While it's totally understandable (and reasonable) if you aren't quite ready to travel yet, there's nothing quite like the anticipation of an upcoming trip – for better or worse. And, whether you are traveling for leisure or work or school obligations, you'd need a good carry-on. (And remember it's a #HotGirlSummer but that also entails staying safe and looking out for your community, especially as COVID case spike and mask mandates return. Per the CDC, masks are currently recommended indoors, even for the vaccinated, in places where transmission is high.)
Carry-on suitcases are great to use when heading back to school since you can use them to pack your dorm room essentials, your go-tos when you go home for an impromptu visit, or simply to use as storage if you live in a small apartment. If you are up to date with the CDC guidelines, below and in need of a new carry-on, we've rounded up the best carry-on suitcases on Amazon that'll make traveling easier and help you avoid an unexpected baggage fee.
Best Laptop-Safe Carry-On
Are you looking for a way to carry your laptop onto the plane without having to hassle with cases? Use the front pocket of this carry-on luggage. It's the perfect place to hold your laptop (as long as it's 13.3" or smaller), important documents, and schoolwork, so you don't have to unpack the entire suitcase to find what you need.
Its durable hardshell material also prevents accidental scratching from being thrown or shifted around the overhead compartments. Plus, there is ample space inside to store everything you could possibly need for a week-long vacation or a quick weekend trip.
Best All-In-One Carry-On
Traveling on your own can be quite challenging, which is why it's crucial to stick to only one carry-on suitcase. This one from Delsey is expandable, so you can easily adjust it and extend it by up to 2" to add room for all of your favorites.
This suitcase also has tons of features to make your life easier — like two fully-lined compartments for outfit organization, spinning wheels to make it simpler to move around, and a handle system that locks it into place.
Best Under-Seat Carry-On
Are you leaving for just a day or two? Then pack light and bring this expandable soft-side luggage. It fits under the seat in front of you, so everything you could possibly need is at the ready when you need it.
Best Early-Morning Flight Carry-On
If you can't go anywhere without your cup of coffee, then this carry-on is for you. Built with a 3-in-1 cup holder, USB port, and phone holder, you'll have all the common travel problems covered in this one TSA-approved bag.
Best Easy-Access Carry-On
If you need a way to access your important belongings while en route to your destination, opt for this purple Samsonite carry-on. It'll fit under most airline seats for easy access, has a USB port to charge your devices, and features exterior pockets so you can throw in last-minute necessities. Did we mention it also has an ergonomic design so you won't get hand cramps lugging it through the airport?
Best Lightweight Carry-On
Sometimes, carry-ons can end up weighing way too much even without us overpacking. While hard-sided suitcases are more durable, they can weigh a lot, which is why a lightweight carry-on is a suitable alternative if you tend to pack heavy.
Dubbed the lightest carry-on, this It suitcase is easy to travel with and perfect for lifting over your head into the overhead bin. Don't be fooled by its lightweight material though,it can definitely withstand the test of time.
Best Metallic Carry-On
Your suitcase doesn't have to be boring for it to be functional – this metallic one will make you stand out. Plus, in the case that you do have to check your bag, you'll spot yours from a mile away on the baggage claim. On top of looking chic, it also has multiple compartments, straps, and zippers.
Best Weekend Carry-On
If you're hopping on a quick flight for a short weekend getaway, this cotton weekender travel bag could be a great option. It can fit under your seat or in the overhead compartments and will certainly garner lots of compliments thanks to its eye-catching pattern.
The best part though? This bag is two-in-one, so you can throw it over your shoulder or attach it to a luggage handle (in the case that you do happen to bring checked luggage.) Just make sure you throw on a luggage tag if you are traveling by air.
Best Airline-Approved Hard-Sided Carry-On Suitcase
With the stamp of approval of Delta, United, American, Southwest, and Allegiant airlines, you'll rest assured knowing you won't have to check this bag last minute at the gate. Built with multi-directional spinning wheels and an ergonomic handle, dragging this through the airport will be a breeze. Plus, its 32 colors give you plenty of options to choose from.
Best Carry-On to Navigate Crowded Airports
Let's be honest: Airports can be overwhelming. Add a crowd to the mix and you've got yourself complete and utter chaos, especially if you're traveling alone. Use this carry-on's 360-degree wheels to navigate your way through the disarray.
Best Expandable Carry-On
Here's the scenario: It's the night before your flight. You're all packed and ready to go when you suddenly realize your bag is missing so many things. To combat this common problem, opt for an expandable suitcase. This bag fits perfectly within airline regulations but leaves you ample space to pack everything you need and more. Seriously, even with all your necessities packed, you'll still have plenty of room to pack all of those last-minute additions.
Best Carry-On for College
If you plan to fit your dorm essentials into one carry-on, you will need space. With its multiple multi-use interior pockets and extra space inside, this suitcase provides tons of room for your last-minute back-to-school wardrobe additions and dorm room décor (hello, string lights!)
The best part? Nobody will actually know that you majorly overpacked, thanks to its expandable interior. Reviewers say you can fit twelve outfits (or more, depending on the season) as well as shoes and bags. Does that sound like enough space for you?
Best Carry-On for Quick Flights
Maximize the minimum space you have in a carry-on suitcase by traveling with this canvas tote duffel. It's perfect for short flights as you can pack all the essentials without sacrificing an inch of space. Use this carry-on when you plan to head home for a little weekend away from college or on the trip home for Thanksgiving or Spring Break. You'll have enough space for a few outfits, a pair of shoes, toiletries, and anything else you think you'll need.
Best Carry-On for Business Meetings
Heading to a new city for a job interview? Grab this carry-on from Travelpro. It's ultra-lightweight, secure for lugging around, and fits conveniently under the seat in front of you. Although this carry-on has plenty of space, it's not big enough for longer business trips so make sure you take note of that before you pack.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue