Backpacks & Airplanes: Code of Conduct

Backpacks & Airplanes:  Code of Conduct

Backpacks, once the “luggage” of choice for college-aged travelers, have become mainstream, with travelers of all ages preferring to travel light, with everything they need literally on their back.  It’s simple, avoids checked bag fees and waiting time, and forces travelers to pack light.

High Sierra loop backpackWhen carrying a backpack onto an airplane, however, there are inherent dangers.  After traveling millions of miles, and seeing backpacks in varying sizes and design, I’ve  seen far too many people injured by backpacks.

So, how about we all adopt the following Backpackers Code of Conduct for Air Travel:

  • I will walk straight down the airplane aisle, knowing that when I turn from side-to-side someone sitting or standing behind me may inadvertently get thumped by my backpack.
  • I will turn my head to look behind me before stepping back, knowing that the person behind me may otherwise have my backpack rammed into his/her face or body.
  • If I must turn, I will first remove my backpack, knowing that if I don’t someone may get crunched by it.
  • I will refrain from any quick movement, knowing that any loose straps and buckles may whip someone across the face or body causing discomfort or injury.
  • If I am carrying my pack by one strap, I will check to see how it hangs off my shoulder, knowing that it might flop off to the side and hit someone.
  • When stowing my backpack in the overhead bin I will situate it in such a way as to take up the least amount of space, knowing that the overhead bins are shared space for all passengers on board.

What do you say backpackers?

Photo credit:  Amazon

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

3 Responses to “Backpacks & Airplanes: Code of Conduct”

  1. June 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    great tips – i try to follow those guidelines already 🙂

    • July 1, 2010 at 11:53 am #


      I appreciate backpackers who are conscientious. Now, if we can just get everyone to do the same!


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