Many of you are back home from your summer vacation, and some of you are just starting out. For me, even though I said August is too hot to travel, I can’t stay home; I will be on the move, and I dread packing.  But I love buying luggage…

my bag

Let’s talk about weight…I mean your luggage.

The airlines don’t weigh us (yet), but they weigh our bags. If you travel to Europe they have size and weight restrictions with carry-on bags (hand baggage) as well as checked luggage. Take less then you need. Overweight fees are big business, a billion-dollar business, and the airlines are reaping huge profits.

baggage belt

If you are staying for one week don’t take seven pairs of socks and underwear. Lay it out on your dining room table, as I do, and see how much room your stuff really takes up. They are easy to wash in the sink, and they will dry overnight.

Jeans – 1.5 lbs

Blue jeans

Jeans can be the heaviest item in your wardrobe, so you might want to wear that pair as your traveling attire. They don’t need much care, and show little wear compared to linen or cotton. For dressier evening wear; guys can throw on a sport jacket and look very acceptable anywhere, and gals can do the same with a jazzy top, and cool shoes.

Cup Holder

New cup holder device…nice splurge!

Where are you going?

Sometimes, this all depends on the cities and countries you are visiting, and what type of trip you will be doing. Gals have more options especially with the “leggings” or “skinny” pants. Average weight is 1.5 lb. for jeans. Wear your heaviest clothes if you have to, even your boots. Shoes and boots can weight up to 3lbs.


If you don’t have enough clothes you can always buy a t-shirt, which will be your souvenir to bring back home. And you could use it as a night shirt as I do since I always forget my PJ’s.

The Usual: Candy and Souvenirs


That nice dark chocolate bar can weigh a 1/2 pound. I usually bring back 10 large chocolate bars, and that’s 5 pounds just for those ‘giveaways” to friends.


A bottle of wine (I don’t do this anymore) can be as much as 3 to 4 pounds. It adds up fast. Gone are the days when you could stuff as much wine in your carry on as possible. My husband still boasts his personal best; 18 bottles in his carry-on, pre-911. I still don’t know how he did it!

Three pieces of luggage

A ‘light weight’ checked bag weighs 8.5 pounds (or more in the USA) before you pack, and is 27 x 21 x 14 (62in). There is a list of sizes per airline, so check that first before you buy.

duty free

Shopping at the duty free shop after you have passed the security checkpoint gives you options to exceed your weight limitations for your carry-on. Now, you are free to buy perfume, liquor, wine and souvenirs.

ATL airport

Be careful, as most airlines are cracking down and even have an agent watching as you board the plane. You might have to gate check the bag! This is where a little foldable shopping bag comes in handy.


I’ve been hit big time with baggage fees. Especially in Paris, not once, but twice! There are ‘baggage bouncers’ (seriously, that’s what they look like) in the line just before you get to the screening belt, and they measure your bag. Carry-on should be 18w x 8d x14h.

Two carry on bags

If it’s not exact, or too heavy, they send you back to the ticket counter to check your carry-on and collect that fee. No “ifs, ands, or buts.” (It’s like you were caught stealing!)

carry-on size

When this happened to me, I was fuming and had little time for this nonsense. I ran back to the ticket counter and had to pay 70€ for my carry-on; of which he took from me, checked it, leaving me to carry my laptop in hand on to the plane.

The second time this happened, I got off easy. I was extra polite and honest with the ticket agent. He took my bag with no charge. This is stressful, and makes flying hectic.

Carry-on size

Think of what small heavy items are in your luggage that you can stuff in your pockets. Even better, in the winter time when you can stuff your pants pockets and your jacket. I’ve had to resort to this, and it works.

Cargo pants


  1. Measure and weigh your luggage at home
  2. Join the frequent flyer program (elite status)
  3. Get a credit card with luggage perks
  4. Vacuum pack clothes
  5. Carry a fold-up shopping bag


Emergency tactic: You have just checked in with the ticket agent and he declares, “Sir/Madame/Ms., your luggage is 5 pounds overweight!” Don’t argue with the agent. Be courteous, use some charm, genuine—not false. He/she might let you off this time.

Lesson learned; I pack light. I don’t like the feeling I’m a ‘criminal’ with a few pounds over; it makes me sweat…

Parting shot…  An example of too much luggage!

too much luggage

Thanks for visiting!