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7 Tips for Carrying Luggage Safely

Medically reviewed by Gordon Dugan, MPT, FCE Certified | November 1, 2022

Nothing ruins a vacation like a strained shoulder or back. So, as you prepare for holiday traveling, take care with your packing. A little thought and planning can help avoid plenty of pain. Remember these tips for carrying luggage. 

Pick the right suitcase.

Don’t carry just any piece of luggage. Instead, choose a one that’s light, durable, and features wheels.

Pack light.  

One of the most basic tips for carrying luggage is to only pack essentials. We know airlines often charge extra fees for checked bags, so many people cram as much as they can into carry-ons. However, a small suitcase can get heavy quickly and put your muscles at risk for strain. Overstuffing might save a little money on luggage fees, but you may also have to pay quite a bit more for an emergency room visit.

Use correct form.

Every exercise fanatic knows the importance of form when lifting weights. And moving luggage is no different. So, remember to lift with your legs and not your back when storing your suitcase in a vehicle’s trunk or an airplane’s overhead compartment. 

And on a plane, put your luggage on the seat first. Then, place your hands on both sides of the piece to lift it, wheels-first, into the compartment. 

Finally, don’t ever twist your body when lifting luggage. Keep your back in line with your toes. 

Don’t be shy.

Ask for help from a flight attendant or fellow passenger if you need it. 

Don’t be proud.

Check your luggage if it’s too heavy. 

Don’t drag.

One of the most important tips for carrying luggage is to—well—carry your luggage. Pick it up when climbing steps instead of dragging it along behind you.

Keep your backpack comfortable.

Wear a backpack with padded, adjustable straps, and ensure its weight stays evenly distributed across your back. So, pack carefully and wear both straps instead of one.

Stay as safe as possible while traveling but also remember that accidents can still happen no matter how careful you are. If you experience shoulder or back pain after a trip, call us at (270) 442-9461. We’ll help you heal in no time.