Many airlines are now charging $15.00 to $25.00 for your first bag, and $35.00 for your second. And if any of those bags are over-sized or overweight, additional fees can add another $50.00 to $200.00 to those charges. Click here for a chart of current baggage rates.
Not surprisingly, travelers are looking for cheaper alternatives.
Dan Brady, who along with his brother owns a half-dozen UPS Stores, says, "Over the past several years, we've seen an uptick in the shipping of luggage by our customers. So UPS and The UPS Store got together and created a box that is specifically for shipping luggage, without the suitcase."
The luggage boxes cost $12.95 for the small size that can carry up to 55 pounds or $17.65 for the large size that'll hold up to 85 pounds.
You'll need to pack and ship two to five days ahead of your trip. And regular UPS shipping rates apply. You can calculate those on the UPS website.
But while taking an overweight bag with you on a USAirways flight to Orlando will cost you $100.00 to $200.00, the UPS luggage box service for an over-55-pound box will cost you around $45.00.
Brady suggests, "Ship it directly to the hotel. The only thing that I would recommend is that you contact the hotel let them know that you have some things that you want to arrive in advance and every hotel is set up to be able to handle something like that. They might have special directons, they might want a slightly different address where they have receiving, or they may want your room number on it."
And when you take your luggage box to UPS to ship it, the store can also generate a return shipping label -- so you can leave the pre-paid box at your hotel for them to send back home.
For more information on the UPS luggage boxes, click here.
To find a UPS store near you, click here.