We’ve all been there; that frantic moment where you’re at the airport check-in counter, and you realize you’ve overstuffed your carry-on, and it now needs to be checked in … for fees you didn’t budget for!

Check-in luggage and their accompanying fees can present you with unexpected complications before you begin your journey, and could potentially throw a spanner in the works of your well-planned holiday budget.

So, if you’re thinking about how to avoid checked baggage fees, read on to set your mind at ease with some simple tips and precautions to make sure you don’t dish out dough unnecessarily.

Do your research

Close up portrait of a young woman working on laptop

It’s important to dig a little deeper into the terms and conditions of an airline’s baggage policy at the same time you land any flight deals to your dream holiday destination. Baggage policies, allowances, and fees vary from airline to airline, and it’s important to know what’s in store for your bags. Some airlines might let you bring on a free check-in piece and others will offer one or more checked-in luggage if you upgrade to business or first class. The most important thing is that you shouldn’t be blinded to baggage fees by dreaming about all the cool things you want to do on your trip; make sure to first do your research early and thoroughly, as this could help you be in the know about how you can avoid paying extra.

Sign up for an airline rewards program or credit card

If you haven’t considered them already, airline rewards programs can offer you some interesting perks, one of which could be waived off baggage fees. While this may involve flying quite a few hundreds of miles to ensure eligibility, signing up with an airline you use frequently for trips through the year can often give you an easy way out of checked baggage fees.

Another way to squeeze out some savings is to apply for and use an airline’s credit card when purchasing tickets. Many major airlines will waive off checked baggage fees for cardholders. However, a little math here comes into the equation; most of these cards will charge an annual fee and you’ll have to see if this cost outweighs the benefits of waived baggage fees. If you travel often, this shouldn’t be a problem!

Pack your carry-on wisely

close up of woman packing travel bag for vacation

So you’ve still got your trusty backpack or carry-on piece that you can load up with all your clothes and gadgets, right? Think again! Not using some common sense packing can soon make your check-in luggage  overweight and unexpectedly end up in the check-in baggage category. The simple solution? Just pack smart by choosing to wear your heavier pieces of clothing or shoes when traveling, and make sure to weigh all your pieces of luggage before departing for the airport — it could end up saving you a big headache and a nice chunk of change. If you’re still scratching your head about how you’re going to maximize your backpack space, there are always great tips for packing that can guide you.

Use other pieces of luggage at your disposal

Whether its a stroller you’re checking in or the inconspicuous laptop bag that you carry as your personal item, it’s totally worth stuffing them with all the heavy and voluminous materials that might tip your bag into the check-in luggage weight category. If you’re flying with kids, make use of that stroller and its protective travel cover to stuff in some clunky items that could help your other bags shed a few pounds. All airlines offer free stroller check in and there are no weight restrictions enforced, so this is a no-brainer. Laptop bags and handbags that are allowed as personal items are also a great place to stuff in a few pieces of clothing or even heavier articles.

Consider shipping your luggage

Woman receiving large parcel

Who knew that shipping your bag to your final destination might actually work out to be cheaper than paying for it to be checked in your flight? Now, this may not always be the case, as prices for shipping will vary according to how far away your destination is, but it’s something you should consider if you’re still pensive about how to avoid checked baggage fees in a tight financial situation.

Have you got any other tips on how to skip out on paying checked baggage fees? Let us know in the comments.

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About The Author

Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by night...no wait...that's Batman...my bad ... Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!