Packing for Cabin Baggage Only as a Chronic Overpacker

March 06, 2017

As we all know, the rise of the budget airline means air travel has become so affordable that it is almost nothing to go to another state for the weekend . . . but don't you worry, airlines are still making a profit by slugging you for the privilege of taking a bag with you.

tips for packing light | Almost Posh

A base fare on Tiger affords you a measly 7kg total for cabin baggage and woe betide if you're so much as a gram over. Yes, you can argue that a decent toilet stop will more than make up the shortfall in total plane weight and if it's that critical, why aren't we all weighed on check-in with luggage allowances assigned accordingly but the fact of the matter is, if the allowance is 7kg, then that's what you're taking free and any kind of correspondence entered into is only going to cause a scene at the checkout desk and a possible interaction with the AFP if you get too enthusiastic.

Now I am a chronic overpacker and have been known to take four pairs of footwear for an overnight stay. When it comes to outfits, I am generally very much a "see how I feel on the day" kind of person. Actually, I am the same way with food, so pre-ordering is usually a chore too. Therefore, having enough options with me to "see how I feel on the day" when travelling, does not play well with restrictive luggage allowances, however I do enjoy the freedom of wandering about a new city with only a small suitcase in tow before or after hotel check-in, rather than my bigger Samsonite.

Here are some tips to shed some pesky grams:
  • Take the coins out of your purse. Nobody needs to travel with shrapnel.
  • Clean out your daily handbag and assess the necessary requirements before replacing everything. Some airlines WILL weigh your handbag. Be warned.
  • Take a Kindle, a magazine or enjoy the inflight entertainment instead of the massive book you're currently ploughing through.
  • Wear your heaviest items. If you're taking a coat or jacket, wear it on the plane, even if it's 40 degrees in your departure city. It will probs be cold on the plane anyway. Wear boots if you're taking boots.
  • Consider your toiletries. Do you need a full size shampoo, conditioner, body scrub, face wash, hair treatment, tooth whitening kit, hairdryer for overnight? Either decant into smaller bottles, suss the hotel options or do what I do and avoid wetting your hair. Dry shampoo (travel size!) is your friend. Remember not to pack aerosols in cabin baggage. See earlier paragraph about causing scenes.
  • Have a practice pack and make sure you have everything you need so you're not throwing heavy items in last minute.
  • If you have scales at home, weigh your bags before departing so you're not forced to dig through your smalls in full view of the check-in counter.
  • When shopping for new suitcases and associated travel gear, get the best and lightest you can afford. It makes a huge difference if you're starting with a lighter base load.
  • Take a small child whose clothing requirements are minimal and scab off their luggage allowance. This does involve paying for their ticket, however, so isn't completely cost-effective.
  • Check the weather against your itinerary and plan outfits accordingly. If you are travelling to Melbourne, this may be difficult. Try and squeeze an umbrella in.
And how did I go with my recent trip to Melbourne?

tips for packing light | Almost Posh

I chickened out and paid for checked luggage, what of it.

Are you an overpacker or can you travel light? What are your secrets?

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