Travelling overseas with only carry-on luggage without sacrificing essentials might sound unrealistic – but it can be done.
There’s an art to packing everything you need while staying under seven kilos to meet the airline’s strict weight requirements and it’s all in how you pack, not what you pack.
Daily Mail Australia’s FEMAIL reporter Cindy Tran recently took up the challenge to fit nine days worth of holiday essentials into her luggage for an overseas trip to Japan – and was surprised at how easy it was.
Reporter reveals space-saving secrets to pack nine days worth of holiday essentials under 7kg
FEMAIL reporter Cindy Tran recently travelled to Tokyo with everything she needed on her trip
What I packed inside my carry-on baggage
Six outfits: Three dresses, two skirts, one pair of pants, a t-shirt and top
Toiletries (All skincare products transferred into travel-safe containers)
Pyjamas – top and shorts
Travelling light for a holiday has many benefits: You save on baggage costs, you don’t have to wait around for your checked-in suitcase or stress about it getting lost in transit, and you won’t be weighed down by heavy luggage while trying to navigate a new location.
For the trip to Tokyo, I opted against checked-in luggage because I didn’t want to bring unnecessary weight to a city where I was planning on a massive shopping spree.
So I did pay for checked-in luggage when I booked my return flight. I bought a large suitcase in Tokyo, and returned to Sydney with 20 extra kilos of purchases.
Now that’a travelling light! My carry-on baggage came to a total of 5.25 kilos at weigh in. It was small and light enough to fit into an overhead locker. I also had my tiny backpack, which included my 300g Canon camera, passport wallet and purse
How to fit everything you need into one bag: By using packing cubes, you save so much space
What’s inside my carry-on baggage?
In the largest cube, I managed to squeeze a surprising amount of clothes into it. I rolled up six different outfits into this one cube
To shrink my holiday wardrobe into the carry-on bag, I packed clothes for Tokyo’s warm summer. I thought about the outfits I was going to wear each day, down to my skincare regime.
I used three packing cubes to store my everyday essentials – and it saved me a lot of space inside my carry-on bag. I purchased my three-set cubes (which were actually designed for makeup and toiletries) from Target for just $15.
In the largest cube, I managed to squeeze a surprising amount of clothes into it. I rolled up six different outfits into the cube: Three dresses, two skirts (short and midi), one pair of pants, a white t-shirt and a black sleeveless blouse.
I made sure I packed pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. ie, white t-shirt with two different skirts or pants, or black top with either skirt or pants.
In the second cube, I packed all underwear, a swimsuit and a bra.
I used three packing cubes to store my everyday essentials: outfits, toiletries and underwear
Outfit one: Me wearing a floral dress – one of my six outfits on holiday (pictured in Shinkjuku)
Outfits two and three: I made sure I packed pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. ie, white t-shirt with both skirts or pants, or black top with both skirts (right)
In my smallest cube, I packed all my toiletries and skincare products, which included moisturisers, body lotion, two razors, cleanser, dental floss, mouthwash, toothbrush (I planned on buying toothpaste in Tokyo), makeup remover, band aid and cotton pads.
To downsize some of my beauty products, I poured my toner and hydrating mist into two separate 30mL bottles. I also put anything with liquid into a zip lock bag in case of any spillage during the long-haul flight.
In my makeup bag, I included my 30mL foundation, bronzer, highlighter, face powder, mini 4g mascara, 5mL face cream, two brushes and a sponge.
Other things I packed included my black Birkenstock sandals and pyjamas – top and shorts.
My black carry-on baggage was by Tony Bianco – it’s light and it’s the perfect bag to use when you’re travelling light.
I also had a tiny backpack, which included my passport wallet, purse and my 300g Canon camera.
Outfits four and five: As I was travelling from the cold weather in Sydney to Tokyo’s summer, I wore my heavy leather jacket on the plane
Outfit six: One of the heaviest items I packed were the white Supergas shoes (pictured), which I wore on the plane
What did I wear on the plane?
The simple trick is to wear your heaviest clothes on the plane. Given that it’s winter in Sydney, I wore a pair of jeans with a black t-shirt, my leather jacket and a pair of white Supergas shoes.
How much did my carry-on bag weigh?
My carry-on baggage came to a total of 5.25 kilos at weigh in. It was small and light enough to fit into an overhead locker.
I had my Canon camera, passport wallet and purse in my tiny backpack, which I kept on my lap and under the seat in front of me during the long-haul flight.
What could I have travelled without?
I basically used/wore everything I packed except for two items. I never touched my bronzer and I ended up not using my own toothbrush because our hotel provided new toothbrushes and toothpaste every couple of days.