How to travel with 7 KG Baggage Allowance (International and Domestic)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Airport scene whenever I travel: Arrive in the airport with no check-in baggage, just a hand carry luggage and a small camera bag. Breeze through airport security and immigration with no care in the world. Board the plane and  store my luggage in the overhead compartment. When I arrive in my destination, I finish security checks and immigration. Then skip the baggage collection completely. Sounds like a dream for a heavy packer, right?
Can you do Project Gora's 7 KG Baggage Allowance challenge? ^_^
Packing light is very achievable. I am a living proof of the fact. No matter the season, be it winter or summer, I always make the most of my 7 KG baggage allowance. I only buy prepaid baggage when I intend to go shopping. If that seem impossible to you, then let me tell you the benefits of packing light. (I can already hear the cries of protest from those who love their shoes and clothes; those who love taking their OOTDs for Instagram and Facebook lol!)

5 Benefits of Packing Light:
1. You never have to wait at the baggage collection area.
2. It’s easier to keep tabs on your belongings since you have fewer to manage.
3. You'll save a few hundred pesos for prepaid baggage allowance. You can buy a good coffee or beer with this money!
4. Taking public transportation is easier when you only have hand-carry luggage. Imagine dragging your enormous luggage around from bus to bus during transfers. Nightmare!
5. You never have to worry about disappearing luggage or luggage that turned up a few weeks late. I've experienced this personally, and it was awful!

So, how to travel with 7 KG Baggage Allowance?

1. Invest in a lightweight luggage/backpacks
I started out with the North Face Meteor 30 backpack, a full-sized, 30-liter, user-friendly pack. However, when I developed a neck problem, which is Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve), I had to switch to my trusty and cute American Tourister Cube Pop 20" luggage. It's about 2 KG, with push-button locking handle, tough polycarbonate construction, and 4 multi-directional spinner wheels. It's not scratch proof, but I adore its color and interior! If you travel with a backpack and you are considering of buying a hand-carry luggage, then make sure it's sturdy and lightweight (weighs 2 KG and below).

2. Pack clothes that have more than one use and implement the "Rule of Three"
The 7 KG baggage allowance can really limit the amount of social media worthy outfits that you can pack, but that just means you need to strategically plan your outfit. Now, most people won’t agree with this, but I decided to implement the "Rule of Three". What is this you ask? It is basically a simple method of travel packing with 3 days worth of clothing/apparel. For example, my clothing packing list goes like this: 3 tops (t-shirt or blouse), 3 pairs of pants (2 UNIQLO jeggings and 1 black leggings), 3 footwear (1 Nike Air Max, 1 lightweight sandals and 1 hotel slippers), 3 pairs of socks, and 3 pairs of underwear.

If it's winter, I always bring a black winter jacket/parka and a big wool scarf. I don't pack these in my luggage because it's not going to fit. Lol! I just bring these with me. Also, I wear the heaviest shoes when I travel to the airport. For inner wear, I only use UNIQLO's Heattech line, which is lightweight and quick dry.

3. Use packing cubes 
Seriously, boys and girls. Do yourself a favor and buy packing cubes! By using these cubes, you can separate your tops and bottoms from your toiletries and other essentials. It makes it easier to compress the space in your hand-carry luggage. You can also save yourself from embarrassment if an airport security wants to check something in your bag. With a price tag of roughly 300 pesos a set, I'd say they're definitely worth it! BTW, I got mine from Miniso (SM North EDSA).
thank God for packing cubes!
4. Wash your clothes
Hotel laundry in third world countries is super cheap. Fancy hotels, however, will charge a fortune to wash your clothes, so just wash it in your hotel bathroom. If you are staying in an apartment booked through Agoda or Airbnb, then there is a high chance you'll get access to a washing machine.

5. Manage your toiletries
If you’re staying in a hotel, then you’ll be provided with a soap, shampoo and toothpaste, so don't bother bringing them. If you're staying in a hostel or guesthouse, there's a chance you might not get them. What I do is I take the product out of its original container and place it in a smaller container. I know some of you, like me, love the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine, but there's no way I can bring that many products. With only 100 ML liquid allowance per container (not exceeding a total of 1 Liter) provided by airlines, my toiletry bag would include:
  • 50 ML for my shampoo
  • 20 ML for my organic deo (V&M Naturals Aloe Tea + Licorice Mint Deo)
  • 30 ML for my face sunscreen (Biore Face Milk)
  • 100 ML for my body sunscreen and insect repellant combo (Skin Genie)
  • 50 ML for my Facial Toner (Innisfree Ginger Oil)
  • 50 ML for my Moroccan Argan Oil
  • 30 ML for my liquid foundation (The Ordinary Serum Foundation)
  • 1 Soap (Poppy Plush soap by V&M Naturals)
  • 1 Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 1 Hair comb

6. Pack only the essential electronic gadgets
It's not necessary to carry a DSLR while traveling and many people find their smartphone to work just fine. However, I'm a travel blogger, so taking high-quality photos is crucial. Good thing, Cebu Pacific allows an extra bag for laptop and camera. That means, these are not included in your 7 KG hand-carry baggage allowance. Airasia and Jetstar, on the other hand, allows 7 KG combined weight limit on carry-on luggage (1 luggage and 1 camera bag or hand bag).

So, that's it my dear readers. I hope you find this useful and apply whatever you learn on your next trip. In the end, it's up to each of us to decide our own personal choice of packing. However, if you ever lost a check-in baggage, charged extra for an overweight bag, or cursed your bulky/heavy luggage while other people witnessed the whole ordeal, then it's worth to put some thought on your packing habits.

Disclaimer: The baggage allowance policy indicated on this blog is accurate at the time of writing. You should always check with the airline's website before your travel date.  Also, don't push your luck when it comes to the weight of your baggage. Stick with the 7 KG baggage allowance. You should always expect strict enforcement and remember that the airline may choose to enforce its rules at any time.

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