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Got Baggage? Situations When You May Actually Want to Check Your Baggage

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From travel blogs to newspaper advice columns, everyone tells you to travel as light as you possibly can. But there are some situations in which traveling light could actually be problematic. Here are a few times when checking baggage might actually be an advantage.

  • When you have tight connections to make. If you have very tight transfers, the last thing you need is to be weighed down by luggage. It's often best to simply check your luggage and meet it at your destination rather than have to worry about your possessions.
  • When you need to bring particularly heavy items. Most planes will let you check luggage up to 50 pounds, which can be very costly to ship and rather difficult to lug around with you. If you have heavy items to bring with you, it's usually best to just check it.
  • When you're injured. If you've hurt your knee, back or elbow, it's always best to check your luggage. Otherwise you may need to rely on strangers to bring your luggage up and down for you, and that may get tiresome quite quickly.
  • When you're arriving late at night (or very early). Most of the issues people have with luggage (potentially getting lost, having to wait for it) aren't as bad when you're traveling during off times. It's less likely that your baggage will be misrouted or that you'll need to wait for it when no one else is flying, after all.
  • When you're traveling on particularly small planes. If you're traveling on small planes, such as city-to-city shuttle planes, it's likely you'll need to check your bag anyway, because it won't fit in the overhead. You might as well check it in advance and avoid the hassle.
  • When you're traveling during the busy season. Are you traveling for the holidays, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving? If so, checking your baggage is good for two reasons. One, it's hard to navigate through busy airports with luggage. Two, you'll probably need to anyway: during the holidays, the plane's overhead compartments fill so quickly that it can be very difficult to get a space.

The obvious problem with checking baggage is that you can't always be sure that it'll get to where you're going. Give yourself enough lead time just in case your luggage happens to be lost and needs to be recovered.

Posted on Nov 07 2014

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