Ready to take a great family trip and not sure what to take?  Pack too much and you’ll pay.  Today’s baggage fees are stiff, with prices ranging from 15 dollars for a carry on to 25 for a checked bag and up to 100 for a third suitcase.  Then, if the bag is a bit on the heavy side—even by a pound—you’re looking at more fees.  Travel epert George Hobica has some tips to save you the extra expense. 

For example, compare the costs of an overweight bag against packing a second suitcase.  In some cases, Hobica points out, a second bag may cost less.  Use your bathroom scale to weigh your luggage so you don’t have any surprises at the airport (and then have to shift your unmentionables from one bag to another to get your heavy bag back under the limit).  If you picked up some extra items while you were away and have to get them home, Hobica suggests you consider shipping them. It could be cheaper than stuffing them into your suitcase, making it heavier than the airlines allow, or throwing them into another suitcase you have to pay extra fees for to get on the plane.  And Hobica says most important of all: compare the prices of the flights you’re considering, but look at the total expense.  Sometimes, an airfare of $100 round trip could be more expensive than one for $150 when you add in extra baggage fees on the first flight that might not exist for the second one.  Sometimes, less is more. Just check the airline web sites for the information on baggage fees, or go to www.luggagelimits.com for a complete list of charges for luggage on dozens of different airlines.