Why You Should Always Weigh Your Bags Before Getting To The Airport

Travel days can very stressful. It's not just remembering your passport and phone charger and making it to your gate on time — there's a lot that goes into having a problem-free trip. One thing that can absolutely start your vacation off on the wrong foot is paying extra fees for something you could have avoided.

One common mistake travelers make that can really cost them is overweight baggage. According to Upgraded Points, airlines made over $5 billion in baggage fees in 2021(!), a portion of which includes excess baggage fees. This makes sense since, depending on the airline, the route you're traveling, and sometimes even the person you're checking in with, even one excess pound can cost you hundreds of dollars. This is why it's always a good idea to weigh your bags before departing for your big trip.

The weight limit for checked bags is usually somewhere between 50 to 55 pounds. However, be sure to check the website of the airline you booked with to see what the limit is for that airline. If you think there is no way you can get your bags under the weight limit, some airlines will even tell you what the overweight bag fees are in advance. At least this way you won't be surprised at check-in.

Why you should pack lighter for your trip

Packing a lighter suitcase won't just save you money at the check-in counter from your departure airport but also on your return trip. If you enjoy shopping or just want to bring home souvenirs for family and friends, it's very likely you're going to add a couple extra pounds to your bag along your journey. So leave the hairdryer at home and make room for a very special gift for your grandma or best friend.

Another reason you should pack lighter is for convenience. Lugging a heavy suitcase with you everywhere can be a drag (literally) and can even be dangerous if you have to carry them up and down stairs. Additionally, for some destinations, big heavy suitcases are just not a practical option and can add to costs if you have to store them somewhere for a weekend while you go to a remote destination.

How to pack a lighter suitcase

Most travel plans will benefit from making a list and having a game plan for your journey. The same goes for packing. If you know how many days you will be traveling and what sorts of activities you will be doing, it can be very easy to put together outfits with interchangeable tops and bottoms so you're never wearing the same thing in your photos and also not overpacking. Does this sound difficult? Here's a great packing golden rule: if you don't wear it at home, you won't wear it on vacation!

You can easily weigh your bags at home before your trip by using a scale. Simply hop on and weigh yourself then pick up your bag. Subtract your weight from the total weight and you have your suitcase weight. If you're worried about overage fees on your return trip be sure to purchase a luggage scale from Amazon and take this with you. 

Finally, consider traveling with just a carry-on. Not only will this reduce costs on your trip and time spent at the airport waiting for your bag but it's also more convenient and less stressful if you're concerned about your bags being lost.