Actually, the charges for checked bags don't apply to hubby & me. After the last trip to Italy - where ALL bags were lost, one lost forever - we have learned to travel only with carry-ons.
Two weeks in Spain with few clothes was a bit tough, because it was hot and sweaty. But shirts and shorts could be worn twice and then washed in the sink. Of course, we always buy souvenir t-shirts, and those go into the daily rotation also. And underwear gets worn twice (inside and out) then trashed. Basically, we always fly home now "going commando" in something ragged and twice worn.
Needless to say, there's no hope of a flight attendant giving us a free upgrade out of that third world internment camp called "coach."
But it's worth any inconvenience to be blessed enough to travel!