Luggage fees can be a headache, especially if they become unexpectedly high, which happens most of the time. It’s easy for them to derail the effort you put into finding the most cost-conscious flight once they add up.
The problem is that the best advice you’ll get from friends, family, and even the airlines themselves is to pack light. While it’s true that it’ll help you save on luggage fees, it’s not good enough, especially if you’re going to fly together with your whole family. Packing light is very challenging, if not impossible, for those with young kids, those who don’t travel often, and anyone who’s going to travel to search for better weather. Also, “light” can mean differently to each individual.
What you need are realistic steps that you can take when your favorite airlines start to raise your travel cost by hundreds of dollars because of bringing your luggage with you.
Depending on your comfort level, destination, and the size of your group, if you’re part of a group vacation travel, there are several practical options for you to avoid costly luggage fees. These are possible without sacrificing some of your favorite items that you’d really like to bring with you on the trip.
Check them out below.
Consider Getting A Lightweight Checked Luggage
It’s easy to forget that the suitcase you’ll use adds to the final weight that your luggage will have. Say, for example, the airline will allow you to have 60 pounds of luggage, and the bag you’re going to use is already 15 pounds, this leaves you 45 pounds for your actual luggage. If you do the math, that’s about 15-20 percent gone of your luggage allotment. That said, consider getting lightweight checked luggage, one that’ll allow you to pack smarter.
Do your research as you search for a new suitcase in the market. Keep in mind the luggage allotment of your airline before opting to buy one.
Bring Multi-Use Items
Another way to avoid costly luggage fees is to bring multi-use items with you on your trip to one of the top travel destinations for this year. For example, you could bring a dress that you can turn into a beach cover-up when you hit the sea. If you could bring one that also turns into a nightgown, that’s better!
Also, consider bringing a simple shift dress, one with a black or other solid neutral color. You may also opt to bring a button-down shirt, one that you can have the option to dress up or down. Both can appear as several different outfits when combined with other clothes and are only going to take up little space in your bag.
You can also bring reversible shirts, pants, and shorts. There are a lot of them on the market, so consider doing a bit of traveler’s shopping. You can combine all these clothes and still look good. All you need is to get creative.
Bring A Carry-On Bag With You
Aside from the luggage, don’t forget that you can fly with a carryall bag, messenger bag, or a backpack. The good news is that it’ll be at no extra cost. Make sure to fit some items in your carry-on bag instead of putting them all inside your luggage.
Please take note, though, that some airlines have restrictions when it comes to the size of your carry-on. As long as it’ll fit under the seat that’s in front of you, then you’re fine, most of the time.
Don’t underestimate a carry-on bag since it can surprise you with how much you can fit into it. A carry-on will also save you once you’re already at the baggage checking counter, and the airline staff says that you have to deduct at least 5 pounds from your luggage. Think about your footwear, toiletries kit, book, and other big-ticket items that are under 3.4 ounces and consider placing them on your carry-on bag instead.
Simulate The Weigh-In Experience
All you need is an electronic hanging scale, something that you can buy online, and you can already simulate the weigh-in experience in the baggage checking counter at home.
It’s ideal to do it before going to the airport, so you’ll leave your home confidently, knowing that you won’t have to unpack and re-pack your luggage once you reach the baggage checking area.
Read The Rules Of The Airline Online
It doesn’t matter how good the deals that an airline offers, chances are, it’ll still have complicated rules. That said, before getting overwhelmed by discounts and other promos, make sure to thoroughly read the airline policies first. You can do it at home by visiting the airline’s website. If you can print out some of the relevant pages, especially the part that tackles your airline rights, then it’s much better since some airline staff themselves don’t completely understand their rules. Bringing some pages of relevant policy information with you will help you clarify things out for a misinformed agent in case of disagreements.
The bottom line is that airlines may vary in terms of their luggage allowance. The factors include the operating carrier, class of service, and your destination. So, it would be best to learn about their luggage policies first before going to the airport.
The most important thing to do is to figure out what’s your personal comfort level. After already having an idea of what you want, slowly apply the ways mentioned in this post so you could save luggage allowance here and there.