Everyone knows that flying is a stressful ordeal. From the moment you book your ticket, to the moment you step back in the comfort of your own home, there’s just so much to think about. There’s so much that can go wrong, and its can all just get a little bit hectic.
So you’ve packed your bags, you’re almost ready to go, then you remember… The weight limit on your suitcase! You’ve learnt your lesson from this one before, when you had to pay an extra £12 per kilogram over on your last summer holiday. Well, you’re not going to let that one get you again!
So you go and look for the luggage scales… Haha, actually you don’t have any! Thats why you got stung in the first place…duh!
Hmm… so what can you do here? I’m going to look at some ways to weigh your luggage, if you find yourself without a scale.
Now the obvious answer here is, go and buy one! They’re a very handy and practical hook that you just pop your luggage on and pick up, and it just tells you the weight. Never go to the airport with overweight luggage again! They’re really cheap and you can by them from so many places, most big supermarkets will stock them, so you can easily get one, even if its late at night! But I understand that sometimes life isn’t that easy. Maybe its 4am and you’re last minute packing, and you live in the middle of nowhere, its fine, I understand. And thats probably the only reason you’re reading this post in the first place.
So, we’ve established the fact you can’t get your hands on a luggage weighing scale. So, whats the next best thing that you’re likely to have lying around in your house.
The best and easiest way for me now, would be to find a normal human weighing scale. This is a commonly used tip that if pretty much fool-proof. All you need to do, is stand on the scale, weigh yourself and take the measurement, then step on the scale with your suitcase. Subtract the first number from the second number and there you have the weight of your suitcase! Easy peasy!
If you don’t have a weighing scale, then well we might be in trouble. Getting around this problem might not be so simple. Here are some methods I’ve used before that are pretty tedious, but can give you some solutions, and an idea as to how much your luggage weighs.
Firstly, I know this might sound silly, but you can just guess. It might not be the most accurate of ways to weigh your luggage, but if you think about it carefully, how much does your average bag of shopping weigh? I would say mine is about 5kg. If you can’t guess, then try and add up the amount of items you would typically hold in one bag, and see how much it comes to. So, we can carry a 5kg with ease, so a 10kg would be harder, but not a huge struggle. Now 20kg should be hard, but not impossible. If you pick up your case and its like a deadweight, its probably over. If you can lift it with some difficulty, its likely to be under 20kg, which is the average weight limit for most airlines.
Another method that is similar to this one, but requires a few more materials, would be to compare the weight of the suitcase to something else. So, going by the shopping bag method again, this time, actually fill a bag. You could fill if with items that you know the weight of, for example, a 1kg bag of sugar, a 5kg bag of potatoes, a 1kg bag of apples etc. Fill a big bag with 20km worth of stuff, and hold this bag and your case in each hand, and try and feel which is heavier. Generally through constantly using our senses and muscles we are pretty good at telling what weighs more, just from feeling. For me, I know that my dog weighs 20kg exactly. This might sound a bit ridiculous, but I would pick up my dog, then pick up the case, then the dog again, to try and get an idea of the weight of my case!
To be on the safe side, I would always consider that this method is, of course, not 100% reliable, so give yourself a little bit of leeway, and maybe over estimate a little what you think your luggage limit might be.
An extension of this would be to fashion a kind of see-saw device, and place the 20kg item on one end, and your case on the other. Try and get it to balance, and there we go! You know your case is exactly 20kg!
There are many wacky ways you can weigh your luggage with our a scale, some of the more outrageous ones being, measure the volume of a full bath, and see how much water is displaced when you drop your suitcase in it, but again this is a little but complex, and would require a little scientific knowledge, and a large bathtub, and of course, a waterproof suitcase. So maybe this method isn’t quite the last minute fix you need!
I would say that, give it a good old guess, and if you can’t figure it out, ask the neighbours if they have a luggage scale, and failing that, ask the other neighbours if they have a normal scale.
Worst come to worse, there are now machines at the airport that you can pay a small fee to weigh and tag your luggage. And at the end of the day, if you’re not too much over, theres nothing stopping you from leaving the queue, chucking on a couple of jumpers and shoving an extra pair of shoes in your hand luggage case.
So, good luck on your travels, and remember to relax and enjoy your holiday!