Avoiding Overweight Luggage

Making sure your luggage is the correct weight is important.

  • I don’t want them to take my carry on bag off me;
  • Its annoying to pay extra for a checked in bag that exceeds the weight limit.

So what are the options?

Bathroom Scales

This is my standby, but there are a few things to think about:

  • Make sure no part of the luggage touches the ground otherwise they will read low.
  • The scales are meant for weighing people in the 50kg – 150kg range and won’t be as accurate when weighing a few kg.
  • Your home bathroom scales won’t be regularly calibrated

Travel scales

You can buy a travel scale like this for around $10.

  • These are likely to be more accurate in the 5kg – 50kg range than the bathroom scales.
  • Holding a 23kg case up with that handle isn’t going to be easy.

I’m not a big fan though as it can be just one more thing to have to take, and as its rarely used you normally find the batteries are flat when you need it.

Weighing at the Airport

Many airports do provide check scales before the check in, where you can weigh your bags and then swap contents between checked bags and your carry on.

Alternatively, there is often a vacant check in desk where you can sneak over and use the scales there. ( I see people do this often and I have never seen anyone stop them)

An advantage of using airport scales is these scales are normally regularly checked by a government body.

My Additional Travel Hacks

  • Don’t worry about a few extra grams. . . . In the past I have been waved through with a bags close to 1kg over.
  • Don’t forget to be wearing a jacket and being able to fill the pockets. (Often the contents of my jacket pockets can weigh 3+kg)
  • Remember the weight when you travel out as it will give you a good idea how much extra you can bring back.

Seniors Discounts

If you are getting a little bit older its worth checking out Seniors Discounts.

On a recent trip to Adelaide we enjoyed free public transport for the weekend.

We just called in at the Airport Information desk and asked the question “Do you give Seniors Discounts” and immediately received Seniors Free Passes.

This ‘Travel Hack’ saved us lots of money that we might have otherwise spent on taxis and trams.

We also made considerable savings on the Trans Alpine train in New Zealand in 2018

Check the Rules

Wherever you go the rules change, both across Australia and Internationally.

Also public transport may have different rules to attractions and cafes.

Not everyone is as generous as Adelaide who publicise their system fairly heavily.

In the UK pensioners get free public transport . . . .but visitors have to pay full fare.

Probably the biggest surprise was getting a Seniors discount in Kuala Lumpur for being over 55, at a theme park.

Speeding through Security

No one likes airport security, but if it makes travel safer I’m happy to put up with some inconvenience.

Here are my travel hacks to make security as easy as possible.

  • Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t stress:
  • Wear a jacket or waistcoat with enough zipped pockets for, coins, mobile phones and anything else metal then you can just put the jacket in the tray for X-ray;
  • If they have body scanners, rather than a metal detector you will also need to put you wallet in your jacket pocket as well;
  • If you wear a belt get one with a plastic buckle;
  • Slip on shoes, or elastic sided footwear (in USA only);
  • Have liquids in a zip lock bag in an external pocket of your carry on;
  • Have your lap top/tablet in a easily accessed place;
  • Put your hat in the tray (many hats have steel stiffeners)

If you are travelling a lot around the USA it is worth getting TSA pre-clearance.