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And Europe is smaller, frequently. I think Air France is typical(??) at 21x13x9. I got a Rick Steves bag (actually, we got a matching pair). If you use the compression zipper it's Europe legal (in general), and if you expand the bag it's US legal. Though I experienced one flight where they weighed the carry-on. Only time in my life they did that (I forget if we had to pay excess fees on that).

I agree luggage people aren't going to be generally clued-in. In fact, you would be wise to check the specific policies of the specific airline you're flying as it may be different. It's not a safety thing, so they can go their own way.

Probably the more difficult thing is packing philosophies. 1poorlady and I are very different. She's a "we might need this", and I'm a "we probably won't but can buy it if we do". We do butt heads over this, but I'm not going back to traveling heavy. Too painful. I haven't gone this far, but several travel "experts" say you shouldn't even bring soaps and such. Buy it at your destination, discard any unused before returning. I may try that just to see how it goes. Makes more space in my carry-on for mementos. Plus a mini-adventure deciphering what toothpaste has fluoride in a store in Madrid (or wherever).
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