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Flying without checked-bag fees

  • COURTESY PIXABAY

    While airlines differ on types of charges (seat selection, carry-on luggage), there’s one thing airlines agree on — charging for regular ol’ checked baggage.

Airfare is expensive enough as it is, but the added fees make things worse.

While airlines differ on types of charges (seat selection, carry-on luggage), there’s one thing airlines agree on — charging for regular ol’ checked baggage.

With few exceptions, you’ll always have to pay to check a bag for in-flight storage. Below are three of the best strategies to avoid paying for checked luggage:

>> Use packing cubes: Websites such as Amazon.com and eBags.com sell “packing cubes” that compress your selection of clothes down to carry-on size. Packing cubes also help you stay organized and keep your suitcase or backpack from “exploding” with clothes each time it is opened.

While it might seem weird that cubes could help lighten your load, it really does work: They force your clothing into smaller, compressed rectangles and squares, so you can fit more into your bag.

>> ‘Roll’ your clothes: I’m a big fan of “rolling” outfits. It helps to select full outfits that you roll together. If you’re traveling for eight days, for example, you’ll select and roll together eight full outfits plus pajamas and underclothes.

By selecting specific outfits for each day and rolling them together, you end up with the exact amount of clothing you need. Rolling your outfits also helps keep them wrinkle-free and organized.

>> Plan on doing laundry: If you’re heading out for a longer trip and need more than seven to eight outfits to wear, planning for a few loads of laundry can help. We’re going on a three-week trip to Europe this summer and, to be honest, I don’t even own three weeks of clothing.

Instead of checking bags, we’re going to bring one week of clothing and wash it several times. If you don’t have a washing machine, you can handwash your clothes in a sink or bathtub, then hang them to dry on our own portable clothesline.

Holly Johnson, TravelPulse


Tasteful app

Do you avoid travel because of your diet? Maybe this app can provide healthful options you didn’t know about.

>> What is it? Tasteful app

>> How it works: The app helps travelers with dietary requirements or food sensitivities find places to eat in the United States. Tasteful contains a database of restaurants with healthful dishes in 8,000 communities across the country. Are you looking for gluten-free, low carb, paleo, vegetarian or vegan options at restaurants? If yes, this app is for you.

>> The good: All diets are not the same. Tasteful lets you fine-tune your preferences in the “My Food” section. You can include or exclude up to 19 types of food, such as meats, shellfish, eggs, grains, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, fried food and soy. You can also check off that you eat everything, or that you follow a vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free or low-carb diet. Once you decide your options, click “Let’s Eat” to scroll through restaurants near you and see reviews. Tap “Restaurants” and you can see recommendations with “open now” labels. This section is helpful, because I could easily scan the restaurants and see “eight paleo dishes” versus “three paleo dishes” per my filters. I also like that you can get recommendations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, takeout, Mediterranean and other options while searching within your diet.

>> The bad: The app was a little slow sometimes (or maybe I was a little impatient).

>> Cost: Free.

>> Available from: Apple Store and Google Play. On Apple, Requires iOS 8.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, several iPad models and iPod touch. On Google Play, requires Android 4.3 and up.

Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

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