How to Accurately Estimate the Weight of Your Luggage

Want to save money while traveling?  Make sure you don’t bring an overweight bag on your next trip!  Fees on airlines can be incredibly high if you go over the allowed weight limit for luggage.  As of writing this, your oversized bag could cost you between $100 to $200 dollars on an American or United flight and on Delta you are looking at $90 to $175.

So what is the best way to estimate the weight of your luggage?  Here are two options that can help:

1. The DIY Luggage Weighing Method

It might be tempting to just put your luggage on a scale, but depending on the size and structure of your luggage, you might end up with inaccurate results.  The best way to estimate the weight of your luggage using a personal scale is:

  1. Weigh yourself
  2. Weigh yourself holding your luggage
  3. Subtract your weight from your weight holding the luggage

The one con of this method is that it really only works before your trip.  Unless you have access to a scale while traveling, you will have to guess what your take home luggage weight is and depending on how much you bring back, this can vary a lot.

2. Use a Digital Luggage Scale

Digital luggage scales are a great way to prevent additional charges at the airport for overweight luggage.  To use a digital luggage scale you typically attach it to a handle on your luggage and just lift the luggage using the scale.  It’s simple and fast and typically pretty accurate.

Cons – if you travel with them, they will add to the weight of your luggage so look for a lightweight one!

Which Digital Luggage Scale Should You Buy?
Our favorite, the Eat Smart Digital Luggage Scale, a compact, lightweight and easy to use scale.

No matter what you use, be sure to leave a little room for error.

Master Travelers Tip: Always leave room in your luggage for souvenirs you buy while on your vacation.  Also be sure to compensate for the possible weight of things you may bring back. 


photo credit: FulgentKlutz

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