Guest Blog by: Midge
What would happen if you mailed your clothes to your final destination and just traveled with a personal bag?
After having Sarah, our 13 month old baby, our journeys usually lead us in the direction of flying to my in-laws or driving to my parent’s home. The hassle of carrying the baby, her large amount of baby diva stuff, as well as our bags can be overwhelming. So, this summer, on our way to see the in-laws, we decided to mail our clothes ahead of us.
Our airplane carrier offered great deals for flights but any bags over a certain weight and size limit cost you money. You can have one free bag which would be something like a small laptop bag, a purse, small backpack, etc. This free bag has to fit under the seat.
The carry on or stowed bag fee can range between: $20-$35. A regular suitcase under 41 pounds can cost you as much as $35 but if you accidentally go over limit, they could end up charging you $50 more. Our total cost could have reached somewhere between $120 – $210 or more for both segments of the flight. So, we decided to pack a laptop bag for my husband and a small backpack/baby diaper bag for my personal bag. We mailed the rest of our travel needs and clothes.
Each box we mailed ended up costing us about $20 – $25 each way. We were able to pack all of our stuff in two boxes as compared to the three suitcases that we were originally going to bring. We also did not have to pay for the extra cost of the weight of our suitcase. Our budget plan involved us stopping at the store after we arrived at our destination for some incidentals such as diapers, baby wipes, etc. so we would not have to bear the cost of shipping them as well as having to buy them. We also packed a change of clothes into our free bags just in case our boxes did not show up on time.
The biggest snafu we ran into was making sure to mail our clothes early enough before we left. We did incur a bit of an extra expense on the first set of mailings because we had to send the boxes by USPS Priority Mail. Also, I mailed all of my favorite clothes for the trip and suffered for a bit before we left wearing the raggedy clothes I had left behind. We received our boxes within two days of coming home without using priority mail on our return trip.
All in all, if we had mailed our packages early enough the first set of mailings, we would have spent about $100 total in shipping compared to the airplane costs listed above. And our airline carrier is known to be more budget friendly than most. Check your favorite carrier because this could end up saving you a whole lot more money!
We also skipped the baggage claim twice! And with a small baby in tow, that was an extreme blessing. In fact, I would venture to say that I would mail my clothes again if only for that reason alone.
Do you have any frugal hints for traveling? How have you saved money while flying across country?