Pack Smarter To Avoid Extra Luggage Fees - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pack Smarter To Avoid Extra Luggage Fees

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More airlines are raising rates for extra baggage, making it important to pack smart if you don't want to end up paying.

Those luggage fees can sometimes cost more than your ticket, meaning you can save a lot of money and time by fitting it all into your carry-on.

For Dee Russell, sending her son back to college this year is more expensive than she anticipated, after paying extra luggage fees she says are "sky-high."

"It cost me $130 for the bags, which was almost as much as I paid for his ticket," laughed Russell.

Fees ranging from $25 to well over $100, depending on where you're heading, are forcing many travelers to pack smarter to fit everything they need in one carry-on and avoid checking any baggage.

Eric Greathouse of The Container Store in Mission Valley says the key to packing smarter is planning ahead and that starts with a list.

"It really prevents you from forgetting what you need to bring and from bringing too many things," explained Greathouse.

The next challenge is making sure what you bring actually fits in your carry-on.

Greathouse advises bringing basic items you can mix-and-match and compressing your clothing. A special nylon bag squeezes the air out of sweaters and other bulky items and then seals like a Ziploc bag.

"And what this does is compress them down to about 50 percent of its normal size," said Greathouse.

Another space-saving strategy is pack-it folders, which can store a week's worth of shirts and pants.

"And you notice now that everything is compressed, keeps it from getting wrinkled, it's very easy if you go through customs for them to leaf through here and see how everything is set up. It's just a great way to travel," continued Greathouse.

Smaller compartments can be used to store rolled-up t-shirts, electronics accessories and even an extra pair of shoes.

Other ways to save space and save time when you're in line at airport security, include using a travel document case to keep your tickets, ID and other documents in one place and invest in a set of three-ounce, leak-proof Nalgene bottles to prevent spills.

"What really gets you through quickly is having everything ready to go. Your documents ready, your ID ready, your liquids ready and then a bag that's neatly packed, in case you go to a secondary inspection," noted Greathouse.

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