everyone else has to wait. It gives you the freedom and empowers you to travel in simplicity–cutting back on the things that aren’t really that necessary, and bringing the things that matter.

So, travel away, my loves and explore. Leave your feedback or questions in comment below!

2 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Traveling with a Carry-On is Great for Hard of Hearing and Deaf Travelers”

  1. I very rarely travel with checked in luggage these days, for many of the reasons you’ve outline! Though I’m not deaf or hard of hearing, it was really interesting to read the benefits carry on only can have for others!


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