Carry-On Luggage Requirements By Continent Explained

Carry-On Luggage Requirements
Carry-On Luggage Requirements

The joy of travel often comes with its fair share of challenges, and one of the most perplexing can be the different carry-on luggage requirements by various airlines and regions. What you may carry on a flight within North America might not meet the needs for a flight in Asia or Europe. Here, we aim to demystify carry-on luggage policies continent by continent, helping you ensure a smoother journey.

Carry-On Luggage Requirements By Continent

Before you book that ticket and start packing, understand that carry-on luggage regulations can vary widely, depending on the continent and, often, the specific airline. It’s crucial to be aware of these differences, as some continents use changing measurement standards that may require conversion of cm to inch for accuracy. Here’s a breakdown of general carry-on luggage requirements for each continent to keep your travels hassle-free.


Asia’s significant airlines often allow carry-on luggage of up to 7-10 kg, with dimensions generally at most 22 x 14 x 9 inches. However, low-cost carriers might have stricter requirements. Remember that some airlines may also have limitations on additional items like laptops or handbags.

Carry-On Luggage Requirements


In Africa, carry-on luggage requirements tend to be similar to those in Asia, hovering around 7-8 kg. However, domestic flights, significantly smaller aircraft servicing regional airports, may have stricter weight limits. Always double-check before flying within the continent.

North America

Major airlines in North America are typically more lenient with weight but still adhere to the 22 x 14 x 9-inch size restriction. Weight limits may range from 10 to 12 kg. Some airlines allow a personal item in addition to a carry-on piece, but budget airlines may charge extra fees.

South America

South American airlines generally conform to international standards, allowing luggage up to 8-10 kg with dimensions not exceeding 22 x 14 x 9 inches. However, domestic airlines might have tighter restrictions, so confirming beforehand is advisable.

Carry-On Luggage Requirements by continents


If you’re one of the adventurous few heading to Antarctica, you’ll likely be constrained by the requirements of the carrier you’re using to reach the southernmost continent. This usually involves a flight to Argentina or Chile first. 

Antarctic expeditions have distinct luggage requirements primarily due to the extreme and unique environmental conditions. Unlike other travel destinations, Antarctica’s harsh climate, remote location, and fragile ecosystem necessitate specialized equipment and clothing.


European airlines often adhere to the international standard of 22 x 14 x 9 inches, but the weight limit can vary significantly between 8-12 kg. Budget airlines are particularly strict about weight and size and may impose hefty fees for any excess.


Australian airlines generally align with international standards, but domestic flights may have stricter weight requirements. The typical weight allowance ranges from 7-10 kg, and the size usually does not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

You can check more information about travel trips.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to carry-on luggage, understanding regional differences is essential for a hassle-free travel experience:

  • Asia: Generally allows 7-10 kg with strict dimensions.
  • Africa: Rules are similar to Asia, but be cautious with domestic flights with more stringent requirements.
  • North America: More lenient on weight but adheres to standard size restrictions.
  • South America: Follows international standards but checks for domestic flight variations.
  • Antarctica: Governed by the airline rules used to reach the continent and specific expedition requirements.
  • Europe: Adheres to international size standards but has varying weight limits, especially among budget airlines.
  • Australia: In line with international standards but may have stricter requirements for domestic flights.

These general guidelines will make your next international or domestic flight more pleasant and help you avoid unexpected fees or issues. 

To maximize the utility of this guide, it is essential to stay updated with the latest regulations, as they can evolve due to various factors, including changes in security protocols, airline policies, or international agreements. Therefore, before embarking on your next adventure, we strongly recommend double-checking the specific requirements of your chosen airline and destination to avoid any unforeseen inconveniences.


Carry-on luggage requirements can vary widely depending on the continent and, often, the specific airline. It’s essential to be aware of these differences before you travel, as some continents use varying measurement standards and may have stricter weight or size restrictions.

Recognizing and respecting these divergent standards allows travelers to avoid unnecessary complications, delays, and unexpected fees during their journeys. Being well-informed about the specifics of carry-on luggage allowances ensures compliance with airline policies and contributes to the overall safety and comfort of all passengers on board.

Here are some additional tips for packing carry-on luggage:

  • Choose a lightweight, carry-on-approved bag.
  • Pack only the essentials and avoid bringing any unnecessary items.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that you can easily remove for security screening.
  • Pack liquids and gels in travel-sized containers of 100 ml or less and place them in a clear, zip-top bag.
  • Bring a personal item, such as a laptop bag or purse, that you can carry under the seat in front of you.

By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Last Updated on October 12, 2023

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