Maybe you guys are already hip to this, so forgive me if I'm late to the game, but I have two words for you when it comes to travel: first class. No, I'm not always this fancy, but hear me out.
I've done the math...

I built the 40 head dresses for the 40 ladies on our float this year. The thing is that I made them in Seattle and had to get them to New Orleans. In tact! So I started looking at priority shipping costs to get these down safely. The cost ranged from about $300-$450.00 for two boxes. 

So I started looking at a first class ticket. Use your miles! You not only get two free checked bags ( or boxes in my case ), but the bags can weigh more AND be bigger than if you flew coach. I've been doing this for a few trips down south now —and with all the things we take with us when we relocate there for a couple months, it's really worth it. I even checked my desktop computer one year. 

So, just think about it. For about $100 + miles, I had all this loaded on the plane with me—and I got snacks and drinks :)

P.S. A big thank you to Alaska Airlines for all their care and fragile stickers getting this precious cargo down to Mardi Gras!