Check a Bag for $0
Baggage fees have become a massive profit center for airlines: In 2010 the industry raked in more than $2.5 billion in these charges. But two airlines still let you check bags for free: JetBlue Airways allows one bag per passenger; Southwest Airlines permits two. Fly on them whenever possible and you’ll save $50 or more round-trip per passenger. If those airlines don’t suit your plans, sign up for a credit card with travel perks: Delta Air Lines waives one baggage fee per flight for customers who use its American Express SkyMiles credit card, and Continental Airlines allows two free checked bags per traveler when the flight is booked on its Chase Presidential Plus card. Also, see if your hotel refunds baggage fees. Kimpton hotels currently credits up to $25 toward each room on request, and the Intercontinental Hotel Group offers a promotion for baggage-fee reimbursements from time to time, says Anne Banas, the executive editor of the travel site SmarterTravel.com.