Travel Tips by: Lifestyle Traveler
To avoid overpaying and over-packing, you need to know how to measure a suitcase accurately. Every airline tends to have slightly different regulations, but with a few tips and tricks, you can be a lot more efficient.
Carry-ons are usually monitored by the airline using a metal frame or carry-on sizer available either at check-in, the security check, or at the gate.
Your checked luggage isn’t measured with a metal frame like your carry-on but instead depends on linear inches. Linear inches are all of the bag’s measurements added together, giving you one number.
To accurately measure a suitcase, you need a tape measure. Now, look up your airline’s luggage requirements online and make sure to double-check that it applies to your destination and type of ticket.
For more accurate measurements, pack your suitcase before you measure it. Let it stand upright against a wall and use a pencil to make a mark at the top. Now take your tape measure and note the difference from the floor to the mark on the wall.
Always keep in mind that the wheels also count as part of the measurement. A suitcase with four wheels is usually further off the ground than one with only two resulting in lost space.
Some soft-shell suitcases can be expanded if necessary. When you buy yours, it might fit the measurements needed, but once you fill it to the brim with your belongings, it could be slightly larger than allowed.
Selecting a suitcase that fits the linear inches requirements is essential, but the weight is even more of an issue in most cases.
With all the measuring and math, don’t forget to weigh your suitcase before you get ready for your trip. A lot of the time, checked bags aren’t too large but too heavy!