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Carry On Luggage? Another person traveling solo to Brazil question...

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I did a search, and was surprised not to find anything on this topic. Very little on Tripadvisor as well. Does anyone ONLY use carry on luggage? And, if so, what kind do you use?

This is my first completely solo trip (I did do a "solo" trip to Kenya last year, but that was meeting up with a women's tour group.) To say that I am probably going to worry about minor things is putting it mildly! And, one thing I am worried about is the airline losing my luggage. From what I can see, it appears that one's carry on should only be 10 pounds (!) and be no more than 55cm (or ~21 inches). Before I actually researched this, I purchased a 22 inch wheeled duffle bag that I assume is now too big even though most reviews said it was perfect for carry on. Is carry on ever really weighed?

While I'm thinking about it, when I was looking at a particular airport, I got the impression that liquids were not allowed at all. Can anyone confirm whether there is at least the same minimal allowance we get in the US?

I am very excited for my trip - this may seem like too little time in some places, but a little time is better than no time!! Will be doing 2 nights in Iguasso (Brazil side only, staying at Hotel Cataratas), 3 nights in Rio (Ipanema for safety, hotel undecided) and then a Pantanal safari (only going to Baiazihna Lodge on the Paraguay River due to time constraints and my desire for the best chance to see jaguar). So, I will be going on and off jets for the entire time, potentially not staying long enough for lost luggage to catch up with me. My other personal item will be my camera bag.

Thanks so much for your help!

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