How to Make the Most of Your Checked Bag

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Most airlines charge some type of baggage fee. Even if your ticket includes a checked bag, a second bag may cost you extra, while anything falling into the oversize or overweight bag category is certain to come with an extra charge. Use the following tips to make the most of your checked baggage, no matter where your travels take you.

– Pack light and reuse clothing. Weight limits for bags vary from airline to airline, but they rarely go above 50 pounds per piece of luggage. To get more use out of the clothing you pack, try coordinating colors so that you can get the maximum number of outfits out of the minimum number of pieces. Also try packing items that can be washed and dried quickly, allowing you to reuse them more times during a longer trip. Finally, be sure to measure and weigh your bags ahead of time to avoid unpleasant surprises at the check-in counter.

– Consider renting equipment rather than bringing your own. Large items, like surf boards and golf clubs, may cost less to rent at your destination than to check, especially if you only plan to use them once or twice. If a large item would be your third checked bag, it could cost you as much as $100 to check it each time you take a flight.

– Try out space-saving products. Items like packing cubes can help you squeeze more into your suitcase for less than the cost of checking a bag one-way.

– Mitigate the risk of lost bags. An airline losing a checked bag can be a vacation nightmare. Many lost bags originate at curbside check-in, so avoiding that service can lower your risk. Double-checking the destination code the airline assigns to your luggage before letting it out of your sight will also help ensure your bags show up where you need them.

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