These days you’re paying about $25 each way to check a bag when you fly. (Americans paid a shocking $3.4 billion to check bags in 2010—up 24% from 2009.)
You can buy a still-roomy carry-on that meets most airlines’ size limits, and add that $50 to your vacation budget (or your savings account—it’s your call).
Be careful when shopping, because some bags described as “carry-on” are too big. Most airlines limit carry-on bags to 45 total linear inches—the combined measurements of the height, width, and depth.
Sherpani Solstice SL 20"
Do the Math
A $125 suitcase roughly equals five baggage fees. If you don’t travel much, paying the fee to check a suitcase you already own might make sense. Check this list to see your airline’s baggage fees.