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Flying smart – Luggage tips

Get frustrated when traveling and something comes up in regards to your luggage?! Lost/delayed bags, having to pay for a checked bag and over weight fees are a huge annoyance for most travellers but in actuality these occurrences are just a risk/cost of being privileged enough to afford a plane ticket.

I’m not saying feel bad for being annoyed of these things, the frustration is fair. I’m just saying that theres always a rhyme and reason for when these things/why these things happen. Instead of being mad, I’ve made a list of common “tips and tricks” on how to save $$$ while traveling as well as how to avoid extra pesky charges.

Only travel with carry on luggage
– Obviously there are times where this is impossible but when you can, only travel with carry on luggage. Most airlines allow 1 piece of carry on luggage and a “personal item”(personal items include: purse, backpack, laptop bag, book bag, bag of food, camera)
Rules varie when it comes to carry on restrictions in regards to the weight of the bag/size BUT normally the weight is restricted to what YOU can lift over your head and store away safely or set at 10 kg (22 lb).
There’s a standard size of carry on suitcase that is usually the smallest of a set of three or , 22″ x 14″ x 9″(varying from 21″x 15 x 9″) inches (not expanded out, i.e. – that extra set of zippers that widens your bag) (domestic US/CAD restrictions)
Weights and sizing differ when flying internationally but the common limit is 7 kg (15lbs).

Distributing weight
– Go out and purchase one of those hand scales or use a at home scale. (I’ve found that most home scales are .5-2lbs lighter than airport/airline scales. This .5 variance can cost you a fee for being overweight so best to be on the lighter side.)

Leave at least 2 lbs in each bag you’re checking as you may have to still move items around or add last minute items in.

Weight limits are always per bag, so if you are traveling as a family or a party of two using only one bag, keep in mind your weight limit is exactly the same as everyone else. 

Did you know?! Over weight fees are a set price, so if you have to pay an overweight fee, you might as well fill that bag up until the new max weight is reached.

Choose the right bag
– You can save on excess baggage charges by investing in a lightweight suitcase. Lightweight suitecases range in weight of 1-3 kg (2-6 lbs) anything heavier than 3 kg is not lightweight. 
Note: Plastic tends to be heavier than fabric. Plastic can crack, fabric can rip/tear. Keep that in mind.

Colour COLOUR COLOURRRRR : Most bags are black. Choose a bag that reflects your personality and/or is easily identifiable, with designs or any other colour than black…

– Name tags!  Purchase a nice travel name tag and only put your Name and contact number ( you could also put your email address) I personally do not like having my address on my bag just incase it were to fall into the wrong hands, they would now know you are away and where your potentially empty home is. (far fetched but I’m a paranoid person) 1.600x600
– Extra identification : Incase your name tag falls off/you do not have one. You should pop a business card or a piece of paper with your name and contact information, INSIDE your bag, on top of your items. This will be an immediate indicator of who the bag potentially belongs to if discovered by an airline employee.


– TSA locks that you attach separately onto your zipper are not worth the $$. They can/will be cut off if need be and there are other ways of opening these type of bags without taking off the locks. If you are concerned about your baggage contents, make sure to buy a bag that has a built in system.

Extra Tips

– Try to travel with only travel sized tolietry (incase you’d like to give yourself the option to carry your bag on)
– Stick to limits/restrictions
– Ensure your medications are always on your person
– Do not put expensive/important items in your checked luggage
– Purchase extra travel insurance (baggage insurance) at the time of check in
– Jeans, boots, shoes, and coats are clothing items that tend to weigh more
– A kindle, Ipad or any type of Ebook is a great alternative to packing heavy books
– Travel sized liquids must fit into 1 small ziplock bag provided at your airports security check point
– Travel liquid limit is 100 ml/3 oz
– Do not pack scissors, knifes, cutlery in carry on luggage (this includes swiss army knifes)

Remember, travel smart, always hope for the best but plan for worst case scenario. You never know what obstacles the universe has in store for you on any given day but rest assured you’ve taken the appropriate steps to alleviate any un-needed stress. If you have any extra tips/tricks that work for you in regards to travel and your luggage, please share your advise/tips in the comments below!

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