One of the easiest ways to save money when you will be flying to your destination is to use overnight bags for your luggage. Just about every major air carrier has some sort of checked luggage fee. They typically range from $15 to $25 per bag, each way. So for a couple flying roundtrip together with two bags each, you could be looking at $100 just for the bags. With the continued rise in ticket prices, in addition to all the other costs associated with air travel, you have to try to eliminate as many of these costs as possible.
One of the easiest costs to eliminate is the previously mentioned checked bag fee. In case you haven’t noticed, or don’t travel much, the airlines will let you get on an airplane with just about any size luggage as carry-on. Of course they have their carry-on size requirement guides at the airport, but you’ll almost never hear any of the airline personnel reference these guidelines anymore. Now don’t take this to mean that you can come walking up to the aircraft with a steamer trunk as carry-on, cause that won’t fly (bad pun, sorry). You still have to get your suitcase through the baggage-screening machine at the security checkpoint, so you have to be somewhat reasonable. But I have seen some pretty monstrous backpacks and overnight bags that easily fit through the x-ray machines.
So here’s what you do. Go to Google, Amazon.com or whatever your favorite online store is for bags. Do a search for “overnight bags”. From here you’ll have a huge selection of bags that you can use when you travel. Because they are in the overnight bag category, most of these bags will be sized just right for you to carry them on a plane with you.
These bags have lots of great features. For one they are extremely easy to pack and unpack. Many of them have lots of pockets on the inside and the outside of the bag. This makes organizing your stuff a breeze. They also typically come with handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Handles are perfect for most situations. But the strap comes in really handy when you’ve loaded your bag with stuff and need to huff it through the airport to catch a connecting flight. Some of the bags even come with a stow-away handle and wheels for rolling the bag.
Because of their size and construction, these bags have many advantages over roll-aboard suitcases. For one they are extremely easy to get through security. Unlike a rigid suitcase, overnight bags are typically made from more flexible materials. So even if you’ve stuffed it to capacity, you can still get it through the scanning machines at security. This also helps when you’re trying to squeeze your bag into an overhead compartment. If you travel a good bit, you’ve heard the term handles or wheels out. Essentially the airlines are trying to accommodate as many bags as possible in the overhead compartments. For this reason, they want the bags placed in with the handles or wheels facing the isle of the plane. Some roll-aboard bags just won’t fit this way because of their rigid construction. But this won’t be a problem with your flexible bag.
Many bags are also designed to carry specific items such as a laptop. Typically it will be in a separate, zippered and padded compartment. This helps protect your computer from other bags when stowed. These laptop compartments are also EXTREMELY convenient when going through security, since you will be required to remove your laptop from your bag every time you go the scanners. Knowing exactly where your laptop is, and being able to quickly remove and replace it is a huge time saver. There’s nothing worse than standing at the other end of the scanners barefoot with no belt on trying to stuff your laptop into a bag full of other stuff. Ah the joys of travel.
Overnight bags come in a wide variety of colors and fabrics. As with anything else, you can pay a lot for a nicer bag, or save some money by going with less expensive fabrics. But don’t worry about it being cheap. There are plenty of inexpensive bags out there that are made from strong nylons and other durable fabrics. Just do a bit of research, and read lots of reviews on any of the bags that catch your attention. All in all, traveling with an overnight bag can be a great way to save some money when you’re traveling. Mk tote bag