Creeping excess baggage fees are a burden that some travellers get stuck with at the airport. It could happen to anyone; you might be relocating, going on a month-long vacation or just can’t travel with the bare minimum. There are also times when you simply cannot avoid going beyond the baggage allowance, despite conscious efforts to pack light and maximise luggage space.

When traveling light is not an option, here are five simple tips you can try to save on excess baggage fees.

1 – Wear heavy items on your carry on

Wear your heavy clothing in layers, and stuff the pockets with things like small electronic items, socks, underwear, shoes and toiletries. Other travelers have included vests with multiple layers in their travel essentials, to help them carry their necessities and to maximise their checked baggage allowance.

Be careful in considering the items that you will carry with you, making sure they are not included in the list of prohibited items on board.

2 – Upgrade your seat to a higher class

Upgrading your travel class seems to be absurd, but you might as well travel in comfort and style if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on excess baggage. Some airlines, like Qantas, offer as much as three checked baggage allowance for their first-class or business class flyers and could go four depending on the flyer’s membership status.

Apart from your upgraded baggage allowance, you can also enjoy other perks of being a first-class flyer such as free refreshments and free bags. Just make sure to check with your airline before spending those dollars that the first or business class covers the baggage allowance you need.

3 – Transfer heavier items to a bigger carry-on

Instead of bringing your usual handbag, it’s wiser to bring a more roomy bag as your carry-on. You can stuff in electronics, shoes, clothes and more. In this way, you can maximise both your checked and carry-on allowance. Imagine the weight you can save if you follow and combine step #1 and this one!

4 –  Ship your bags through a freight company

Most people resort to paying upfront airport fees to handle their excess baggage without knowing that there’s a cheaper alternative to it. Freight companies such as World Baggage can help you send your excess baggage to your destination at a much cheaper cost than the airlines. Their online calculator will help you get an instant quotation and will also help you book the service online in a jiffy.

5 – Share the load

If you’re traveling in groups, checking in together will help you save as much as you can on excess baggage. Figure out who among yourselves have a few kilos to share and transfer some of your items in their luggage. If they have a lot of weight to spare, there’s no need for you to transfer but to just check-in your luggage under your companion’s name.

Don’t let the expense of having an excess baggage ruin your trip. Allocate enough time to prepare and evaluate which among the tips above you can try at your own comfort level. Remember, maximising your dollar’s worth is in your hands. How about you? What are your creative ideas to save on excess baggage fees? Share it in the comments below!

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