fly heavy loaded, tips and tricks for flying with lots of luggage


For the last few years I have been changing location frequently, which always involves moving your entire life with you. And although I love moving around, the moment that I have to squeeze my entire life in 2 suitcases is not part of this fond experience. I might as well come clean right away, I am not such a light traveler as I’d like to see myself….

Last week I moved from Stockholm to my new home, in Palma de Mallorca (which is amazing, more about this soon!). I am a last minute packer, so I found myself a few hours before my flight with 1 big suitcase, an additional bag, and a small hand luggage suitcase and my entire life on my bed. In my experience, it’s not the clothes that add the weight (the weight is always the issue, not the volume…) Unfortunately my love for shoes and bags, combined with several books, toiletries and several other worthless memorabilia with sentimental value always make me end up with about 35 kg, no matter how light I try to pack.


But since I have done this routine a few times by now I’ve gathered some tips and tricks, to either squeeze more in your suitcase, or to fly with more luggage for the regular price. So here it goes:

  • If you are short of space the best invention ever is vacuum bags! These bags are for sale in most household type of stores and allow you to stuff all your clothes and towels in here that can’t wrinkle and suck out all the air with a vacuum cleaner. This decreases the size of your clothes to about a third of the normal size.
  • Most airlines don’t weigh your hand luggage, so I usually put all my heavy stuff (read books and electronics) in my hand luggage suitcase on wheels. The only thing to take into account is that you usually have to unpack computers, and sometimes all chargers at the security point, so take this into account with packing.
  • When you want to take more luggage with you then strictly allowed, and you know this beforehand, it is worthwhile to pay slightly more and fly with a decent airline (Lufthansa, SAS, British Airways etc.) These companies are usually allow already 23 kg and are more relaxed if you show up with 26-27 kg.
  • Tell over excitedly that your are moving abroad at the check-in desk. This sounds funny but it made me get away with some additional kilos a few times. (From London to Stockholm the check-in lady allowed my 30kg suitcase free of charge because of this.
  • Usually airlines allow you to compensate weight if you check in several bags. So if you have 2 bags of each maximum 20 kg, you usually get away with 25kg and 15kg.
  • And finally, if you know you will fly with heavy luggage or several bags, try to avoid Ryanair at any time! They are the least lenient with additional weight than any other airline in the world, and usually even weigh your hand luggage!

Luckily I managed this time to fly to Palma de Mallorca, with all my stuff, at no extra cost! The only extra cost I´m fully prepared to pay is the taxi to and from the airport, because the only thing worse than flying with lots of luggage, is trying to catch the public transport with the same amount of luggage!

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