Do you hate airline baggage fees? While some airlines don’t charge for them, airline baggage fees are here to stay.
However, you don’t have to pay the airline baggage fees any more.
The holidays and summer vacations are a tough time to pay extra money when you travel. Airlines are continuing to lose money and are looking for ways to boost revenue.
While this is bad news for those that are traveling overseas, this is the PERFECT time to really become a budget traveler. With fees for snacks, pillows, blankets, fuel, security, and now luggage, it’s time to save wherever possible.
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Packing tips to avoid airline baggage fees
Here are some tips for packing light and helping you avoid domestic and overseas airline baggage fees:
1. Pack light – While this may seem obvious, it is amazing how many clothes and items people will pack but never use or use only once while on a trip. If you are taking a pair of shoes or an outfit “just in case”, leave it at home.
Can you wear the same pants, skirt, or sweater more than once? Pack with the idea of essentials and think in terms of what you can wear more than once. Buy that little extra thing that you need, pack less, and save $50 on airline baggage fees.
For women, check out this suggested packing list.
2. Don’t check your bags - You can take a vacation without checking any bags at all. Four different trips to Europe, ranging from 1 week to 4 weeks, 4 different season – I didn’t check a single piece of luggage. Everything I needed fit into a carry-on bag.
Pack light – 5 shirts, 3 pants, 2 pair of shorts, a few pair of socks and underwear, and a light jacket. Even in winter, you can pack all your clothes in a carry on (tips for packing light below). Wash your clothes at a laundromat, hotel, your sink, or with family or friends that you may be staying with. Money spent doing laundry costs much less than the money spent on airline baggage fees.
3. Extra luggage space - Use products to create space in your bag. Packing bags help organize and compress the size of your bags to create more space. Find items for clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other accessories which maximize space in your luggage. Here’s an idea of items which save you space when packing – Packing accessories, Pack-Mate, and more.
4. Packing liquids – Use travel sized liquids in your bags whenever possible – shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, hairspray, sanitizer, etc. Toiletries can be packed in your carry on. Decide if you will use something many times or just once.
Take what is essential and buy the rest at a local store. Spending money on items at the store will cost you less than the airline baggage fees. Carry travel size liquids, remember the airlines rules for liquids (gels, non flammable aerosols 3.4 oz or less in a clear 1 quart plastic bag), and save a few bucks.
5. Travel with kids – A shoulder bag can carry toys, snacks, and some diapers. Carry diapers for the plane and a few extra days and buy the rest once you arrive. Many kids all over the world use diapers so know where you are going, bring what you need, and pack more diapers if you need them.
For those of you who want more family travel tips for driving or flying, traveling with kids will help you plan for the holidays or that summer vacation.
Most airlines let you check strollers and car seats at the gate. Some airports and car rentals allow you to rent car seats and strollers (Buy at babiestravellite.com or check out these tips for renting car seats).
6. Traveling with holiday gifts – Gifts and presents can take up more space or require extra luggage. Determine if shipping all of your gifts is cheaper than the cost of airline baggage fees for your luggage. Creative solutions for gifts include carrying small gifts with your extra luggage space or buying gifts after you arrive.
Save time, energy, and money on your airline luggage
As travel becomes more and more expensive, the cost of airline baggage fees is an extra burden. The number of bags and the cost to check them can get very expensive for a family.
Websites and books out are great resources that can help you travel light, travel with kids, and pack efficiently. You will save time, money, energy and with fewer bags.
Airline baggage fees are an extra burden for travelers. You don’t have to be a budget traveler to avoid baggage fees – just a smarter, more efficient traveler.
Baggage photo (Flickr)
What suggestions do you have to avoid airline baggage fees?