It seems that the glory days of traveling on an airplane are most definitely over. With security measures ever increasing and baggage fees abounding, the experience that was flying has changed drastically over the last 11 years. The days of seeing our friends and family arrive and depart from the gate were exciting times. When we could once pack our bags without checking the number of ounces on our shampoo bottle.
Today, the reality is that most airlines charge a baggage fee ($25 being a good deal) when flying, whether domestic or international. There are even airlines that now charge to take a carry on with you on the plane. This seems in clear response to the overwhelming number of passengers that carry on as much as they possibly can. Though it seems that the consumer is absolutely up a creek on this one, there are still options to minimize or eradicate the blow of baggage fees.
- Fly on an airline that does not charge baggage fees. This may require you to drive to an airport that Southwest, who allows two free bags, or Jet Blue, that allows one free bag, flies from to your destination. Both of these carriers specialize in domestic flights, but do have some international destinations as well.
- Sign up for an airline brand credit card. If you fly often, this is a better option for you than the once a year traveler, because these cards can have a hefty yearly fee. However, there are a lot of advantages, such as a free checked bag for your flight, access to lounges, discounts, double miles, and even priority status when boarding.
- Consider shipping your luggage. Depending on your destination, the amount of luggage you intend to take, and the weight of your luggage, it may be your best option to ship your baggage. Make sure that you communicate with you hotel if your baggage will be arriving before you. It would be wisest to keep all valuables and fragile items with you instead of shipping them and then deposit valuables within the hotel safe.
- Carry your luggage on the plane. Buy a suitcase that will fit in the overhead compartment. Note that if you fill the outside pockets of some suitcases they will no longer fit above, forcing your luggage to be checked plane side.
Packing Tips For Your Carry-On
- Wear items that will take up more space in your luggage, such as bulky sweaters or shoes.
- Use all the space wisely by wrapping clothes around a central item. Put smaller items in your shoes as well.
- Know what you are allowed to carry on, such as tweezers, safety razors, and even blunt scissors.
- Buy toiletries when you get to your destination. If you will be in one location for a while, just stop by the store to get shampoo and shaving cream. There is not much you can not buy once you are there. For items you must take with you. buy reusable toiletry bottles to fill and save you some space.
Julie Myers is a travel agent. She enjoys writing about her travels and recently wrote about her trip to a Bahamas vacation resort.