I don't fly a lot. It's been a while since the last time I took a flight somewhere. Nearly four years, I think. I don't remember being charged for a carry-on last time around. I did have a checked suitcase as I recall.

Today I booked a flight to Denver to visit a buddy and go to a Rockies game. Actually he's throwing out the first pitch at that game so that will be hilarious if he throws it like 50 Cent did. I'm flying out on a Saturday and coming back on Monday. Really quick trip.

My fare was pretty good. Round trip for just $208. But then another $6 each way to pick my seat. I could have paid nothing but I'm not rubbing both my elbows on people. I'm far too cheap to pay $20 each way for the exit row. I can live with $12 since it was a cheap flight.

Then came time for the bag fees. It was going to be $35 each way for a carry-on. Not the "personal item," but the carry-on. A checked bag was actually cheaper at $30 each way. I was surprised. And also torn.

My dilemma was simple but hard to decide. Do I pay for baggage or can I get by with traveling light and only bringing the true essentials? I have a little single-strap backpack that I love. I can easily fit two pair of underwear, two pairs of socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste, travel size deodorant, two t-shirts, contact solution and case, phone charger.

I won't have room for a change of jeans or shorts. I'll either roll with one pair or wear two on the plane. Probably the former. It's only two days.

Flying without the checked or carry-on bag will save me $60. That' enough to buy two or three beers at the ballgame. If I decide to come home with souvenirs I'll just ship them. It is way cheaper to send a flat rate box than check a bag.

The best part of this plan is that I'm notorious for forgetting to pack something. This way I have to look for things to leave home.


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