Airline fees can add up quickly. Here are some tips and tricks to avoid the annoying fees charged by most airlines.
Baggage check fees are never popular, and most of the time they are unexpected. Airline fees like these can quickly add up and sabotage your efforts to find the most cost-conscious flight.
Here are some tips and tricks to avoid annoying fees, as most airlines charge for checked bags. In fact, Southwest is the only major U.S. airline that doesn’t charge for checked baggage – two bags per passenger.
This should be obvious, alas, packing less is not as easy as it sounds. When we travel, we want to feel safe and prepared for any situation. So, unless you’re going to the tundra, opt for lighter clothing. Consider cotton and other lightweight options instead of denim. Look for brands that cater to travelers – Arc’teryx is a clothing brand designed for both male and female travelers that is ultra-lightweight.
Apply for an airline credit card
An additional benefit of a great airline credit card is that they waive baggage fees if you book your flight with the card. An added bonus: If you book a travel companion for your trip, the airline will usually waive baggage fees as well. But be aware of this before booking, as all credit cards have different restrictions. There are a lot of airline credit cards out there now, and they all have extra perks, so you need to do some research to find out what makes sense for your travel plans (free baggage or more miles?) .
Get a lightweight suitcase
Your suitcase will be added to the last weight of your luggage, something that is easy to forget. If you are allowed 50 pounds of stuff in a checkered bag that already weighs 10 pounds, (no, it’s not a math problem) you only have 40 pounds left. That’s 20% of your baggage allotment already used up! So, if you’re in the market for a new suitcase, do your research. osprey and Rimowa are two brands that claim to be lightweight travel bags.
Why not bring a piece of clothing that can be turned into a beach cover-up and pajamas? It can be done. Bring a simple black dress (or other solid neutral color) or a button-down shirt that can be dressed up or down – they will look like several different outfits, but will only take up a small amount of space. There are also many reversible shorts, pants and shirts on the market that are perfect for travelers. Get creative!
Laundry is an easy solution for packing everything for a week-long trip. While hotels can charge a lot for laundry services, you can always go to a local laundromat. Hey, you might even meet a local doing laundry and get some travel tips, like where to get the best tacos. Another option is to stay at a rental or hostel that offers a washer and dryer for guests.
Today, on some flights you may have to pay for baggage carry-on, but you can still fly with a backpack, messenger bag or carry-on bag at no additional cost. Some planes have size restrictions and must be placed under the seat in front of you. But you’d be surprised what you can fit into a bag, especially if you’re at the baggage counter and you need to deduct £5 from your suitcase. Think about your larger items, like a book, cosmetic bag (as long as everything is under 3.4 ounces) , or shoes.
Wearing the heaviest items on the plane
When you’re flying from a cold or warm destination to the opposite climate, wear your heaviest items on the plane. You don’t need to weigh yourself, so you can do this. This means your heaviest shoes (hiking boots and chunky wedge heels), a coat or large winter jacket, heavy jewelry, etc. It’s also a good idea to layer your clothes – wear a thick sweater under your jacket and a scarf, and you get the idea. Planes are usually cold, so you’ll feel warm. Tuck your jacket and clothes into your suitcase.
Buy after the flight
This is one of my travel commandments that stresses what not to forget while traveling. Buy it when you get to your destination. But it’s also a way to avoid checking your luggage. I’m not saying you should buy your winter coat or anything hard to buy on the way in. Things like liquids are one of the heaviest things in your luggage, and most of the time they are the easiest things you can find to buy.
Take time to pack
Don’t pack at the last minute because you don’t have time to plan your line. Give yourself time to pack. Make a list of gear you can use for each trip. Or open your suitcase a week before your flight and throw them in when you think of them. Dinner, dancing, hiking and swimming? Plan, plan, plan! If you do this, you’re less likely to be hit with those sneaky baggage fees by carrying too much luggage. Also, if you’re constantly overloaded, consider getting a home luggage scale.
Ship it away.
If you have some heavy luggage, shipping your luggage before a trip may be a good option to save on extra luggage fees. Courier services like DHL, FedEx and UPS are all optional when shipping luggage or larger items. This decision may require more effort, but in the end, it may be the most economical option when traveling with a lot of gear or a large family.