FedEx truckShip Your Bags
One way to avoid paying the airlines’ baggage fees (besides flying with an airline that doesn’t charge for checking a bag like Southwest) is to ship your bags to your destination ahead of time. This only works well if you’re traveling domestically, if you do it a week ahead of time and if you ship it via ground service, not air.FedEx, UPS or the USPS will do it—and with FedEx, you don’t even have to use a box. Just bring the bag to them and they’ll send it out, just like that.

If you’re shipping to a hotel, make sure it doesn’t charge a receiving or hold fee. Some hotels now charge by weight for receiving packages for guests.

Ship Your Bags
Cheaper than checking bags


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8 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: Ship Your Bags"
  1. thepixinator|

    UPS or FedEx ground are fantastic – shop around to see which carrier has the best rate. Tuck a small roll of packing tape, plus your return label, into the box so you can send the luggage back easily. I do this all the time, and it’s saved my back, my knees and my sanity

  2. Jerry|

    How can fedex be cheaper? I went to their site, and they quoted $60 for a 40lb bag from LA to NY.

    Most airlines charge $25 for a bag.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      It all depends on the size and weight. Also make sure you ship Ground. It’s cheaper in the long run because with less bags you can take public transportation so getting from JFK to Manhattan will only cost $7.50 instead of a $65 taxi.

  3. Anonymous|

    Johnny, if you can figure out a way to bypass the airlines baggage system on international travel you will earn legendary status with travelers.
    On our last trip to Hungary, we got separated from our checked luggage on both legs of the trip, flying Swissair/Lufthansa out of ORD.
    I just don’t understand how they can’t get a bag from A to Z.

  4. Randy Luebke|

    This is a great tip Johnny! I own a vacation rental in Park City, UT. Needless to say my guests travel here with a lot of luggage and gear. Shipping their luggage or skis and boots ahead would certainly make traveling much easier. Plus, they could rent a smaller and less expensive car as they won’t need to transport all that gear from the airport to the mountain as well. I am going to email this tip to all my guests. I would also like to post a link to this article on my web site if that is permissible.

  5. Winter Patterson|

    I’ve always thought it would be a great idea to use those vacuum bags. These can shrink a giant package of clothing into something only a few inches tall. Yes, wrinkles could be a problem; this would depend on what’s available to you at your destination and whether the trip of business or pleasure. It would be even better if a local full-service cleaner and/or shipping office could offer a do-it-yourself packing spot for a tiny fee. If I had the airlines’ money, I’d throw mine in the gutter! :)

    1. Deb|

      I have used the vacuum bags for international travel. It worked best with jeans, under clothes and dress boots. Plus I needed a winter coat as I am in Florida and traveled to Ireland in March. Everywhere I stayed they had an iron and ironing board. My last night there I was even brought a vacuum upon request after explaining why I needed it. I also used one vacuum bag for a soft sided collapsible piece of luggage which I used for the extra purchases and used as a carry on, on my return trip.

  6. meed|

    There are vacuum bags available now that are like giant ziplocs with an air release opening, so you just pack with clothes, zip it shut, roll it up. As you do that, the air gets squeezed out the opening, but the design will keep air from getting back in. Very neat! And lightweight and doesn’t require a vacuum or other gear. The fluffier the clothes (winter jackets, sweaters, fleece), the more drastic the difference.

    The only problem we’ve had with these is that you can pack so much stuff into your suitcase that it then might go over the weight limit. Takes out the bulk but not the weight!

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