Airline ticket to LA $250, hotel stay on the Queen Mary $120, helicopter tour of Catalina Island $150, 75 lb baggage fee $150. Hey, baggage fees weren't in the budget! You've saved, and planned for your weekend getaway. Remember to familiarize yourself with airline baggage rules to avoid unexpected fees that can zap your travel budget.
Fuel and operation costs are rising, and airlines are getting creative with fees from curbside check in to online booking and overweight luggage. Many passengers are surprised to check in and have $25- $300 (yes $300) fees for overweight baggage. You can avoid this by knowing the rules up front. Check your airline's website for the most up to date rules and regulations.
After you've made your reservations and checked the baggage rules, the next part of your journey begins. What to pack? Will it be enough or too much? What are you going to pack it in? Do you need special equipment for business or sports? Decisions, decisions. To help you avoid expensive surprises at flight check-in, your decision-making process also needs to include a luggage scale.
When selecting a luggage scale, some travelers opt for a compact, lightweight scale that can travel with them like the 100LB Digital Luggage Scale. The sweater for grandma, the jewelry box for Susie, the treats for dad all add to the weight of your baggage on the return trip home, and those extra pounds can result in overweight fees on the trip home, too. The international weight limit for checked luggage is 70 lbs making a scale that weighs at least up 75 lbs ideal. Make sure the scale's display is easy to read. The TraveLite Digital Luggage Scale even has a built-in LED flashlight to use in unfamiliar places and is the lightest scale on the market at only 7 oz. With the built-in tape measure on the Ergonomic Digital Luggage Scale, you can also measure your baggage to ensure it doesn't exceed the carry-on or check-in dimension restrictions.
Interested in a couple of other tips from passengers who have been hit with overweight/oversized baggage fees? If your airline allows 2 checked bags at no fee, instead of packing one heavy bag, split the weight between 2 bags. If traveling with a friend whose bag is half-empty and only weighs 25 lbs, do some creative packing and put some of your belongings in their bag. Get organized and utilize every ounce of space you have available in your carry-ons. Printing out the baggage rules and regulations for quick easy reference on your trip may also be helpful.
Last, brush up on your packing skills. How many pairs of shoes do you really need? Are 3 people going on the trip? Do all 3 of you need to bring sunscreen? Don't take what you don't need. You will regret it if you end up paying an overweight/oversized fee. Chat up some friends who are seasoned travelers for their tips. They'll likely recommend you roll up your clothing, tuck socks and underwear into shoes to save space, and chances are, they'll also recommend a luggage scale.