With the high cost of airline tickets, hotels and eating out, the expenses involved with traveling can really add up. Once you have all of your possible expenses tallied, you don't want to get hit with the additional burden of baggage fees for overweight luggage. The cost for overweight bags varies from airline to airline, but on average it can be $100 to $200 per bag. To avoid paying these fees when you arrive at the airport, it pays to plan ahead. Read below for hacks and tips for preventing overpacking for your next trip.

Know the Rules

Before you even begin to pack your carry-on bag or luggage, now the baggage rules for your airline. Visit the website of the airline on which you are traveling and navigate to their "Baggage" page. There you'll find out all the rules regarding the size, weight and number of bags you are allowed to check.

Bags are commonly considered overweight if they weigh more than 50 pounds, but the rules can vary among airlines and even anong destinations. Some airlines allow you to check heavier bags on international flights than you can on domestic flights, so be sure to view the rules for the destination and situation that applies to you.

Be Strategic

Lay out all the items you want to pack, considering what items you may want to pack in your carry-on luggage and which items must be stored in your checked bag. Many people tend to pack too much, so taking a look at everything before you pack it can give you a chance to pare down your items.

As a general rule, lay out everything you think you need and then remove half of what's there. Remove shoes that don't go with a specific outfit, toys that the kids won't absolutely need, and other extraneous items that you don't think you are likely to use during your trip.

Pack heavy items in your carry-on. While this means you'll have to lug a heavier carry-on through the airport, you can always get a cart to help you get to the gate with ease if you don't have a rolling bag. Most often, individuals may pack toiletries, credit cards and medication in their carry on to ensure they have them in a crunch. Heavy electronics like laptop and ipads should most likely be placed in the carry on as well, along with their chargers.

Being strategic about which items end up in certain bags will help your larger checked luggage stay under the weight limit. There is an art to packing light, but some just don’t have it. If that’s you, no worries, these tips should help.

Weigh Your Bag

Weigh your bag before you get to the airport. A basic bathroom scale will typically do the trick, but is not the most reliable luggage scale. Handheld digital luggage scales are most often recommended for weighing a piece of luggage. These can be found on websites like Amazon, or at stores like Walmart and Target.

If you find that your bag is overweight, unpack it and take out a few items. If your bag is within a pound or two of being overweight, remove a couple of things in the event that your scale is less sensitive than the one at the airport terminal.

Bring Another Bag

Consider packing another bag. If you've only planned on checking one bag, consider checking a second one, since this can save you money and allow you to still bring the things you need. To give you some perspective, an overweight bag on American Airlines will cost you between $100 and $200, depending on its weight, while checking a second bag will cost you $35. A third bag will cost you $150, but that cost is still less than the $200 you'd pay for an extremely overweight bag.

Baggage charges are avoidable and annoying when applied to your air travels expenses. Simply check the baggage policies before you reach the check-in counter to avoid these bag fees.


Knowing how to expertly pack and avoid overweight baggage is one of the best travel tips ot have in your back pocket. Many frequent flyers have it down to a science, but if you don’t yet, no need to worry. Simply follow these steps and you should be able to ditch the extra weight and avoid extra charges. Don’t let excess baggage fees get you down, just enjoy your trip!