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Avoid hefty excess baggage fees

After spending all that money on a flight ticket, no one likes to arrive at the airport and get slapped with a $50 fee because of overweight bags.

Avoiding excess baggage charges requires strategic packing and a bit of research before you leave on your trip. Since most airlines allow you to check two 50 pound bags, you’ll dodge fees by dividing your possessions between two smaller suitcases as opposed to one large one.

When it comes to minimizing weight, you’ve got a few options. According to the travel supplies store Magellan’s, buying new luggage can help because it’s now designed to be lighter. If you’re cutting it close on weight, consider shifting a few heavy items to your carry-on bag and wearing the heaviest shoes you plan to bring.

If you know your bags are going to be too heavy, you might also consider using the money you’d spend on excess baggage fees to ship the bags directly to your destination, thereby sparing yourself the inconvenience of lugging heavy bags at all.

Most importantly, read up on the baggage restrictions for the airlines you’ll be flying so you know your target weight. Here are the policies for a selection of U.S. airlines:

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