You know what is totally bullshit? A money-grabbing seven-kilo limit for your carry-on baggage instead of just dimension requirements.
It seems especially unfair when I, a six-foot human, can pack the exact same number of outfit changes as my just-over-five-foot best friend (yes, we do look ridiculous together) into the same bag and mine will always weigh more thanks to the extra fabric. Then you add a pair of shoes and it’s all over.
Someone tell me how that is fair?
As a result, I’ve become something of an expert in milking the most from these measly weight allowances, especially when you’re only going away for the weekend and just need a couple of outfits. Why? Because I refuse to pay more money in an unjust system (but also mostly because I’m a tightarse).
This isn’t a packing list, you can find that over here. This is for the people like me who are baffled over why a single outfit change and a few toiletries should mean they have to pay more for their carry-on.
These are the top five tricks to remember. In my experience, they work well without taking things too far or making you super uncomfortable (like that guy who fainted on the plane from wearing all his clothes at once on the flight).
#1 Find the lightest bag possible
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Yes, we’re starting with an obvious one — the lighter the actual bag, the more you can fill it with trip necessities. I’ve always gone with my super lightweight gym bag because wheelie bags take up about five kilos of your allowance, leaving you with a measly two kilos to work with.
I was recently sent the lightest carry-on-sized wheelie bag I’ve ever come across, though, and it’s a game-changer. Aussie luggage label, July, will release the lightest double-wheeled carry-on in the world this March (for $245) — weighing in at 1.8kg. Let me just tell you, I took it for a weekend away and it was so light I kept forgetting it had wheels.
#2 Utilize your pockets
You would be mad not to make full use of your pockets. In fact, wear a plane outfit with more pockets just so you can fill them with all the toiletries or undies that made your carry-on overweight. Obviously, you’ll want the pockets to be loose ones so they’re not obviously bulging as you walk passed the flight attendants.
#3 Drape your jacket
Speaking of pockets, and therefore jackets (yes, that counts as a segue) a simple drape over your crooked arm will never be questioned (or at least, hasn’t been yet in my experience), and is super easy to cover up a sneaky toiletry bag full of all your bathroom necessities. Yes, even if you’ve already stuffed the pockets.
I fact, I would say that a jacket is to carry-on limits what a towel is to the universe — no matter where you’re going, always, ALWAYS take one with you.
#4 Tuck things into your pants
If you have a waistband, you have a sneaky place to carry extra items that made your suitcase overweight. Have I tucked a laptop into the back of my pants, belted it in position, and then covered the whole thing with a jacket? Yes, and it worked.
#5 Carry some extras in a plastic bag
After realising that I was never questioned when I had my plane food and a bottle of water in a plastic bag, I started experimenting with just how much I could get away with. The answer is, pretty much your food, drinks, and a book/ magazine.
Honestly, I’m not even sure this one is being sneaky, because plane food definitely shouldn’t count in your baggage allowance but it does easily add a kilo.
This one has always worked for me, but as a disclaimer, I do know people who were asked to include their extra plastic bag with their total carry-on weight, so don’t place all your bets here. It also definitely has to be a plastic bag, reusable bags won’t fly.
(Lead image: Instagram / @probably_kassia)