Some careful thought about what you need to bring and an analysis of the check-in process at different airports can stir up some great ideas that can save you time and money when it comes to avoiding checked luggage.
If you are travelling with a budget airline, such as Air Asia or Jetstar for instance, then you have to pay per bag of checked luggage per flight sector. Why waste money if it is feasible to keep your carry-on luggage under 7 kg?
In addition, regardless of whether you fly with a budget or premium airline, checking a bag for a short flight wastes precious time as you need to wait for the luggage to arrive at the carousel.
Here are some recommended packing tips to follow to keep your luggage under 7 kilos :
1. Packing Liquids
Collect the bottles of sunscreen, face moisturizer, shampoo and toothpaste and any other liquids that you would normally bring on a trip.
Conservatively approximate how much you will use during the duration of your trip. Place an appropriate amount of each liquid into a small travel-friendly plastic container.
Make sure that each container is less than 100 cm3 (100 ml) because this is the internationally recognized limit for a specific liquid in a carry-on bag. Even try to use smaller (25 cm3) plastic bottles for toothpaste and face moisturizer if possible.
Place all of these bottles along with a miniature travel sized deodorant stick into a 1 dm3 (1L) transparent plastic bag.
2. Choose Appropriate Clothing and Footwear
People all over the world consistently choose to over pack. If you are heading to a beach destination dress light and embrace the sunshine.
Pack plenty of quick dry swim shorts because the fabric they are made of is extremely light. Select sleeveless shirts and maybe only 1 or 2 sets of formal restaurant attire.
Bringing pants may even be a stretch depending on your plans. In most cases, you probably only need to bring sandals because most beachside restaurants could care less about your feet; they are more concerned about your money. If you choose to wear sandals then socks are also irrelevant to pack.
If you must bring shoes, wear them while checking in at the airport and pack your sandals. Unless you are going to an extremely remote region of a country then there should be laundry facilities available in addition to budget beachwear shops to stock up if necessary.
3. Organize Electronics
Depending on the length of your trip it might be a good idea to leave your chargers at home. With advancements in battery life DSLR cameras, electronic shavers and cell phones can operate for multiple days without being charged.
Try to charge up and leave the excess weight at home. Cell phones and tablets have also effectively eliminated the need to pack an alarm clock.
4. What about an additional bag?
Many budget carriers nowadays are not overly concerned about passengers bringing an additional personal item to go along with your 7 kg carry-on bag.
If at all possible, try to select your personal item based on its weight. If you have a heavy DSLR camera or a laptop computer then this is a great choice. Some travel guidebooks can also weigh down your luggage so they can be a practical choice as well.
5. Travel light and look even lighter.
Some airlines will be very strict and weigh your carry-on luggage regardless of how heavy it looks. Others, however, can be quite lenient. If you are a kilo or two over the 7-kilogram limit then pack your carry-on as densely as possible.
In other words, a full backpack and a half empty backpack shouldn’t look the same when checking in. If an airline check-in employee sees that your carry-on is small they could make the incorrect assumption that small means light. In reality, however, small means smart.