10 Hacks To Beat Baggage Fees
Show me the MONEY! Here are 10 hacks to beat baggage fees when you’re traveling by air. If you haven’t faced the “your bag is overweigh” response at the airport check in counter, you’re already doing something right. To lessen your chance of facing the airline money pit, here are our 10 hacks to beat baggage fees.
The pillow trick
Almost every airline has taken pillows and blankets off the airplane. When traveling, especially flights over two hours, we enjoy a little shut-eye. The first of our 10 hacks to beat baggage fees is also a way to get comfy onboard the airplane. Stuff a pillow case with some of your clothing. A pillow case that zips is the best idea to make sure nothing falls out. Traveler’s tip – don’t over pack it where it appears to be what it is – a bag of clothes, keep it on the small size and where it looks like a travel pillow.
Travel in your heaviest clothing
This tip on our list of 10 hacks to beat baggage fees is not a new idea and really just makes lots of sense. Wearing your heaviest clothing means your checked bag will be lighter. Bulky items like jeans, heavy-thicker pants, hoodies, jackets, and high on the heavy list is shoes. Obviously you can’t put them all on, but wearing several of your heaviest items, especially heavy shoes will take several pounds off your luggage. Traveler’s tip – Shoes, shoes, shoes and jeans are the heaviest items. Plan your travel wardrobe carefully to limit the amount of heavy items you’re bringing. Coordinate your outfits while planning your trip at home. When checking in, if your bag is under the over-weight limit, you can always ask the agent to let you stick a jacket in the bag at the last. minute.
Wear a Travel Vest
Have you heard of a travel vest? Photographers and travel journalists have been using this tip from our 10 hacks to beat baggage fees for a long, long time. There are jackets on the market with loads and loads of pockets. The travel vest or “wearable luggage” comes with inside pockets to place camera equipment, electronics, gadgets, and other smaller items. How does this help you may ask! Well, it gives you space in a carry-on for other items. TSA security is much easier too. Take off your jacket and place it in one of the bins. Everything is in one spot. Travel vests are a great investment for frequent flyers who don’t want to pay extra for baggage. Travelers tip – don’t just buy the first one you see. Do a little research ahead of time to make sure you’re getting a comfortable fit and pockets that will keep your things secure.
There’s nothing wrong with putting on the layers. Especially if you’re traveling during the winter. Summer months and travel can benefit from layers too. T-shirts, shorts with workout pants underneath are just two items. Think – “I need to be able to move easily”, as you put on the layers. It’s a good way to reduce baggage weight, however, you don’t want to be too weighted-down either. Travelers tip – Shirts, jackets and swimsuits make great layers. Put ’em on and go!
Invest in the best travel bag
While size does matter so does weight. Invest in a good suitcase that will last through the years of travel. Go for sturdy and lightweight. It is personal preference when it comes to hard-side or soft-side. I personally like soft-side because regardless of how much organizing I do, there is always a last minute “stuff, stuff, stuff” when I’m traveling. Maybe a gift from the host or a last minute purchase. Travelers tip – if you have packed to limit the baggage weight, you cans easily add additional items in soft-side luggage at the check in counter.
Know your airline
With all said about finding hacks for beating baggage fees, it’s a good idea to know the baggage allowance for the airline(s) you’re flying. They do vary. Travelers tip – Budget airlines are less expensive on the ticketing side, but add fees and more fees for carry-on bags and definitely checked bags. Know before you go!
Skip the toiletries
These 10 hacks to beat baggage fees should really start with toiletries. Necessity and size should be your guide for each item. Do you really need it? Is it offered in your hotel room? Can you purchase what you need in small amounts in the city where you’re going? Toiletries and cosmetics can be very heavy. Avoid excess baggage charges by selecting what you need. Travelers tip – Be environmentally friendly. Did you know, reducing baggage weight also reduces airplane weight. You’re helping the environment too.
Don’t forget the souvenirs
This list of 10 hacks to beat baggage fees has to include shopping too. No matter how much you travel and say “I don’t buy souvenirs, I travel all the time.” I know for sure, at some point something will catch your eye. There will be a trip where you’ll want to bring home souvenirs. Special items from a far away lands, become part of your fond memories and ones you can share with family and friends. Travelers tip – Pack with the plan to bring something special home. And, if you don’t find something to bring home, you’re already ahead with baggage weight and space.
Duty-free bags are your friend
Speaking of shopping. Did you know Duty-free bags don’t count as carry-on baggage? How’s that for one of our 10 hacks to beat baggage fees! Savings on tax and tariffs, and you can carry it on. That’s a win-win. Traveler’s Tip – Some duty-free stores will tape the top of the bag for purchases such as cigarettes and liquor which will make it difficulty to switch any extra carry-on items into the bag. Be aware, the gate agent is watching and looking at your two carry on items.
Our final tip of the 10 hacks to beat baggage fees is to pack wisely. Beyond beating the fees you always want to pack and carry as much as you can handle. There is no need to worry about paying airline fees yet upon arrival at your destination you are tipping handlers to help you with your bags. Pack and carry as much as you can handle. Travelers tip – Pack your suitcase at least two days before departure. Go back on the next day and unpack then repack. You will find there are items you don’t need. Simplify and pack lite. You’ll thank me for this travelers tip later. Bon voyage!
Favorite suitcases – click the names below to see my favorites.