As any frequent flyer knows, there are two types of luggage in air travel: cabin luggage and lost luggage. Sometimes lost luggage is found, and delivered to you eventually. Sometimes all you get is an apologetic letter and a check in the mail three months later. That happened to me last year with British Airways, but then again I was asking for it by flying through Heathrow Airport.
Today I almost always travel without checking bags. I traveled to my wedding and honeymoon only with hand luggage, and managed to get our Kilimanjaro trekking gear into the cabin as well.
Recently someone claimed this would have to change once we go traveling with our first kid. Well, so far I still think hand luggage is the way to go. As you can see in the photo from our two and a half week trip to Europe, we didn’t even have to resort to oversized “personal items”. Just two bags (which also held our two laptops) plus a small one for Daniel were sufficient. We did order formula and diapers in advance, and did laundry locally (for the US, check out Babies Travel Lite). The hardest part was to organize an infant car seats for the taxi to the airport and the rental car in Europe, but even for that services are emerging.