For a solo trip to Malaysia, I wanted to challenge myself to travel with only a backpack that cannot exceed AirAsia’s cabin bag allowance of 7kg carry on luggage.
The challenge came about because through my adventures in the Southeast Asian country, I had five different flights, and I wanted to keep the cost down by adhering to AirAsia baggage policy.
For those familiar with the budget airline carrier, AirAsia includes extra charges for luggage, seat allocation, meals and in-flight entertainment.
Therefore, I knew if I could travel Malaysia with only a 7kg travel bag, I would save around AUD$150 over the five flights. It’s quite a substantial saving when you think about it, and money better spent on other things like more travel adventures.
What is the best advice on how to pack 7kg carry-on Luggage when It’s your only bag for air travel?
I found the challenge quite straight forward as you’ll see further into the article. I only thank my lucky stars that Malaysia is a hot country and you can travel light.
The best advice on How to pack 7kg Carry On Luggage When It’s Your Only Bag For Air Travel
Below is general advice on how to pack hand luggage for air travel, if you have any other advice, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Purchase an ultralight Backpack
When weight limits are important, an ultralight backpack is an essential travel item for air travel.
You want to the travel backpack to weigh as minimal as possible so you can fit everyday items needed for travel without going over the aircraft weight allowance.
The backpack I used for my trip to Malaysia didn’t exceed 1kg. Which meant I had ample room to include essential items of my journey, including a laptop, a camera with a lens and clothing.
Pack the essentials only in your hand-carry bag
Cutbacks are required when you only have 7kg to play with, and there is no getting around that fact.
Would I have loved to bring more items with me to Malaysia, of course, but it wasn’t a viable option for this occasion.
When prepping your travel list for your backpack getaway, make sure you’re double-checking the list twice and excluding items you know you can live without even if you don’t want to!
Once you have packed the absolute essentials, weigh the bag, the outcome could be favourable, and there could be room for more items.
Wear your heavier clothing on the flight and limit luggage size
It goes without saying when prepping your cabin luggage, wear your heavier clothing aboard the plane to minimise the luggage size.
You know the long pants, jumper, jacket and perhaps you even double up on t-shirts. Whatever it takes to have more items available for your 7kg travel bag.
A lot of times, backpack travel works when travelling to warmer climates, which means on the cooler flights, wear any thicker clothing and change out of them once arriving at your destination.
Stuff your pockets
The airline staff don’t weigh you when flying abroad, so fill your pockets with a few added items and cheat the system to a minor degree.
It probably pays to wear a zippered jacket and deep trouser pockets so you can have sufficient and secure space to stuff your pockets with smaller items.
Don’t exceed 100ml containers with liquid products
It’s common knowledge for air travel that liquid products of shampoos, conditioner, body wash and toothpaste, need to be under the size of 100ml containers.
Therefore, if such products are desired to bring you on your adventures, make sure they fit the requirements. Otherwise, they’ll end up in the bin and the security checks.
Anyway, you don’t want those products to have too much weight. The whole point is to minimise what goes into your carry-on bag.
Purchase a digital luggage scaler
I love my digital luggage scaler, and it comes in useful for any travel. Whether I am bringing heavy luggage to go underneath the plane, or hand luggage only.
While the luggage scaler, didn’t come on the trip with me to Malaysia, I was able to get a useful guide of the backpack weight before leaving home.
I knew any extra items wouldn’t be added for the trip, which meant, the weight would remain pretty much the same throughout the entirety of the journey.
Don’t exceed the limit allocation (Whatever you do)
Whatever you do, don’t exceed the limit, and while, some airlines may have leniency if a little over the restriction. Some Airlines won’t, and unwanted fees could be charged to you.
If you’re exceeding the 7kg carry on baggage limits by a kilo or two, expect the airline fees to be substantial, they’re often strict when it comes to the weight allowance.
The best practice is to avoid the situation, pack smart and pack tight. Therefore, you’re not creeping over the weight restrictions, and you’re travelling the skies with a single backpack and saving quite a few dollars in the process.
All in all, they’re a lot of positives, and it makes for quick clearance in custom checkpoints when you don’t have to wait at the conveyor belt for luggage.
The Lightest Carry on Backpack for air travel
Check out below the best cabin size backpack for your next adventure, and you may find a bargain on the amazon market.
For your information, the items below are through the Amazon Affiliate Program, and if you’re to purchase a product by clicking on the link, I may make a buck or two. Don’t fear; it’s at no further expense to you.