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  • Writer's pictureEi Khine

How To Travel Only With A Carry-on Bag?

Updated: June 23, 2020

Do you want to fly only with a 7 kg carry-on bag without checking in your luggage? Some airlines offer cheaper tickets (called Light Fare) for carryon only travellers. Maybe you want to get out of the airport as soon as you land and you don't want to wait for your checked baggage. Or you're concerned about airlines losing your luggage?

Muji Boston Foldable Carry-on Duffle Bag
I travelled around Southeast Asia for a week with only this bag.

I travelled with a budget airline that had a 7 kg carry-on limit. When I checked-in, my carry-on was overweight. I was given a choice to pay $50 to check-in my bag or remove the overweight items. So I ended up throwing away my souvenirs to save $50. From then on, I learned how to pack my carry-on to be under 7 kg.

Here's how I do it.

Quick Rules:

  1. Replace heavy items with lighter substitutes (eg. lightweight duffle bag instead of rolling luggage)

  2. Replace bulky items with smaller items (eg. shorts instead of jeans)

  3. Wear your heaviest clothes to the airport and fill your pockets with your everyday gadgets

  4. Do laundry during your trip to reduce the number of clothes you bring

  5. Bring clothes that are lightweight and fast-drying

My Packing Requirements:

  1. Suit for events

  2. Laptop for work

  3. DSLR/Mirrorless camera system

  4. Workout attire

How I Pack My Carry On:

  • A lightweight carry-on duffle bag - Uniqlo's Foldable Duffle

  • 4 t-shirts, 4 shorts, 1 dress shirt, 1 dress pants, underwear, socks

  • 1 gym shorts, 1 gym shirt, sneakers

  • medicine and first aid kit

  • toiletries in small bottles

  • toothpaste & toothbrush

  • Jetpik water flosser

  • hair wax

  • deodorant stick

  • razor

  • clothesline for laundry

Flat lay of the clothes inside the duffle
  • laptop & charger = 2kg

  • camera insert + foldable camera bag + camera accessories = 1kg

    • battery charger

    • extra batteries

    • extra SD cards

    • lens cleaning kit

    • raincover

Total weight: 7 kg.

Camera Insert, Bag and Accessories

What I Wear To The Airport

  • Suit with dress shoes, belt, watch and sunglasses

  • Neck wallet with cash and cards

  • Fujifilm XT-2 + Fujinon 18-135mm on my shoulders

  • My suit jacket and pant pockets are filled with:

    • Phone

    • Wallet

    • Portable battery and cable

    • Phone charger

    • Passport and pen

    • Viltrox 23mm f1.4 in Ziploc bag

Prep your carry-on and happy traveling!

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