Tranquilo Travel Gear Review: The pre-trip hum of packing with my new luggage scale

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I bought my first luggage scale yesterday, a digital hand-held scale by REI. As someone who has tried to balance unwieldy duffle bags atop bathroom scales, I love this. I avoid maxing out baggage requirements whenever possible. (In fact, I generally prefer to travel as lightly as I can: a day-pack and a camera bag, nothing more, is ideal. One day, I’d like to take the Rolf Potts No-Baggage Round-the-World Challenge.) Sometimes however, I must schlepp a montón of books onto the plane. On this upcoming trip to Nicaragua, for example, I’m taking well over 100 copies of my two new titles: MOON NICARAGUA and LIVING ABROAD IN NICARAGUA. At a pound apiece, that adds up.

So when I leave for the airport next week, I want each of my checked bags to weigh exactly 51 pounds (the limit is 50, but I’ve found they usually let a pound or two slide). In the past, I’ve just guessed at my bags’ weights, come close, then had to do that stupid shoe and book shuffle in front of a check-in line of pissed-off passengers. This time I’ll be prepared. Let the packing begin.
[For the record, I did not receive money or a free product from REI.]

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