Are you planning a trip but worried about your luggage weight? Do you want to avoid the hassle of overweight baggage fees at the airport? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The ability to precisely weigh your baggage is a must whether you are a regular traveler or are getting ready for a long vacation. Weight limitations for checked bags and sometimes even carry-on cabin bags are strictly enforced by airlines; passengers who exceed these limits may be charged extra or even refused boarding.
A few brands are making luggage with a built in luggage scale, which is really convenient. The next best option is to own a packable luggage scale. But if you don’t have access to a portable luggage weighing scale, how do you determine how much your bags weigh? In this article, we’ll show you how to weigh your luggage without a scale and we’ll answer all your other related questions.
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How Much Does Luggage Have to Weigh?
It is imperative to know how much your luggage should weigh because most airlines have a limit for both carry-on luggage and checked luggage. Any weight beyond the set limit for that airline will be charged at an exorbitant price. Hence, it is always safe to weigh your luggage before leaving for the airport.
It is not common for carry on pieces to be weighed before boarding, as the dimensions are more important and the pieces have to fit into an overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. An airline employee may ask you to use their bag checker frame to ensure that your luggage fits into it. If it doesn’t you’ll be asked to gate check it and may be charged excess baggage fees.
Nevertheless, airlines do state weight limits as well, and on the rare occasion you’ll be asked to weigh your bag, charges for any excess weight range from around $30 to $100 per kg. A carry-on suitcase would usually have a limit ranging from 15 (7 kg) to 22 pounds (10 kg), depending on the domestic or international airline.
Similarly, the limit for checked luggage range from 50 pounds (22.5 kg) to 70 pounds (31.5 kg). This may seem like a lot, but you may not even realize it and can easily cross this limit. The charges for weight beyond the mentioned limit are even higher for checked luggage. The costs range from $50 to $200.
It should be noted that all the values mentioned above are just an estimate. To know the exact weight limit and charges for overweight luggage, please check your airline’s official website. It is also helpful to note that budget airlines are likely to have stricter weight limits compared to more expensive ones.
Now it comes as no surprise why people always advise carrying light while traveling, especially after paying a considerable sum of money for a few extra grams in your luggage. The option of taking out your belongings to get rid of the weight is not something that can work for everyone.
Using a Bathroom Scale to Weigh Luggage
Using a bathroom scale to weigh your luggage is probably the next best option to a luggage weighing scale, especially if you are staying at a hotel and do not own a portable weighing scale.
It may seem tricky at first, as your luggage does not come with two feet to fit onto the weighing scale but guess what? Yours would work just fine. Still confused? Here’s how you do it. Step on the scale while holding your bag and record your weight. Then, without the bag, weigh yourself again and subtract the two weights to discover the weight of your luggage. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds without baggage and 170 pounds with luggage, your luggage weights 20 pounds.
It’s worth noting that not all bathroom scales are made equal, with some being more accurate than others. Additionally, you should ensure that the scale is placed on a smooth, hard surface. Make sure that the scale is not wobbly at all. Check the scale for zero error. The bathroom scale must show a zero reading when no weight is placed on it. Make sure that you get the units right because most weighing scales show the reading in both kilograms and pounds. So if it’s a digital scale, select the unit of measurement that the airline uses.
Pick up your luggage by a handle with both your hands. You can ask someone else to pick it up and hand it to you while on the scale if you cannot pick up the luggage yourself. If you cannot view the scale reading with the luggage in your hands, ask someone else to record the reading for you.
These steps are straightforward to follow and will give you a very close estimate of the weight of your luggage, if not the exact value. Placing the luggage on the bathroom scale is not the best idea as it won’t be able to stay balanced on a tiny scale. Even if you manage to balance your luggage on the scale, it won’t be accurate or be a stable reading on the scale. Hence, it is best to follow the steps mentioned above.
How to Weigh Your Luggage at Home Without a Scale?
Don’t stress if you don’t have a scale to measure your baggage weight at home. Even if you don’t have one, there are still a few options for how to weigh a suitcase without a scale.
To get a rough idea of how much your bags weigh, you may use common household products like dumbbells, or a gallon of milk, or bags of flour. Compare how heavy your bag is compared to the weight of the object.
Another way to determine the capacity of your bags is by measuring their length, breadth, and height using a tape measure. Based on the density of the material, a rough estimate of the weight may be made. A 24-inch carry-on with a 3000 cubic-inch capacity and lightweight construction may weigh as little as 8 pounds but quality hardsided luggage weighs more than softsided luggage.
You can also use an online luggage weight calculator like this one from Wayfarer to estimate the weight. To begin, you may choose your airline of choice to see their specific baggage weight restrictions. Then, you may start choosing items to pack suited for both adults and children. The calculator includes sections for clothing, toiletries, and electronics, as well as other typical trip necessities.
The application keeps track of the overall weight as you pack virtual stuff into a suitcase, letting you know whether or not you’re going to go over your weight limit. Everything has been carefully measured and quantified, their website claims. The average weight of a pair of men’s pants was 273 grams, while a pair of women’s jeans was 247 grams. You may use this calculator to play around with potential items to eliminate before you even reach the airport.
Keep in mind that all these methods of weighing luggage without scales will only give you rough estimates so it’s wise to err on the side of caution and pack less than what you think would be safe.
Where Can I Weigh my Luggage for Free?
If you don’t have your own scale, there are various free solutions for weighing your baggage. Certain airports and railway stations have scales for passengers to use, and certain hotels and hostels may also provide scales for visitors to use. Furthermore, certain shipping companies and baggage shops may enable you to use their scales for free.
Your neighborhood gym will let you use their scale for free if you’re a member, while many public libraries and post offices often provide scales where you may weigh your baggage for free.
Bathroom Scale Vs. Airport Scale
The bathroom scale is the best possible method to weigh your luggage at home or at your hotel without a portable travel weighing scale. However, it is possible to get a different reading on the bathroom and airport scales. Many vacationers question the precision of their bathroom scale or even their handheld luggage scale in comparison to those used at airports when it comes to weighing their bags. Are airlines scales accurate in comparison?
Although they have their uses, bathroom scales aren’t always precise and can’t compare to the high accuracy of airport scales. Airport scales are also frequently calibrated to guarantee accuracy, while scales found in homes may not be. If feasible, having your bags weighed on an airport scale will give you the most accurate weight.
It is important for each traveler to know how to properly weigh their bags. While it’s great to have a luggage scale available, there are still other options if you don’t. The use of a bathroom scale, volumetric estimation, or commonplace objects may all assist you in accurately determining your weight or you may look for a place nearby that will allow you to use their weighing scale.
We hope that our guide on how to weigh your luggage without a weighing scale was helpful and it will help you save some money on your next vacation.