We always try to save where we can when we travel and there are tons of easy ways to do it. From offsite Ft Lauderdale Airport parking at Self Park FLL to using airfare price tracking websites like Hopper, you’ll be surprised how the savings add up. The last thing you’ll want to do is hand over your savings to the airline for an overweight suitcase. Their fines can be as much as $200 a bag! These were rarely encountered back when the weight allowances were 70 lbs and checked bags were free. Now that the limit is 50 lbs and you’re lucky if you get to check one bag for free, it’s easier to get that fine. Don’t let that happen to you. You can use a bathroom floor scale or a dedicated suitcase scale. Find out which one will work best for you.
A lot of people already have a bathroom scale, which make these an easy and often no cost solution to weighing your luggage. The one thing you have to know is if your scale is accurate. Just because it’s digital does not mean it’s calibrated properly. One easy way to see if your scale is giving out accurate readings is to use weights or another object with a known weight on it. 50 lbs of hand weights or free weights is obviously the best option. If you don’t have any weights and you can’t borrow any from a friend, you can also use a 6 or more gallon water container. The weight will be 8.34 lbs/gallon so you can calculate how heavy your water container is and ensure that the scale is reading it correctly. When you only have 50 lbs per checked bag (including the weight of the suitcase itself) even 2 lbs off could cost you $100. Even if your scale is accurate we still recommend having your suitcase weigh no more than 49 lbs. Give yourself that extra pound just in case.
While floor scales are easy to come by when you’re at home, remember that when you’re traveling you may not be able to find one to weigh your suitcase before you go home. Additionally, even if you have access to a scale you may not have the time or resources available to ensure that it’s accurate. Knowing your suitcase’s weight before you return home is important. Especially if you’ve picked up one or two souvenirs or maybe even a bottle of wine.
Portable Suitcase Scales
These are specifically designed to weigh luggage and in theory should be very accurate. A dedicated suitcase scale will be small with a strap that you use to attach the suitcase to the scale. To get a reading you have to hold the luggage off of the floor by the scale. You can find high rated scales on Amazon for around $10. While you may not want to purchase another item, this is something you’ll want to consider. Not only do they usually weigh only a few ounces, they aren’t overly bulky. It’s something you can easy add to your luggage to be able to weigh in before your return trip. We keep ours in a suitcase so it’s always easily on hand when we need it and out of the way.
Additional Things to Consider
- Souvenirs: If you aren’t going to be weighing your bag before you fly home, keep a rough estimate in your head of the weights to some common items you may have bought during your trip. A 750 ml bottle of wine weighs a little over 2 ½ lbs. A traditional paperback novel weights approximately ½ lb.
- Clothes: Another thing to consider if you’ve packed your bag almost to the limit are the clothes you wear on your flights. Were you wearing boots and jeans on to the plane that you aren’t planning on wearing on the return flight? Those can add a lot of additional weight to your bag that you didn’t expect.
- Carry-on: Almost all of us carry a personal bag onto the plane with us. These are usually free unless you are flying Frontier or Spirit. If you are carrying a bag onto the plane don’t forget that you can always take a few items out. Simply add them to your carry on onto the plane if the airline scale has you over 50 lbs. It may be uncomfortable to carry extra items around with you, but considering the convenience of keeping them in your checked bag could cost you up to $200, we think it’s worth it.
Self Park FLL is home to the best economy parking for Ft. Lauderdale International Airport. Our free shuttles, fenced lot, and friendly team make us the perfect choice for your FLL airport parking needs. Reserve our cheap airport parking now so you can park yourself and keep your keys!