Whether you are traveling for work or going on a well-deserved vacation, a carefully packed suitcase is an important part of ensuring a stress-free, well-planned trip. Seeing as most seasoned travelers recommend only bringing a carry-on in lieu of checking in a larger suitcase, utilizing every inch of your luggage space is key. Here are some packing tips and tricks to help you make sure you have everything you need for any kind of travel.
Roll Your Clothes
This is a trick passed down from flight attendants everywhere. If you simply throw your clothes into a suitcase, space will be extremely tight. Folding clothes can make a little more space, but the most efficient way to pack clothes is to roll them tightly and stack them. Any item of clothing can be rolled to make this work. Once your clothing is rolled, it is all about sorting the stacks and slotting the items together to ensure that all space is being used well. Just like a puzzle, every piece of clothing will have a right space.
Consider Your Shoes Carefully
Do you really need those knee high boots that take up half your suitcase? If so, maybe those are the shoes to wear on the plane. Shoes can be quite bulky so carefully considering what shoes you will actually wear is an important part of efficiently packing. When packing, turn your shoes so that the soles face out and the shoes are heel to toe with each other. For the most part, it is unlikely that you will need more than one pair of comfortable walking shoes and a nicer pair of shoes for any events or nights out. Plan outfits accordingly to make sure you do not need four pairs of shoes for a week-long trip and wear the bulkier shoes on the plane so you do not have to fit them inside your luggage.
Stuff Your Socks
Your socks are soft and flexible which makes it a perfect place to store breakables or anything fragile. Put these things into your socks and you can even put one sock within another so that you get extra protection. This way, you’re not using extra space for packing materials while also keeping your items safe during your trip.
Related: How to Choose the Right Travel Luggage for Your Vacation
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a fairly inexpensive space-saving option to help make sure your suitcase is packed as efficiently as possible. Packing cubes are fabric bags that are spaced perfectly for storing clothes in a suitcase. They usually come in sets that are designed to fit within a certain sized suitcase, so they can be customizable. They are also an excellent way to make sure that your suitcase stays organized throughout the length of your trip. Packing cubes are easily removed so that you don’t have to throw everything on the ground in order to find something on the bottom of the suitcase.
Pack Outfits to Mix and Match
If your trip is longer than a few days it may seem daunting to try and fit everything inside of a small carry-on suitcase. While there is no way to fit everything you might want into your bag, fitting what you need definitely can be done. Packing outfits that can mix and match is a great way to cut down on a number of clothes being brought without having to wear the same outfit every day. Pack clothes that can be layered and unlayered to mix up outfits and also keep you comfortable in changing climates. Be sure to have items that you can dress up and dress down depending on the occasion.
Bring a Backpack
Most airlines allow you to have one carry-on suitcase and one smaller bag. In order to maximize the amount of space you have, use a backpack as your second bag. If you have a purse you can store it inside of the backpack and then fill up the bag with other necessities. It is a good idea to keep toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup, and deodorant in a backpack so you don’t have to go digging through a carry-on suitcase when you need something. A backpack is also a great place to keep any electronics you may need, or want, on your trip.
Lay out everything that you are planning to pack ahead of time and carefully place each item in the suitcase. It may feel a bit like a game of Tetris, but space saving is all about creative solutions and preparation. Be sure to optimize smaller spaces by stuffing them with smaller items like socks and underwear.
Be it two days or two weeks, it is possible to fit all that you need into a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.