Travel-hacks: How to save luggage weight?

by amuc001

Limited luggage weight on planes

if you are planning your trip to Munich or Germany, then many of you will not be able to avoid traveling by air. Traveling to Munich by plane is very easy nowadays, because Munich is one of the biggest hubs for air traffic, after Frankfurt.
So once you have found and booked a flight, it’s time to pack your bags. Airlines in most cases limit the allowed size and weight of the luggage. Unless you happen to have frequent traveler status with an airline that allows you to check in two suitcases per person for free, there is often an additional fee. If you exceed the maximum bag weight (depending on the airline between 20 and 23 kilograms per suitcase) you may have to pay again.

How to save luggage weight

There are hundreds of tricks to save luggage weight. Those of you who have been backpacking know how important it is to keep the weight down, and you may already have some ideas and experiences. For the rest of you, I’d like to share a few simple rules on how to save weight for your trip to Munich.

Shower gel, shampoo, etc.
Many of you will certainly pack shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, perfume, etc.. Often these are relatively large bottles and the weight will add up accordingly. A regular bottle of shower gel shampoo or conditioner weighs around 350 grams (0.77 lbs). If you now take a shower gel, a shampoo, a conditioner, and maybe another product, e.g. a body lotion, you already have 1.4 kilograms (3.08 lbs) of weight in your suitcase. You can save that!

My tip here: don’t take any of it with you!
Very often there is free shower gel and shampoo in the hotels. However, if you have concerns about bulk dispensers, or you are not sure if you like the scent, just go to the nearest drugstore in Munich. The best known chains are „dm“, „Müller“ and „Rossmann“. These chains can be compared with
USA: Walgreens, CVS
UK: Boots, Superdrug
AUS: Priceline, Chemist Warehouse

German drugstores not only carry all the usual cosmetic brands but also offer their own brands at, particularly low prices.
Overall, shower gel, shampoo & Co are very cheap in Germany. Especially if you reach for the own brands of the drugstores. So you don’t have to be afraid to put 5 dollars on the counter for a shower gel. All in all, the private labels cost between 0.50 EUR (~0.60 USD ~0.43 GBP, ~0.77 AUD) and 1.00 € (~1.20 USD, ~0.86 GBP,  ~1.55 AUD) per product.

By the way, private labels often perform better in tests than comparable branded products.
All in all, you can save a lot of weight and money if you go to a drugstore after your arrival in Munich.
A small tip on the side: Do not go directly to drugstores at the airport or at the main station. It may be that slightly higher prices apply there. Better check if there is a drugstore near your hotel.

Regular supermarkets also have shower gel, shampoo, and other Beauty products, but they charge a bit more than the pure drugstores.

Other personal care products

Most of the time, you hardly realize how much weight you actually put into your suitcase when you go on a trip. Of course, you always want to be clean and well-groomed, but you don’t always have to carry along everything in your suitcase. Some of you may not yet know the following tips and may be surprised to see how much weight you can save on personal care items.

When traveling, you need razors, shaving cream, sunscreen, toothpaste, deodorant, hand and body creams, perfumes, hair styling products if necessary, and so much more.

But all this weighs a lot and often takes up too much space.
If you travel to Munich or Germany and don’t necessarily stay in a very rural area, then you don’t really need to take many of the things with you, because you can also get them in Germany in supermarkets or drugstores – and sometimes much cheaper than at home.

One example:
Suppose you come from the USA and want to take toothbrushes for you (+ wife and child). You go to a drugstore like Walgreens and buy a cheap vacation toothbrush for 0.99 USD each. Of course, there’s the tax on top of that. Still, let’s say you might buy three toothbrushes for $3 USD with discounts.
Obviously, toothbrushes don’t weigh that much, but they are quite bulky and can definitely take up a space or two, especially since you take them with you on your travels in their packaging or an appropriate case.
You arrive in Munich, go to a drugstore, and see that a three-pack of toothbrushes, including all taxes and fees, costs €0.95, or about $1.15 USD. So you have not only spent more, but also blocked additional storage space in your suitcase.

My tip here: Take really only those things with you that you can not buy in Germany.
If you can not do without particular products, try to get the products in travel size, or fill your favorite body lotion in appropriate small travel containers. These are available quite cheaply on the Internet, for example on Amazon, or most likely at your local supermarkets and drugstores.

Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash

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