Creative Ways of Weighing Luggage Without Scale

weighing-luggage
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Knowing how much your luggage weighs is one of the most important steps that you need to take before you leave home and head to the airport.

That’s because airlines do not want luggage to exceed a specified amount of weight. You can have a real problem on your hand if you have no idea how much your luggage weighs.

If the thought that your luggage may weigh more than the limit is making your stress associated with flying worse, keep on reading this article. Below we will talk about how to weigh your luggage without a scale, as well as a bunch of other things that you should also know about.

So make sure that you don’t stop reading until the very end of this article to avoid unnecessary stress due to unknowingly having luggage that’s heavier than what your airline allows.

Make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites after checking out its entirety, especially if you have family members and friends who fly a lot and don’t own a scale!

Weight Limit Differ From One Airline to the Next

You’re packed and ready to go. However, you have no idea how much your luggage weighs. It is common knowledge that airlines only allow passengers to check luggage that does not exceed the weight limit.

Different airlines have different policies when it comes to the maximum amount of weight of the luggage that passengers could check in. Most airlines allow luggage weighing up to 50 pounds to be checked.

Needless to say, if your baggage weighs more than that, you can expect to encounter a headache. You don’t want that to happen most, especially if you are traveling for pleasure because it’s not really a good idea to kick off having fun with a nightmare at the airport! 

It’s important to note that luggage restrictions in terms of weight tend to vary from airline to airline. Just check out the table below that compares checked baggage weight limit of some airlines:

  • Air India                         55 pounds
  • Allegiant Air                     40 pounds
  • American Airlines              50 pounds
  • Copa Airlines                    52 pounds
  • Delta Airlines                    50 pounds
  • Korean Air                       70 pounds
  • Lufthansa                        50 pounds
  • Norwegian Air                  70.5 pounds
  • Philippine Airlines              50 pounds
  • Ryanair                           44 pounds
  • Singapore Airlines              66 pounds
  • Spirit Airlines                    40 pounds
  • Turkish Air                       44 pounds
  • United Airlines                  50 pounds
  • Volaris                            55 pounds

As you can see, it’s not always that your luggage should weigh 50 pounds for you to be able to check it trouble-free. Some airlines have lower weight limits, while others have higher weight limits. However, it’s clear that most airlines limit the weight of checked baggage to 50 pounds.

Worry not if you’re not sure how much luggage weight your airline allows. You can simply pay its website a visit or give its office a ring in order to get the information you need for a hassle-free trip.

Problems That Stem From Not Knowing the Weight of Your Luggage

scale

Carrying something that exceeds the allowed weight of checked baggage by your airline can definitely make the start of your flight a horrible experience. That is if you can catch your flight.

Most especially if you get to the airport just a few minutes before the boarding gate closes, the commotion due to having luggage that weighs more than allowed could keep you from getting on the plane on time!

Even if you have plenty of time to spare, it’s still not a good idea to try to check in something that weighs more than 50 pounds or whatever luggage weight limit your airline enforces.

One of the things that can result from checking your luggage that goes beyond the set limit is that you will have to pay an excess baggage fee.

Just like with luggage restrictions in terms of weight, different airlines have different excess baggage fees. However, one thing remains true: excess baggage fees do not come cheap!

Let’s check out some of the excess baggage fees of some airlines just to give you an idea:

  • Alaska Airlines                  $25
  • Allegiant Air                     $18
  • American Airlines              $25
  • Air Canada                      $26
  • JetBlue Airways                $25
  • Norwegian Air                  $57
  • Spirit Airlines                    $39
  • WestJet Airlines                $19
  • Frontier Airlines                $25
  • Hawaiian Airlines               $25
  • United Airlines                  $25
  • Aeromexico                     $20
  • Delta Airlines                    $25
  • EasyJet                           $17

Clearly, the amount of money that passengers have to pay for exceeding the weight limit in terms of checked baggage tends to vary. Some airlines ask for a small amount only, while others ask for a significant amount.

And by the way, excess baggage fees also tend to vary depending on whether you are flying domestic or international! To be sure, get in touch with your airline.

Transferring Some Items to a Different Bag is a Solution

Fortunately, there is a way for you to spare yourself from having to shell out money for trying to check in luggage that weighs more than 50 pounds or whatever is the weight limit set by your airline.

In order to dodge paying excess baggage fees, you may remove some of the items in your luggage and transfer them to another bag.

It may seem like this is the best solution for going past the allowed amount of luggage weight. However, this is far from being perfect because problems are associated with it, too.

Packing for a flight is the least favorite activity of a lot of people. That’s because it tends to consume a lot of precious time and energy, too. Oftentimes, it also requires the use of a lot of creativity and imagination just to be able to pack everything in one luggage.

Especially if you hate packing, doing it again at the airport due to having to transfer some of your items to a different bag just to avoid paying the excess baggage fee can be very frustrating! Nothing can make you feel more upset than realizing that the hours you spent on packing at home meant absolutely nothing!

And even if you don’t mind doing your packing all over again at the airport, sometimes this is not your best option. What if the plane is about to leave? You can choose between simply paying the excess baggage fee or hastily removing some of the items from your luggage and leaving them at the airport.

Clearly, just because there’s a solution to exceeding the allowable weight of checked baggage doesn’t mean that you are already out of the woods. That’s because the steps that you may take in order to deal with the primary problem of carrying luggage that’s over 50 pounds can come with their own set of problems!

To avoid complications, keep on reading because it’s time for us to talk about some of the things that you may do to ensure that your luggage does not go beyond the checked baggage weight limit.

Knowing the Weight of Your Luggage Without a Scale

Weight without scales

There is one easy way to make sure that your luggage weighs 50 pounds or less, thus avoiding ending up surprised at the airport once your luggage is weighed before checking it in.

It’s none other than by using a bathroom scale — yes, weighing your luggage can be done by using the very same thing that you use to determine if you gained or lost weight.

Bathroom scales that can be easily purchased at home accessories section of department stores or hardware stores can accommodate a maximum weight of 300 pounds to 400 pounds.

Needless to say, you can rely on your bathroom scale to know whether your luggage exceeds the weight limit enforced by your airline or not. That should do the trick as a typical bathroom scale can be used for weighing people that weigh so much heavier than 50 pounds.

If your bathroom scale is too small and your luggage is covering the window where the numbers are, all you have to do is stand on the bathroom scale carrying your luggage, and then subtract your weight from it.

However, you definitely have a problem as massive as your luggage if you don’t have a bathroom scale. You know that you have bad luck if none of your neighbors that you are friends with own a bathroom scale, too.

The good news is that you can estimate how much your luggage weighs by having an idea of how much 50 pounds feel like. Do you have kids of your own or nephews or nieces that live nearby? Then you may use one of them to know if your luggage is over 50 pounds or not.

A child who is seven years old and seems to be of average height and weight usually weighs 50 pounds.

All you have to do is carry one and then carry your luggage after. The goal is to figure out if the child is heavier than your luggage. If that’s the case, congratulations!

That’s because your luggage weighs less than 50 pounds. It is very much likely that you are not going to have a headache when you get to the airport to check-in your luggage.

Other than a child, you may also use other things to estimate the weight of your luggage. For instance, a large sack of dog food weighs around 50 pounds.

The same is true for a flat-screen TV that measures 50 inches.

Do you have an empty 5-gallon container lying around? Fill it with water, and it will weigh around 50 pounds. Estimating the weight of your luggage can be very easy if you have dumbbells at home!

Making a Makeshift Scale at Home Using Everyday Items

It’s also possible to use the items above in making a weighing scale from scratch. By coming up with one, you can have a much better idea of whether or not your luggage exceeds 50 pounds.

Get started by getting your hands on something that can act as a fulcrum, such as a large can of beans or insecticide. Afterward, grab a wooden plank that’s several inches wide, and is thick enough to support a lot of weight. Place your chosen fulcrum on its side under the wooden plank. Make sure that the fulcrum is right in the center.

Collect several items found in your home and place them on one side of the plank. Make sure that the combined weight of the various items amounts to 50 pounds.

Carefully place your luggage on the other end of the plank — do not remove your hand from its handle, although make sure that you are not pressing down on your luggage. If the plank moves and it’s parallel to the floor, it means that your luggage is about 50 pounds.

If the side of the plank where there are various household items is higher than the other side, then it’s for certain that your luggage is heavier than 50 pounds.

But if the side of the plank where you have placed your luggage is higher than the other side, you can rest assured that your luggage is lighter than 50 pounds.

What you need to do if the side opposite your luggage is higher is simply remove some of the items in your luggage that you can do without during your trip.

Keep on doing this until it’s obvious that the side with your luggage is higher than the side with various household items. And this is how you can weigh luggage without scale.

Places Where You Can Weight Luggage for Free

Fret not if you feel that making a weighing scale-out of various home items involves a lot of work. That’s because you can simply step out of your home to have your luggage weighed. No, it’s not the airport that you should head to.

There are various establishments in your area where a weighing scale is likely to be around. By going to any of these establishments, you can weigh your luggage to make sure that it doesn’t go beyond the weight limit for checked baggage.

Your only problem is politely asking for the permission of the supervisor, manager, or anyone around to allow you to use the available weighing scale for determining the weight of your luggage.

Here are some places where it’s possible for you to have your luggage weighed:

Gym

Whether trying to bulk up or slim down, people at the gym use a weighing scale in order to track their progress. This is why you may try heading to the local gym if you don’t have a weighing scale at home in order to weigh your luggage.

It’s a good idea to visit the gym at which you are a member. Especially if you’re friends with the attendants or personal trainers, weighing your luggage at the gym should go hassle-free.

Hardware store

Some of the things that are being sold at hardware stores are bathroom scales.

This is why you may consider stepping foot inside the local hardware store carrying your luggage if you want to avoid paying for exorbitant excess baggage fees or having to transfer some of your luggage’s content into another bag.

Simply pretend that you wish to test available bathroom scales, and quickly and discreetly weigh your luggage.

Junkyard

Because it’s a place where scraps are collected, you may also drive to the nearest junkyard near you. Kindly ask the owner if you could use the weighing scale to have your luggage weighed.

More often than not, weighing scales at junkyards come in industrial sizes. This means that they can be massive!

Also, using a junkyard’s weighing scale can give you peace of mind as the ones they use are calibrated to give precise readings.

Travel agent

Did you book your impending trip to a local travel agency? Then you’re in luck because that’s where you could weigh your luggage before going to the airport. Most travel agencies keep weighing scales in their office.

It’s for the obvious reason that they are catering to the needs of travelers, all of which are concerned with the weight of their luggage. To be sure, give your local travel agency a ring and ask if a weighing scale is available.

Post office or courier

You can rest assured that there is a weighing scale where packages can be sent or received. Needless to say, you can head to the post office in your area if you don’t have a bathroom scale that you can use for weighing your luggage.

Similarly, you may also give the nearest courier a try. Always remember that courtesy goes a long way when trying to use the weighing scale of to post office or a courier.

Hospital

One of the things that doctors and nurses do to gauge the health of patients is to obtain their weight. This is why you may also be able to have an idea of how much your luggage weighs by visiting the hospital or clinic near you.

Just be warned that a hospital or clinic may be using one of those old-school weighing scales that involve sliding small weights back and forth — make sure that you have an idea on how to use one!

As you can see, there is no need to panic if you are dying to know how much your luggage weighs. All you need to do is visit any of the establishments mentioned above.

Just Before You Fly

Don’t be a victim of paying excess baggage fees or having to transfer some of your stuff into another bag at the airport. Before you leave your home, make sure that your baggage does not exceed the weight limit for checked baggage. Follow the tips mentioned above to weigh your luggage if you don’t have a bathroom scale.

Have a safe and fun trip!

Image by Achim Scholty from Pixabay
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Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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