Baggage Tips: Save Room and Money

bagThese days you might as well count your bags as passengers as flying fees continue to swell. Large family, big presentation, golfing trip or ski weekend can cost you big when it comes to getting your gear where it needs to be.

Generally, airlines have a weight limit. If you are over by a couple of pounds clerks and attendants in a good mood will let it pass. However, if you are more than 5 pounds over you will have to start shoving items from your bag into your purse or carry-on. If you can’t, you are hit with an fee to fly your bag. AirFareWatchDog.com states that charges for heavy bags can run up to $200 one way. In most cases, it is cheaper to ship your bags via the postal service.

UPS has an online shipping calculator you can use to literally weigh your options. Often, shipping it on your own is less of a headache and you have a stronger confidence that your bags are going to be where they are supposed to be. To save more, plan and ship as far out in advance as possible. Obviously shipping a heavy bag overnight is going to cost far more than standard ground services. UPS even offers a luggage box that can eliminate the suitcase weight. An empty suitcase alone can weigh 10-15 pounds. FedEx offers large bags that are puncture resistant and special boxes for your golf clubs. You can also add insurance on your baggage and, in some cases, postage is something you can write off on your taxes.

If weight isn’t an issue and space is, there are several tips you can employ to stuff your bags.

*Roll Up – Instead of folding piles, roll your clothing to combat wrinkles and space consumption.

straw*If you are going on a longer trip and have access to washing facilities, consider packing less clothes and washing them while you are away. On a recent trip to Florida, my family had a condo with a washer and dryer for our 2 week vacation. We packed less clothing, but bought some detergent at a Publix down the street and just did a couple of loads of laundry. We were able to pack all our needs in one large bag and the rest in carry-ons this way. We saved BIG!

*Set on using your own toiletries and don’t want to spend the extra cash on travel sizes? You can make your own! Grab a couple of straws – I usually grab a few from Wendy’s as they are larger – and cut them into desired lengths. Use a lighter to heat one end and seal it shut by pressing firmly together. (Pliers work great for this!) Squeeze your lotions, shampoo or creams into the straw and seal the other end. Make sure you use a marker to write what each tube is filled with.

*If you are on a shorter trip and staying at accommodations that will provide toiletries consider skipping packing your own. Call your hotel or resort in advance and find out what freebies they offer. It might save you space and weight to use the complimentary goodies instead of shelling our for travel sized items or bringing your own full sized.

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Cara is the jack of all trades. She started in fashion, but found her true passion in writing. After mixing the two into a fabulous cocktail of freelance writing about all things style, she started a family. Her 3 kids keep her Prada pumps moving as they explore the world one adventure at a time.

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15 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Pamela December 28, 2013 at 3:56 am - Reply

    My bags always weigh so much, no matter how much I could back!

  2. Shiny December 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Great tips. I’m always over myself.

  3. DD December 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Those are great tips.

  4. MK December 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Traveling light is the key, I tend to bring too much and I always regret it!

  5. Nikki December 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Great tips, the cost of baggage today is ridiculous!

  6. Jody December 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Baggage in Europe is ridiculously priced, good tips.

  7. BusyBee December 29, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I rarely pack my own shampoo since the hotels provide them :-D

  8. Janelle December 29, 2013 at 4:22 am - Reply

    It’s simple, pack lighter. Less is more when you travel.

  9. Allie December 29, 2013 at 4:23 am - Reply

    You shouldn’t have to pay for bags. Of course I need clothes on my trip.

  10. Jen December 29, 2013 at 7:17 am - Reply

    I always roll up my clothes when packing. Works a treat and you don’t need to iron at other end if you put them on a hanger over a hot steamy bath !

  11. DD December 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Rolling up clothes is a great idea.

  12. Erin December 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Great tips. Planning a trip with my kids and I love the idea of one big bag and doing carry on’s instead. Going to have to find all the deals to make this trip happen.

  13. Jocelyn December 30, 2013 at 3:42 am - Reply

    These are great tips!!

  14. dd December 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    It’s always a challenge for me to pack.

  15. Danity Donnaly January 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Good to know tips!

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