Checked bag fees are just the airlines' way of separating you from more of your hard earned money. But thanks to some travel experts, you'll never have to pay them again.
First thing is to recognize how much you're allowed to carry on the plane. Most airlines allow two bags in the cabin free of charge, one that fits in the overhead and the other under the seat.
If you have bulky clothes, wear them rather than packing them and try using compression bags, which will remove air from the suitcase, freeing up precious space.You probably don't need as much as you think, and likely you can just buy something when you get to your destination.
Also, if you plan to do laundry while abroad, you can pack less.The less you travel with, the less time you'll spend waiting for the baggage carousel, or worse, losing baggage, which equals more time for your trip. MOST hotels now have on site laundry facilities you can use for not much money. MUCH CHEAPER than those pesky extra fees :)