I secured a five day trip to Grammy’s house on a cut rate airline for four people for $413.39 round trip. Whoo hoo let’s go!! Problem, luggage, on this airline, even carry-ons, cost money.
The airline luggage fees are steep, a carry-on is $55, 1st checked luggage fee is $50.
All my ticket savings disappeared before my eyes.
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The airlines are not going to take my big price win with their luggage fee policies I determined! The only acceptable size of “free” luggage for this particular airline was a school backpack.
Personal item (e.g., purse, small backpack, etc.): Dimensions must not exceed 16 x 14 x 12 inches (40 x 35 x 30 cm) including handles and wheels.
The Osprey packs daylite daypack is one of our favorite carry on/personal item size backpacks. It has tons of room for storage in a very small, compact backpack.
Here is How You Too Can Beat Airline Luggage Fees!
First figure out what types of activities you will be doing. Do you need special clothes? Is there a washer or dryer available? What is the weather at your destination? Example: We are normally going from colder ( Denver) to warmer (Dallas) so we often leave heavy coats in the car.
Here is my basic check list.
Wear your biggest items on the plane
- Hiking boots or Tennis shoes
- Heavy socks
- Long Sleeve Shirts
- Jeans (super bulky to pack)
You can pull these off on the plane or tie them around your waist or hang them off your backpack before you board if you get hot.
- 3 pairs underwear + 1 (multi-purpose bra)
- 2 shirts
- 2 pants/skirts/shorts
- 2 socks
- 1 pair of shoes (crocs are great)
- Swim Suit?
One of the pant/shirt items should be sleep/workout ware possible if needed. Sports bras are surprisingly bulky so wear it on the plane. Running through the airport is a work out right? This combination gives you a base of three outfits. The one you wore on the plane and two you packed. AND if the shirts interchange with the pants then you have a half dozen or more combinations.
I live with all males so this is easy.
- Tooth brush
Shove it in the side of your backpack and go! Family homes and hotels will stock, tooth paste, soap, shampoo, hair dry, sometimes even flat irons! Purchase disposable razors when you get there.
Make-up and face creams are tricky. You don’t want to risk your $80 eye cream being pitched at the airport for label or size reasons anyway. When you purchase a make-up or face cream item ask for a sample. This way you will have them for travel. If samples are not available, create them in small bottles with a label. Bring only the basics. If needed drop by a department store when you arrive to get samples to tide you over.
Invest in a daily pill box and take only what you need. Put in a safe part of your backpack. In the states, places like Walgreens can refill almost all scripts quickly from you home pharmacy if you run out.
With only one carry-on this can be a huge issue. A larger laptop can take up almost all your backpack. Options: Can you work in the cloud on a computer where you are staying? Can you work from a smaller device like an ipad or a chrome book? Can you leave the dang thing at home?
One solution is to pack the children’s clothes in one backpack and to put all the computers and devices in an adult backpack.
Cut-rate airlines do not offer snacks so fill you backpack side pockets with individually packed snacks. Also plan a budget for food when you leave and arrive with money saved from not paying for luggage fees.
Clip empty water bottles to the side of the backpack to keep arms free .
Related: Our favorite travel snacks
I hate reading on a device. Carry one book. How many are you going to read anyway?
Carry that precious stuff animal in you arms or attach him in a baby sling or wrist strap to the child. Stick to your guns here, only one small lovey per kiddo. This is a great opportunity to help them learn limits and responsibility for their own stuff. We even explain the rules of airport conduct too ‘pony” before he flies with us. Plus, what airport attendant is going to take a lovey from a 5 year old? Really?
Final words for escaping on vacation without a luggage fee.
When you do fly airlines that have generous baggage policies ( uhhm Southwest Airlines) bring robes, extra shoes, sweatshirts and workout clothes to leave with grandparents or friends you visit regularly. Most family homes can easily accommodate a small box of your personal effects for next time.
Purge items you don’t want or need for the way home, books, shoes, and ripped or torn items.
Got new stuff on the trip? Give some of what you brought to a thrift store.
With these tips, you should be able to avoid those hefty airline baggage fees and save money on your trip!
Do you have any extra tips for packing lighter? Share with us in the comments.
Related: Check out these tips to help you save even more on plane tickets
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