Want to head out of town for some place far away, but airline bag fees got you down? Travelers can reduce that extra cost, which can add $200 or more to your trip, by choosing the right suitcase and packing it right, according to luggage expert Jim Lahren, vice president of marketing for travelware company Briggs & Riley.
To fly lighter and cheaper, Lahren offers these tips to lighten your load, because sometimes it is true, less is more.
- Pounds matter. The most important thing to remember is the weight restriction of 50 lbs, so buy lightweight bags that pack well. As a general rule, stick to luggage that measures 27” or 28″ or under, because pack larger bags hold more and weigh more.
- Weigh your bags before you leave home. A bathroom scale works great. Try to stay about three pounds under the maximum weight because of the variability of scales.
- Consolidate when traveling together. A couple or family can get away with one large duffle or two wheeled upright bags.
- Choose the right luggage. Soft luggage is lighter yet equally durable as hard-sided luggage, and it will generally have more space for packing.
- Carry it on. Have each member of your traveling party, even kids, bring aboard a carry-on piece to lighten the load in your checked baggage.
For an individual or a family who flies frequently, Lahren recommends a durable luggage set that would include two 24″ expandable uprights and a wheeled compact tote or 18” carry-on expandable upright. In their Baseline collection, Briggs & Riley offers a 24″ One Touch Expandable Upright ($459) and an 18” Wheeled Compact Tote ($299) that make a perfect pair.
For vacation or adventure travelers, Lahren recommends a large wheeled duffle with quick-access side pockets, which are great for all your accessories, snacks for the kids, and other essentials you might need with you. BRX, the newest line from Briggs & Riley, features the 28” Expedition Duffle ($300), which has a ginormous main compartment for the bulkiest of gear and side storage panels that fold down and collapse for efficient storage.
A bonus with Briggs & Riley luggage is their lifetime guarantee that if it gets damaged, even by the airlines, they will fix it for free. Find stores or order online at www.briggs-riley.com.