05 Nov Getaway with Luggage Fees with This Hack
With the rise in competition among budget airlines and low-cost carriers (LCCs), traveling has become cheaper, making it a “newfound hobby” for most people. And alongside the rise of cheap boutique hotels and quality flashpacker hostels (read: why a hostel like this is your best bet), going on a holiday for a weekend (or forever, lol) is no longer a luxury that only the rich can enjoy.
With the cheap airfare, however, comes add-ons and extras for inflight meals, seat selection, and checked-in luggage allowance. For long holidays, it’s probably worth getting pre-booked luggage allowance because you’re more likely to pack more (if you’re a realistic traveller), but for a few days’ trip, you can pack smart and save a few $ by bringing just a carry on. The biggest challenge with a carry on, though, is the strict implementation of LCCs of their 7kg (10kg if you’re lucky) cabin allowance – but I may have found the solution.
As someone who lugs his entire office (camera, lenses, tripod, laptop, etc) with him when he travels, I have since been looking for a bag that is:
1.) … in compliance with TSA and airline size limitations;
2.) … able to fit my clothes and mobile “office”; and
3.) … very lightweight so it doesn’t use up the 7kg allowance by itself.
When I was just starting to travel, I thought a small suitcase was the solution to saving a few $ on luggage fees – until I realised a suitcase takes up almost half the allowable weight by itself (aside from the fact that it’s not fun running around a city finding your hostel with a suitcase!). It’s a waste. So I did a thorough search for a cabin bag that can take in my equipment and my clothes for the trip; I came across CabinZero.
CabinZero was birthed after airlines have started implementing strict rules when it comes to cabin luggage size and weight. Travelling started to become a hassle, especially for backpackers (and our 40L bags in awkward sizes); hence the “CABIN size, ZERO hassle” motto that gave way to CabinZero.
As a brand, they make backpacks in three sizes – 28L, 36L, and 44L. What these sizes can hold varies from traveller to traveller, but having owned the 36L and 44L variants, I can say the 36L variant is your best option among the three. The 44L, albeit being able to hold over 2 weeks’ worth of clothes (and equipment), falls a little towards the bulkier side length-wise so when we talk of convenience and when you’re running around the airport to catch a flight, it might not be as fun. The 36L, however, is just a nick short from perfect.
On an eight-day trip, the 36L variant was able to carry not only my clothes, but my entire office as well. Perfect is an understatement, especially as it was an interisland trip. Imagine having to carry a suitcase from boat to boat in piers and docking areas – they don’t call their bags “the suitcase on your back” for nothing. It literally is a suitcase on your back with the amount of things you can put in it.
Its size also comes in quite handy because it’s not that bulky AKA you can getaway with luggage fees (!!!). After flying countless times with LCCs, I’m a self-proclaimed expert with how they work. With bags, it’s quite easy – lug a “small” backpack, and regardless of its actual weight, they’ll let you through without checking. For at least 9 flights, I’ve gotten away with paying extras because I’m carrying just a backpack. (Although don’t quote me on this, cos I’m also confident in doing so because I can always reason out that I have my equipment in there, hence I can’t check it. But size does matter, that you can quote me on!) It also helps when you buy a premium seat, lol – at least you don’t have to wait for your bag when you arrive!
The 36L also ended up as a dual purpose backpack during my eight-day to Boracay. When I got to the island, I simply took out my clothes and used the same bag as my daypack when I went out to explore the town, do some photography and filming, as well as some sun lounging. I wish it had more than just one big front pocket (that fits your laptop, by the way) though – perhaps compartments for passports, boarding passes, and a pen would have been great. And a bottle pocket, too; I think that’s very crucial.
Do I want to keep my CabinZero as my main backpack? Yes – I don’t see a reason why not, except the lack of a bottle pocket, but it being ultra lightweight + the fact that it fits my clothes AND my equipment, I can probably forgive the lack of this rather essential pocket. You can easily hang something on the bag with a carabiner anyway. I was lost in Hong Kong with it, too!
Do I recommend CabinZero? Yes, quite highly. They f*cking deliver EVERYWHERE in the world, too! (Sorry for cussing, but .. lol) You can find yours online here, check out, and expect your bag to be with you in no time.
Ah, and for a limited time only, you can use my code – CZTHELOSTJUAN – when you check out to enjoy 10% off of your total bill; just a little something for everyone. It’s valid till December 5th, so make sure you key in your orders asap online here!
Find the good in getting lost,
This post was written in collaboration with CabinZero. Like anything else, all opinions are my own. Moreover, this post contains affiliate links; which means that if you click on one of the links and a purchase is done, I’ll receive a commission as part of the affiliate program I am registered in. They’re definitely at no extra cost to you, but they will surely help me in creating more content in the future.