Here’s a good idea when traveling: be resourceful, but don't be a boy scout. It’s better to travel light than to overpack in a bid to be prepared for everything. You'll not only end up dealing with additional weight to lug around, but possibly also additional fees when you go over the baggage allowance.
Of course, even when you commit to just carry-on luggage, there’s a max amount of weight you’re allowed to bring. Here in the Philippines, it’s a hard limit of seven kilos for stuff we can take on-board the plane, and that can be a hard number to meet, especially for those whose trips last more than a couple of days.
While we’ve seen some generous peeps give up their extra space for those who need it, you won’t always encounter such nice folks. It’s better to pack light and pack smart from the get go, than to rely on the kindness of strangers if ever you wind up in a tight spot. To help you out, we’ve decided to break down the numbers of your travel essentials:
Since articles of clothing can take up the most space in your bag, it’s a good idea to wear your bulkiest pieces—such as your jacket, jeans, and all-terrain shoes, as well as your easy to carry accessories like your shades, belt, and hat—instead of packing them.
As for the ones you pack, pick clothes that are versatile and can be worn for multiple occassions, like tops you can dress up or down easily. An extra pair of clean pants will also serve you well, though if you’re heading somewhere warm, go ahead and pack shorts instead. And, of course, don’t forget your underwear or spare socks!
3 pairs of shirts: ~0.7 kg
Extra pair of pants or shorts: ~0.5 kg
3-5 pieces of underwear: ~0.5 kg
2 pairs of socks: ~0.2 kg
Total weight of clothes: ~1.9 kg
*An extra pair of shoes will up your total by ~0.5 kg
For safety reasons, passengers are only allowed up to 100ml of liquids per container. This means, bringing a full bottle of shampoo or body wash is a no-go. Now, rather than crossing your fingers in the hope that your your accommodations will have toiletries ready for your use, you can put in a little effort and buy (or prepare) your own travel pack, instead. After all, it’s easy enough to buy sachets of toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. Or, if you’re willing to be kinder to the planet, purchase little reusable containers which you can then fill with 100ml (or less) of your products of choice. This way, you’ll have the toiletries you’re most comfortable with on hand.
Toothpaste: ~0.1 kg
Shampoo: ~0.1 kg
Conditioner: ~0.1 kg
Toothbrush: ~0.1 kg
Soap: ~0.25 kg
Travel pack kit and containers: ~0.2 kg
Deodorant: ~0.1 kg
Hair styling product (e.g. pomade/gel): ~0.15 kg
Sunscreen: ~0.2 kg
Comb: ~.02 kg
Disposable razor: ~0.1 kg
Total weight of toiletries: ~1.42 kg
In this day and age, gadgets are everyday parts of life. Even when you’re planning on roughing it at your destination, it’s unlikely you’ll go completely tech-free, if only to stay on the radar of your friends and family. In general, gadgets are very useful to travelers, especially ones adapted for traveling like an all-in-one charger or tablets loaded with books, maps, guides, etc. Of course, just because they’re useful and portable doesn’t mean you should pack everything with you. Your phone can easily slip into your pocket, and a tablet will fit snugly in your bag, but a laptop should only be brought if absolutely necessary. When you’re trying to fit everything under seven kilos, even a lightweight laptop will cost your crucial space.
Smartphone: ~0.2 kg
Tablet: ~0.4 kg
Power charger: ~0.2 kg
Earphones: ~0.05 kg
Total weight of electronics: ~0.85 kg
*A casual or business laptop will up your total by ~1.5 to 2 kg
When on a trip, it’s important to think about the little things. Beyond packing clothes, toiletries, and electronics, you should also bring other necessities such as relevant travel documents, prescribed medication, extra bags for laundry and sundry, and even random accessories. And of course, if you’re not confident your accommodations will provide slippers and towels, make sure to neatly store them in your bag, too.
Travel documents: ~0.1 kg
Extra (plastic) bags: ~0.1 kg
Medication: ~0.1 kg
Towel: ~0.3 kg
Slippers: ~0.4 kg
Total weight of miscellaneous items: ~1 kg
Without the extra add-ons, like a spare pair of shoes or your laptop, you’ll easily stay under the 7 kilo limit at a little over 5 kg. Considering your bag will also be weighed (heavy-duty travel bags can weigh up to 1 kg), leaving a margin of around 1 to 2 kg is a good idea, especially since you’ll want to save space for the souvenirs you want to take home with you!