8 savvy weight-saving secrets of packing

Secrets of packing

Never dread packing again with these simple hacks, Source: Shutterstock

WATCHING the numbers on the scales creep over your baggage allowance is a sure fire way to get a vacation off to a bad start. 

And it seems vacations and overpacking go hand-in-hand. Instead of throwing out that shirt you haven’t worn in nine years, you pack it, with the sentiment “oh I might wear that.”

It’s something every excited vacationer is guilty of, but going over the luggage allowance can incur a hefty fee. Which means waving goodbye to that indulgent back massage on the beach.

Singapore Airways, for example, charges up to US$110 per overweight bag, and while each airline has its policy, it’s not worth finding out the small print.

So, whether you’re a planner-packer or a chuck-it-in-the-night-before packer, take note of these space and weight saving tips to glide through check-in.

Let’s start with the trunk

The type of suitcase matters just as much as what you put in it. While you grandpa’s old leather trunk might look cool, it will be cumbersome.

Opt for a modern lightweight suitcase from trusted brands such as Delsey Luggage and the first step to reducing weight is ticked off.

What are your clothes made from?

If you’re off to soak up the sun and swim in the open ocean, you’re already off to a head start with your lightweight clothes: bikinis, trunks, light dresses, cotton t-shirts.

Try to go for synthetic materials, not only are they lighter they also dry quicker. So, if you’re feeling a midnight dip in the ocean, odds are you, and your clothes will be dry by the time you get to your accommodation.

If you’re heading out on a snowy adventure, your suitcase will bulge with winter coats and boots. But you only need one.

Leave the four other jackets you think you might wear at home and invest in one that goes with everything.

Equally, wear the bulky jacket and boots to save room in your case for other essentials.

Only pack for seven days

Unless you are moving to a different country or you’re Beyoncé, you won’t need more than seven outfits.

Being creatures of habit, we accumulate new clothes all the time but often only wear a select few items.

Packing fewer clothes and finding a laundrette is far easier than lugging around that impulse-buy flamingo-print shirt that you’ve never worn and never will.

Pack in outfits

Once you realize which select few items in your wardrobe make you feel great, use these as the foundations for all your holiday outfits.

Pack a top that can be worn in the daytime with some shorts but transformed at night with a skirt or smart slacks.


Unless your doctor has prescribed you special shampoo and body wash, your destination is likely to have the same brands you use.

Most hotels offer complimentary toiletries too.

Toiletries contribute massively to the weight of a bag. So, if you can leave them in your bathroom at home and pick what you need in duty-free of when you land, do it!


Centralize all your digital and physical needs into your smartphone and notice your bag get a whole lot lighter.

While a camera is the obvious one, things such as notepads, maps, guidebook, books, flashlight, translations, travel games and transport booking apps can be confined to your device.

Why a sarong is your best friend

While the Sarong remains the national dress of Malaysia, much of the world has adopted it as a fashion accessory for the beach. Popularized in the early 2000s by none other than soccer player, David Beckham, sarongs should have a place in every suitcase.

Firstly, the act as a beach and shower towel, eliminating the need for thick towels. They also act as a changing screen, a privacy screen (for shared dorms), hair scarfs, cover-up at religious sights, bed throws and the list goes on.

But above all else, they’re usually beautiful and a handy souvenir from your travels.

Personal luggage scales

Personal luggage scales, such as the Tarriss Jetsetter, let you easily weigh your bag as you would your fruit in a supermarket.

The scales are compact and can easily be taken on vacation to let you know how many souvenirs you can bring home.