Weíve all been there. Worried over the possible loss of a critical piece of luggage that just couldnít meet carry-on requirements, or waiting patiently for the airlines to find it when it didnít come. Even when things go as smoothly as possible, it is still a chore to run down to baggage claim between flight legs when a connection takes you through another country and you need to clear customs.
Factor in all of the airline security measures you need to go through for the luggage you ARE allowed to bring on board, and all of a sudden every extra bag becomes a source of full-on family debate. Itís something I covered in a recent Wise Bread articled entitled When Is Checked Baggage a Good Idea? Basically, your decision boils down to a few key factors.
Does your chosen airline offer a complimentary checked bag with your flight, or will you have to pay for it? Are you a preferred flyer in their miles program? If so, that might also score you the coveted complimentary bag when taking a trip that will require extra bits, bobs and gear. Even if there is a fee involved in sending your bag, there are times when it can still be a good idea. Which brings me to the following two points.
If youíre taking the trip of a lifetime that requires special accoutrements such as safari gear or equipment for a ski vacation, then you may choose to handle your luggage shipping internationally through an external shipping service such as Luggage Free for example, which coordinates deliveries for travelers who wish to have their belongings upon arrival without the hassle of dealing with them during the flight. When personal expectations for a trip are high and you are limited in the amount of time youíll be at your destination, convenience can mean the difference between memories that will last a lifetime and utter frustration.
If you participate in business trips on a regular basis, and the business you conduct requires you to have an extensive amount of gear with you at the destination in question, bringing extra baggage might be non negotiable. On the other hand, if youíre just taking off for a weekend of fun in the sun, packing light is definitely your best bet.
So how about it, readers? What are your opinions on checked baggage? Yay or nay?
Photo Credit: Toasty Ken