Baggage fees and weight limits vary from airline to airline. Some can charge anywhere from $25 to $50 per bag. Generally, bags must be no more than 50 pounds.
A few airlines do not charge for baggage and some may let passengers bring one bag aboard free. Shopping around among the different airlines can help save travelers money. Here are other tips to make sure a vacation doesn't break the bank because of baggage fees.
* Know the airline rules. Bags are generally limited to 50 pounds. Carry-on bags may be limited anywhere from 16 to 40 pounds, depending on the carrier.
* Weigh bags before leaving. Place suitcases on a scale to ensure they do not exceed the weight limit. Remember to leave room for souvenirs; otherwise the bags may exceed the weight on the return trip.
* Leave heavy items behind. Rent golf clubs, scuba gear, snorkels, skis, etc., at the destination tosave on havingto bring heavy items. For those traveling during the holiday season, mail gifts in advance to avoid having to pack them and pay higher fees.
* Pack light. Find a hotel that has a washer and dryer on its premises. Then pack only a few changes of clothing andwash them while on vacation.
* Use the same airline each time. Become a frequent flyer of a particular airline and earn "premier" status. In some instances, perks of flying the same airline include the elimination of baggage fees once a certain milestone is met.
* Invest in a multi-pocket coat. Really take advantage of traveling light. Put essentials into deep coat pockets to limit the amount that is packed into a carry-on bag or other luggage.
* Shop around for hotels. Some hotels offer baggage fee reimbursement to their guests. There may be certain requirements, such as payingwith a particular credit card or staying on off-peak days, but the savings make such restrictions worthwhile.
* Pack more efficiently. Choose similarly colored clothes so things can easily be mixed and matched. Roll clothes instead of folding them so that they'll take up less space.