How to Avoid Paying Airline Baggage Fees

Airlines have been squeezing passengers for years now.  To cut costs and increase corporate profits they have been taking away leg room and squeezing more passengers per plane. They also have been adding fees to their fares from everything from change fees to checked luggage fees. If you are smart, however, you can mostly avoid paying baggage fees.  Here are a few ways.

If you are a frequent traveler you should join the rewards programs for the airlines you fly.  If you stick with the same airline when possible, such as Delta, your travel increases your status. Frequent flyer status programs have many perks, such as upgrades and membership to airline club rooms and free checked bags. If you must check bags, this could save you $50-100 per trip.

Get an airline credit card. Each of the major airlines has its own credit card from Visa, Mastercard or Amex. They let you earn airline miles for your purchases and will give you free checked bags.

You could also just not check baggage by simply using a carry-on.  The bags must fall within the size requirements to fit in an overhead rack. The 3 best types to use are backpacks, duffle bags and roll-aboard bags. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Backpacks make good carry-ons because they have individual compartments that can sort your clothing, toiletries and electronics. Many have a built in laptop compartment, which makes it easy to take it out quickly at the TSA screening. However, they don’t hold as much clothing as some other bags.

Duffle bags have the greatest internal volume for a carryon. They also can compress a bit if you have to fly in a plane with a smaller than average overhead bin, such as a CRJ200, 700 or 900 model plane, often used by regional airlines.

Hard sided roll-aboard bags are usually designed to fit the airline rules and size limits. They offer some protection against the crushing of electronics and valuables within your bags. You can find a nice selection of high end roller bags at Lord and Taylor. These however will not compress, which may keep them from fitting in some overhead bins.

Whichever type of bag you use, you can always “Gate Check” your bag. As long as your bag is not oversized, just take it to the gate with you. Before you board, the gate agents will always ask if there are volunteers to gate check bags to your final destination. They will take your bag, give you a tag and you leave it at the bottom of the gangway. An attendant will put it under the plane, straight away. If you just have one leg on your flight, your bag will be waiting for you on the gangway, right when you get off the plane. There is no need to go to baggage claim.

Some Important Currency Cautions for Travelers to Mexico

When planning your financial activities in Mexico, you should take into consideration your estimated time there, your itinerary, and your budget. Huge sums of cash could make you susceptible to criminal activity.

A major international credit or debit card is the most convenient form of money in Mexico. In fact, two cards are better. You can use these to obtain cash from ATMs with ease. Some restaurants and stores, many upper midrange and top-end hotels and most airlines and car rental companies accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express for payment. On some occasions, there is a surcharge for paying by card or a discount for paying cash.

One of the most vital details to consider as you get organized to make a trip to Mexico is how you are going to handle your money for different purchases. You may opt to operate either mostly in currency or hope that you might use plastic when it comes to major transactions.

Here are some crucial cautions that can help you handle your currency needs while in Mexico:

Avoid Being Showy

You need to exercise discretion while making cash purchases. Even though it may be necessary for you to get into your billfold to pull out some dollars or pesos to purchase something, allowing those around you to see your currency could be indirectly inviting trouble. It is prudent to make a reasonable mental estimate as you prepare to make a purchase. Ensure that you have the estimated amount out and ready.  Also, avoid keeping huge sums of money in an obvious place.

Use Plastic Prudently

There are some rural communities where you may find that credit cards are not easily used. However, with the current technology, you might find this changing. If you choose to use plastic, you will want to be well informed in regards to your credit card company’s foreign transaction fees and policies. Of course, a small purchase will not justify the use of a credit card. Bigger purchases may best be handled using your credit card. It is advisable to consider referring to the credit card option in case you will be using a debit card. This is to prevent any possible compromise on your PIN.

Issues with ATM Machines

An ATM can be a convenient way to obtain currency. However, there can be some glitches sometimes. You will need to use much caution in case you are dealing with an ATM machine that is not appropriately monitored. In the event of a malfunction and your card being pulled out of sight, you can be seriously inconvenienced. For that matter, a swipe-operated option is the best way to avoid losing your card in a machine. Sliding readers enable you to retain your card while the transaction is completed.

 Obtain Mexican Auto Insurance before You Set Off for Complete Peace of Mind

When you are touring, you benefit a lot from the independence offered by driving yourself around. If you are getting organized to visit Mexico, ensure that you have purchased Mexican car insurance from before you even think of getting behind the wheel of your automobile.

Even if you have American or Canadian car insurance, it is still imperative that you purchase Mexican auto insurance if you plan to drive your car in Mexico. Mexican authorities will certainly not recognize your existing insurance. It is illegal for foreigners to drive vehicles with foreign registration in Mexico without a valid Mexican auto insurance policy.

The easiest way to get locked up in a Mexican jail is not to have the proper car insurance and be involved in an accident while in Mexico. Lack of a Mexican insurance policy in an accident is a good way to create this problem for yourself. At the very minimum, you will have to obtain liability coverage if you are to comply with Mexican insurance laws.

The following are what your liability coverage will pay for in the event that you cause an accident while in Mexico:

  • Damages you cause to the property of the other party
  • Injuries to the other party as well as his passengers

With the current technology, you can easily get insurance policy quotes online and purchase Mexican car insurance from wherever you are.