• Tania Wee

6 Tips on How Not To Exceed The Airline Carry-On Weight

written by Garrett Aeria

Airline carry-on weight restrictions are a hot topic these days, with budget conscious travellers maximizing every bit of carry-on real estate to avoid paying those overly expensive baggage fees. Here are 6 tried and tested tips you can try out to carry on like a pro!


1. Invest in a luggage scale

First and foremost, buy a scale so that you aren’t playing luggage roulette at the airport. Show up at the airport with the confidence of knowing exactly how much your luggage weighs. Don’t wait for the airport staff to tell you that it’s overweight and must be checked in. You don’t want to be that person, trust us. Not only is it time-consuming, last minute check-in fees can cost a bomb! With a luggage scale, you can weigh your bag as you’re packing so you know if you need to make any changes to your packing list.

2. Use lightweight luggage

When packing, don’t forget to take your luggage’s weight into account. Even before you pack anything in, your luggage already weighs a fair bit! As a rule of thumb, carry a bag that weighs 20% or less than your airline’s carry-on weight limit. So if you’re trying to keep to a 7kg carry-on limit, go for a bag that weighs less than 1.5kg. The less your bag weighs, the more things you can carry!

3. Carry a foldable daypack

In the old days when airlines were less strict, smart travellers use daypacks to share some of the weight when checking in, and can be declared as a personal item, where most of the time they do not count towards your weight allowance. It’s a neat trick that has worked for many travellers to this day, however nowadays there are a number of airlines that restrict passengers to only one bag. Therefore, it’s advisable to get a foldable daypack that can be packed and stowed away when not in use.

4. Substitute heavy items for lightweight alternatives

Take a second look at your packing list and think to yourself. What can you swap out for a lighter alternative? Love reading during long flights and layovers? Swap out a book for an lightweight e-reader. Better yet, go paperless and read e-books from your smartphone instead. Pack only the lightest clothing that you have. Swap out that heavy winter jacket and learn how to layer your clothes for a change. Lugging a heavy DSLR camera with a couple of lenses in tow? Get a pocketable mirrorless camera instead.

5. Leave what you don’t need at home

Have you ever returned home from a vacation and wondered if there was anything that you you’ve packed that you should’ve just left at homel? Perhaps it was that extra bottle of shampoo you never got to use? Or maybe it was that extra pair of shoes that never got to see the light of day throughout your trip? A good rule of thumb is to pack what you think you’ll need, then reduce it by half. Take it for a walk, feel its weight and then reduce it by half again. Always do your research before travelling, for instance that travel adapter you’ve packed may not be needed in a country that uses a similar power socket. An umbrella may not be needed if there’s no chance of rain. Whatever the case, many travel essentials can be purchased on the road if need be.

6. Wear your heaviest clothes onboard

If it’s heavy, wear it. Don’t pack it into your luggage as it counts towards your weight allowance. Wear your heaviest clothes, such as a coat or sweater onto the plane, even if you aren’t cold. You can stash it later in the overhead compartment. The same goes for footwear. Wear the heaviest pair of shoes or boots that you’re bringing. Here’s another handy tip. If your coat has deep pockets, be sure to carry some of your heavy small items such as power banks, batteries and small electronics in your pockets to shed some of the weight off your cabin bag.

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