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Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 2497434 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6720 on: February 04, 2013, 10:47:41 PM »
A reasonably-sized suitcase packed with normal travel stuff (i.e. mostly clothes) will probably be in the 25-30 pound range, maybe a little more if you roll your clothes instead of fold them.  You can easily get toward 40 pounds if you are hauling two or three textbooks, a laptop, heavy souvenirs, etc. on top of an already-full suitcase.  This may have been more of a problem for those of us who went to college a thousand miles away from home and had to cram all our worldly possessions in our bags to come home on break  :)

If you're worried about it, my advice is to leave space in your carry-on and to stick the heaviest stuff at the very bottom of the suitcase near the zipper.  Then if your suitcase is overweight, you can easily get two or three things out and carry them by hand instead.  It's not as fun if you have to haul a heavy carry-on with you, but it beats paying extra fees!

Oh, another piece of advice: now that airlines pretty much all charge for checked bags, the situation with carry-ons has gotten even worse.  Don't assume you'll be able to put your carry-on in the overhead bin, especially on a full flight in a large plane if you're not one of the first ones on board.  I like to use a small duffel bag or shoulder satchel for a carry-on, because I can stuff it under the seat ahead of me if I have to.

Bethalize

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6721 on: February 05, 2013, 04:26:21 AM »
I don't know how you all get such light suitcases. Maybe I'm just a rubbish packer.

ScubaGirl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6722 on: February 05, 2013, 07:29:21 AM »
I don't know how you all get such light suitcases. Maybe I'm just a rubbish packer.

Agreed.  We did a 2 week trip to Hawaii over the summer.  We used our largest suitcases (measurement-wise it was the largest allowed before extra fees would be applied).  We were barely under the weight limit.  But, you also have to consider the weight of the bag itself.  We purchased our bags in 2005 and they weigh nearly 14 pounds empty.  The next big/long trip we take by plane we will probably donate our old bags to GoodWill and purchase newer, lighter weight ones.

We were a little nervous about our bags on the flight home because of the souveniors we had purchased so we went to the post office and shipped home some clothes in a flat rate box - saved us 8 pounds.

magicdomino

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6723 on: February 05, 2013, 09:11:47 AM »
I don't know how you all get such light suitcases. Maybe I'm just a rubbish packer.

Experience.  After you've hauled suitcases by yourself across huge airports, up and down stairs, and down streets when you've gotten off at the wrong stop, you learn to cut the weight anyway you can.   :) 

Thipu1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6724 on: February 05, 2013, 09:26:15 AM »
Hey, thank you all. I'm pretty sure we're good, then. I do not actually have a bathroom scale in the house right now, and I don't want to buy a luggage scale if we might not fly for another eight years! (Should buy a new bathroom one, but ...  :P ::) ;))

magicdomino, amusingly, we do have something that weighs about 40 pounds. The boys! :D

Luggage scales are cheap and little things.  After weighing the bag you can put the scale inside to make sure you're all right on the way home. 

Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6725 on: February 05, 2013, 09:47:29 AM »
I am always skirting close to the weight limit on checked baggage, in part because I tend to bring lots of books with me when I travel. Even paperbacks can be heavier than you think. Then again, my husband also ends up tossing in a few hardbound books (for work) on any given trip, so that probably doesn't help.

At any rate, even with just clothes and toiletries and normal souvenirs, any suitcase larger than the one just above carry-on size is going to have a very real potential of being overweight. It's also much harder now than it used to be, since 8 years ago most airlines probably had 70 lb weight limits before they started charging. Most dropped it to 50 lbs around 2005 or 2006. When you have 70 lbs to work with, you practically have to pack rocks to be overweight. But when it's only 50 lbs, even seemingly light things add up fast.

I'd much rather play the "reshuffle all the bags" game at home than at the airport, so I always use the bathroom scale method. Sometimes I'll end up with one bag 5 pounds over and the other 10 pounds under, so I try to make sure that I evenly distribute the things that are heavy as well as the things that are bulky but lightweight. The other trick is that most rolling suitcases (which don't have hard sides) protect their contents better if they are full. So it's always a bit of a trick getting them full enough that the lid doesn't cave in without making them heavy enough to be over the weight limit.

On my most recent trip, my husband and I brought two rather enormous checked bags (one was 28" and one was 27", I think), and just barely made it under the 50 lb weight limit. I normally try to travel much lighter than that (we usually will share a checked bag), but this was a three week trip to visit his family, and it will be at least a couple years before we are able to go back. We had a lot of presents to bring with us, and a lot to bring home.

We totally were at least 20 pounds over our limit on the way home, too. We were just lucky that international flights allow 2 checked bags per person, and we traveled there with just one each. We borrowed a duffel bag from my in-laws and put nearly all our books in it. It was the size of a gym bag, and weighed about 16 pounds. :)


VorFemme

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6726 on: February 05, 2013, 09:51:36 AM »
Last trip by airplane, it was cheaper to go buy a NEW rolling carryon that met the size standards and a used combination laptop & book bag (thrift shop had one with a business college's name embroidered on it) that had room for my laptop, a small purse, my meds, and a few other odds & ends.

The rolling carryon was easy to push or pull, the laptop & book bag had a shoulder strap - I used a wallet with a wrist strap that fit into the front zippered pocket of the bag & packed a purse to use once I got to where I was going.  I had space for an ereader, my tickets, cell phone, and such that I NEEDED access to in the front of the bookbag and the thing cspread apart (clips) to flatten out for the x-ray machine. 

As a bonus, VorSon is now using the book bag & laptop combination for his college classes (although he doesn't currently take a laptop at school - if he chooses to start, he will be able to carry it).

The rolling case also had an expansion zipper in it to become about an inch deeper - I didn't need that space - but I was amazed at how much extra space it made when I used the same rolling carryon to pack for a car trip later). 

And even packed with stuff for a good week (I had access to a washer & dryer and was going to be there two weeks) - it wasn't too heavy to lift over my head. 
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

guihong

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6727 on: February 05, 2013, 09:53:14 AM »
A good rule is: get the bag all packed, then imagine running through a terminal with it.  If you can't run (or walk very fast!), it's too heavy.   Remember the tendency to overpack. 

Since 1997, I've always packed an empty duffel bag in my suitcase, for souveniers.  This was a lesson after I spent a summer in China and had so much stuff, I had to leave most of my clothes behind  ::)



KenveeB

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6728 on: February 05, 2013, 10:12:17 AM »
I am always skirting close to the weight limit on checked baggage, in part because I tend to bring lots of books with me when I travel. Even paperbacks can be heavier than you think. Then again, my husband also ends up tossing in a few hardbound books (for work) on any given trip, so that probably doesn't help.

And that is why after one particular trip I finally caved and got a Kindle. :)  I pretty much just use it for trips, but it's totally worth it!

magicdomino

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6729 on: February 05, 2013, 10:22:31 AM »
The other trick is that most rolling suitcases (which don't have hard sides) protect their contents better if they are full. So it's always a bit of a trick getting them full enough that the lid doesn't cave in without making them heavy enough to be over the weight limit.


Bubble wrap is your friend.   :)  On the way back, it can be used to wrap fragile souvenirs.

For books, I stick to used paperbacks, and abandon them after reading (Many smaller hotels have a reading shelf for unwanted books).  At my destination, I buy a book or two for the flight back.  If I still traveled more often than once every other year, I'd probably break down and buy a Kindle or Nook.

Thipu1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6730 on: February 05, 2013, 10:43:04 AM »
We do 'Combat Packing'.  It's time-consuming but works.  We use two bags and pack half of his stuff and half of my stuff in each.  That way, if a bag gets lost we each still have a variety of clothes to wear.  It also makes it easier to balance the weight.


Xandraea

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6731 on: February 05, 2013, 11:26:27 AM »
I recently went on a 2.5 week road trip which ended with a flight back home, and I was determined to pack in a carry-on, as I hate checking bags and I'd rather keep my things with me.  I managed to make it with a backpack (same one I carried my books in at High School), my tiny purse, and a couple envirosax roll-up bags.  While traveling I used a roll-up bag for laundry, which was washed once, then packed the last few days of worn clothes in it within the backpack.  I used the 2nd roll-up bag as my "personal item" for the flights home, putting my purse, puzzle book and toiletry bag in it (easy access at the airport scanners).  Result: NO checked bags, one backpack and light bag under the seat in front of me.

Watching people struggling to cram their overstuffed rolling carry-ons into overhead bins provided some entertainment .. waiting for the un-cramming at the end of the flight was not so fun.  Being able to go straight from the plane to the curb to meet my ride, totally worth it.

http://www.envirosax.com/   << these things are great!

#1aunt

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6732 on: February 05, 2013, 01:01:07 PM »
I feel so silly asking this.

I haven't been on an airplane in eight years. Neither has my husband. We're going on vacation with the boys in April, a 2 1/2-hour flight.

I was reading our airline's website to be sure I knew about everything that had changed and got to the bit about luggage. That's changed a lot in eight years!   ;)  We do get one checked bag each, but it has to be within certain dimensions. (I'm sure the frequent fliers out there are rolling their eyes at me! :D)

The height, width, etc. are fine, but ... how much does the average, good-sized, fully packed suitcase weigh? I have no idea. We don't have a scale in the house right now. Getting hit with one (or three!) of those hefty overweight baggage fees would really start our vacation off on the wrong foot. We'll just have clothes/toiletries, etc. and some souvenirs ... nothing too hefty.

Is this something I should be concerned about?  :-\

I work for a major airline and travel frequently.  The rule-of-thumb I use is if I can easily lift my bag with my non-dominant hand it'll be well below the weight limit. 

Fell free to send me a PM if you have any other questions.

ladyknight1

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6733 on: February 05, 2013, 01:07:42 PM »
I am always skirting close to the weight limit on checked baggage, in part because I tend to bring lots of books with me when I travel. Even paperbacks can be heavier than you think. Then again, my husband also ends up tossing in a few hardbound books (for work) on any given trip, so that probably doesn't help.

And that is why after one particular trip I finally caved and got a Kindle. :)  I pretty much just use it for trips, but it's totally worth it!

Same here. We also have an Android tablet and an iPad that can be used for reading, since there are three of us. We also use boat bags instead of duffles, as they are more water resistant and seem to have tougher zippers. We use scrunch sacks, which are available in the camping section at most department stores, to pack underwear, socks and t-shirts. Makes them much more compact.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

EmmaJ.

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #6734 on: February 05, 2013, 03:29:52 PM »
We do 'Combat Packing'.  It's time-consuming but works.  We use two bags and pack half of his stuff and half of my stuff in each.  That way, if a bag gets lost we each still have a variety of clothes to wear.  It also makes it easier to balance the weight.

That is brillliant.  (Says she whose luggage often gets lost  >:( )