Backpacks for lyfe...


How to travel for two weeks with only 7kg carry on luggage...

Published May 12th, 2017

It can be done. I am living proof of the fact. I won’t lie to you though, it is not easy, especially when you start off carrying about 3kgs of camera equipment.

However, if you can make do with less, the rewards can be huge! From not having to waste time at bag drops to skipping the mind-numbing baggage claim process at the airport. The other big win; never having the worry of losing your baggage ever again! From the airport, you also have the ease of being able to quickly jump on cheaper transport options like local buses and rail lines while not having to worry about getting tired of lugging around heavy suitcases.


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1. Make sure your bag is light

I started out with a 2kg wheelie carry on that transformed into a backpack before realising that I was definitely going to need an extra kilo for my toiletries bag. That meant I switched to my trusty/still cool looking classic 22L Herschel Supply Co. backpack. The backpack of choice for every understated millennial hipster.

2.Create a cookie cutter wardrobe

The limited luggage allowance can really put a damper on the amount of social media worthy outfits that you can pack but that just means you need to think more strategically about said outfit planning. Now, most people won’t agree with this strategy, but I decided to implement the cartoon character wardrobe tactic. What is this you ask? It is basically a Simpson’s wardrobe. Five of the same plain white t-shirt and two pairs of blue shorts. No, I am not joking


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3.Bikinis are better than undies

In addition to the five white tees and two blue shorts, I also packed two pairs of bikinis (they roll up to be pretty small), x1 pair Nike’s for hiking, x1 pair thongs, x1 pair of sandals for going out and too many undies. I ended up wearing bikinis most of the time, so if you’re someone who loves being in the water I’d recommend packing more bikinis than undies because you’ll definitely end up living in them and they’re easy enough to wash in the shower.

4.Hotel laundry is your new BFF

In many asian countries, it can be super cheap to get your clothing laundered. I figured that if I needed more clothes that I could buy them cheap enough but it turns out that having my hotel wash them was dirt cheap. #punintended ;) Otherwise a good old shower scrub would’ve worked out just fine too if needed.

5. Only attempt this in summer

It’s important to note that I did almost two weeks on 7kgs (technically 7.6kgs) in Bali during summer, meaning that I didn’t have to pack any heavy jeans, lots of layers or a massive coat/jacket. This was integral to getting away with such a light backpack.

6. Don’t take shampoo or conditioner

Hotels have that stuff, leave it at home.

7. Wear your heaviest shoes/jacket onto the plane

For me, these were my Converse high tops which are surprisingly heavy.

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.