With many airlines offering discounted airfares if you travel without checked baggage, the temptation to test out your packing skills is all too real. Besides, if you’re just going away for a weekend or travelling somewhere warm, how much do you really need to take with you?

There used to be some wiggle room with carry-on baggage, until airlines started weighing what we were taking on and realising we were hauling on 15kg backpacks. Suddenly, the game changed and now we have to make sure our carry-on baggage is within the allowed limit. But how?

Here are some tips to help you pack light and make the most of those discount airfares.

Use very light luggage

Choose your carry-on luggage carefully. A 2.5kg suitcase is only leaving you with 4.5kg to pack, if your luggage limit is 7kg. Instead, opt for something like a lightweight backpack or canvas duffle bag.

Wear your heaviest outfit on the plane

Decide what your heaviest clothing items are and wear them on the plane. Think things like sneakers, jeans, jackets and knitwear. Bonus points if you wrap a jumper around your waist or stuff heavy items into the pockets of the jacket you’re wearing.

Limit your clothing

Plan each outfit you pack, ensuring you can mix and match items to create more outfits. Pack colours and pieces that all work together and ditch anything that doesn’t fit in with this. When packing, make sure you only grab things you always wear. This is no time to pack that dress, ‘just in case’.

Before you pack all your clothes, lay them out together in front of you and make sure everything works. Check that you actually, really do wear all of the times in front of you and toss anything that doesn’t add up. You should only need 2 pairs of shoes (one on the plane, one spare), 3 bottoms (jeans, shorts, skirt), 3 tops, 1 jacket, underwear and 2 pairs of socks.

The second bag

Most airlines allow you to take one carry-on bag, usually weighing between 7kg – 10kg, and one additional item such as a handbag or laptop bag. They rarely weigh the second bag, so be sure to put your heaviest items, like your camera, charging cables, phone, book and laptop in this bag.

Double-duty items

Take things that can be used for more than one purpose. A sarong is a great example of this, it can act as a clothing item, scarf, head-wrap, towel or picnic blanket if you need it to. Other clothing items, like those magical infinity dresses, are ideal for light packing.

Less cosmetics, more space

Don’t pack shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Instead, buy these items at your destination. This is especially important if you’re flying international, due to liquid restrictions. When it comes to packing make-up, just take your essentials; primer, concealer, foundation, powder, bronzer, mascara and blush. These 7 items will fit in one small bag within your luggage, giving you more space to play with.

Weigh before you go

Before you head off to the airport, weigh your bag. This takes the stress out of it when they weigh it at the airport and gives you time to adjust what you’ve packed or move things around. Remember, you can always buy stuff you need at your destination, so don’t over-do it.

Share your own tips for packing light in the comments below!