Skip to main content

How to measure luggage

Whether you’re going for a long or short trip, having the right luggage and accessories is your first step to successful travel. You can count on it to store all your essentials and keep your personal stuff securely under wraps. Before you shop for a suitcase or book yourself a trip, it is strongly recommended that you know how to measure luggage correctly. It certainly would save you the headache at the airport and get you closer to a hassle-free boarding process without the extra fees. We’ve done the research for you so all you have to do now is take notes.

Airlines have the last say

First things first, you’ll want to check your airline’s website for size regulations. Be wary that each airline could have different restrictions especially when it comes to your carry-on, but a max of 22 by 14 by 9 inches is common. As for checked baggage, the size limit is more or less set at 62-linear inches. You can figure out your suitcase’s linear inches by getting the sum total of its dimensions. For instance, if your bag has a length of 28 inches, a width of 13 inches, and a height of 10 inches, you’ll simply have to add 28, 13, and 10 which would give you an equivalent of 51-linear inches.

Manufacturers aren’t the most reliable source

Remember that a manufacturer’s primary goal is to sell. That said, it isn’t totally surprising for a manufacturer to exclude the wheels and handles in their computation or for them to publish the interior’s measurements instead of the exterior. So in this case, reading the label is not enough. If would be best for you to do your due diligence and trust your very own measuring tape.

The right way to measure

To get your bag’s actual dimensions, you ought to stay away from rounded edges and to account for anything that protrudes such as wheels, handles, zippers, and TSA locks. Not to worry, you don’t have to fully extend the handle, it can stay retracted. It is advisable to get the length of the luggage in an upright position to properly measure the distance from the top handle to the ground. Then for width, make sure you measure your suitcase at its widest points from either side. And to check for its depth, simply measure your bag from front to back. Depth can become tricky when you have an expandable bag so it won’t hurt to measure it again when it is jam-packed.

Weighing your luggage

Apart from size, airlines also put a cap on weight. And again, it’s a choice to comply or pay a nasty fee. So don’t forget to weigh your luggage before heading to the airport. The simplest and most accurate way to do so is with a luggage scale. You just have to hook it at the top handle, lift up your luggage with the scale, and voila, your luggage’s weight is shown on its display. This investment won’t cost you a fortune and it sure would be worth it for jet-setters.

If you don’t have a luggage scale, you can always go old-school and use the ordinary scale you use to check your own weight. You’ll have to get your own weight. Then pick up your luggage as you stand on the scale once more. You’ll get a good estimate of your bag’s weight after subtracting your own. To be completely safe, don’t push it to the airline’s weight limit. It would be wise to leave one or two pounds as allowance.

Looking for more? Learn how to create a luggage packing inventory to avoid any hassle and stress that comes with traveling. However, before you travel to just about any country or state, check out Expedia’s COVID-19 travel advisor tool so you’ll be better informed about restrictions and policies established within your destination.

Editors' Recommendations