1. Invest in a lightweight cabin bag
If you’re not already done so, then head out and get a lightweight cabin bag, as it will minimise the weight added on to your total baggage. Most budget airlines allow a combined weight of 7kg, so you have to be very smart with how you’re packing.
I personally prefer hard case suitcases, especially the ones from Tumi. They are generally lighter than fabric or leather bags, and because of their shape and built, packing becomes easier.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind a rugged bag, use a backpack instead. It’s incredibly light, spacious and is relatively inexpensive.
Four-wheel 56cm carry-on bag, $875, from Tumi
2. Only pack your absolute necessities
Items such as soap and sunscreen can be easily bought in most countries, so it is recommended that you bring only the items that you are 100% sure you can’t find there. If you’re picky about the brand, then do a bit of homework beforehand to see what beauty items and toiletries can be found at your destination’s local drugstore, and leave those out.
Same for clothes—if you’re going on a four day holiday, then you really don’t need more than one pair of sneakers with you. The less you bring, the less fuss you have at the airport, and the more space for shopping you get!
3. Pack multi-purpose or do-it-all items
The goal here is to pack as little as possible, so the easiest way to do this is to pack multi-purpose or do-it-all items. For example: instead of having to pack a scarf, a blanket and a hair wrap, pack a sarong. Rather than pack a bunch of t-shirts and bottoms to match, stick to a wardrobe of summer dresses. How about wearing lesser makeup, thereby lessening your cosmetics load? Or better yet, go makeup-free and stick to moisturiser and sunscreen? It’s all dependent on each individual but her point being that you need to make smart choice with what you’re bringing.
4. Wear a little more at check-in
It’s a little bit ridiculous to be seen in, but wearing a bit more layers at check-in can eliminate excess baggage charges—which are often overpriced for their allowance. I’ve seen people clearing immigration at a tropical destination’s airport while wearing two tops, leggings, shorts, and a hoodie before rushing to the toilet right after to shed their excess layers.
5. Master the art of the roll
Of all the packing techniques, the roll is my go-to for when I need to pack a carry-on bag. After folding your clothes in perfect squares, roll them inwards into a tight roll, and neatly place them in. It saves you a ton of space in your luggage.
6. Exploit other baggage space
Okay, this one is a little sneaky, I’ll admit. But if you’re travelling back to Singapore after a weekend getaway and you let yourself go a little bit too much with the shopping, then I recommend rethinking your packing strategy.
All planes allow each passenger a carry-on luggage and an extra bag. Check with your airlines for their size restrictions for this extra bag, but generally, most roomy bags that you already are using for work will do. My go-to for this is a tote bag from Saint Laurent, as it’s very spacious and I can pop my laptop, a book, travel essentials and some other bits that won’t fit into my luggage. Sometimes, my slippers and a jacket goes in there as well.
If you’re travelling with kids, make use of their baggage space too, so you maximise on your weight allowance. And if you’re flying with your BFF or your significant other, it’s no harm asking if they have extra space that they can “lend” you.
Reversible bag, $2,795, from Burberry