10 Tips for Eliminating Checked Baggage Fees

If you have to fly you might get surprised with some whopping fees! A third piece of luggage can cost you $100. Kathleen Pender of the San Francisco Chronicle asked me for some tips on how college students could save some money. Here were some of my suggestions, which can apply to everyone:

  1. Compare rates with different carriers. Rates vary based on distance, weight, size, value, and destination.
  2. Plan ahead; it can take a week or more to ship your package the least expensive way.
  3. Don’t ship it air—it will be a fortune! Ship it ground.
  4. Pack your books and CD’s separately and ship them via the United State Post Office using Media Mail. It is the best deal out there.
  5. See if you can ship it from a business (maybe your parents) and get a discounted rate. Some companies will let their employee’s ship personal packages as long as they pay for them.
  6. Pack it yourself. If you go to a carrier store, you will pay a lot more if they package the goods.
  7. Keep your package size down to less than three cubic feet. Carriers charge more for larger packages.
  8. If you have to pay for it, get an account with a carrier and ship it online. It is generally less money if you have an account.
  9. Drop off your pre-paid packages at a carrier staffed facility. Carriers can charge $3 per box to come and pick it up.
  10. Check and see if your association has a discount program with a package carrier. Some associations give substantial discounts to their members.
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