Are you the type of person who struggles to pack for vacation, sometimes having to sit on your luggage to get it shut? Or perhaps you’re the one fighting to pull your luggage through the airport as you rush to the terminal? If this is you, or you simply wish to pack more efficiently to leave room for souvenirs, enjoy these eight great packing tips guaranteed to save luggage space!
- Think lightweight and wrinkle free. Silk and microfibers are among the lightest textiles. Not only are these non-bulky clothing fabrics fashionable, but they ultimately save room in your luggage. Synthetic materials, such as polyester or polyamide, generally take up less space in luggage and are extremely wrinkle proof. Bamboo, nylon, lyocell, modal and Merino wool are some other good wrinkle free choices and allow you to leave your travel steamer or clothing iron at home. Though cotton and linen are enjoyed by many travelers, note that they may easily wrinkle.
- Choose clothes that do double-duty. Rather than pack a sundress and a coverup, choose one item that can serve as both to wear over a swimsuit. Also pack key neutral items that you can mix or match to maximize the number of outfits you can wear. For example, a black skirt can be paired with almost any blouse or top of your choosing to create new looks.
- Learn packing techniques such as rolling clothes rather than folding to save space in your luggage. The goal is to fold things into the smallest size possible and leave some space to bring home travel memorabilia or souvenirs for the kids. YouTube offers many video demonstrations of folding techniques to maximize luggage space. Along the same line, do all you can to pack compactly. For example, socks can be placed inside shoes and underwear can be packed into bra cups so that no space is wasted.
- Use packing cubes. These handy zipper case sets serve to limit, consolidate, and organize what you’re taking. Limit what you take to what fits inside them. Packing cubes can also be used to contain small items such as electronics, jewelry, and toiletries that may otherwise end up tangled or lost on the bottom of the luggage. As a bonus, because clothes are categorized into the cubes, it makes unpacking at your destination a breeze. Tip: Do read product reviews before purchasing packing cubes to avoid cheaply made brands that may easily rip.
- Only pack what you need. Why bother bringing bulky beach towels or a big blow dryer if your host or hotel is willing to provide them for you? To avoid packing unnecessary items, do your research before you pack. Read about hotel accommodations or call your host to inquire about provisions. Many luxury hotels will supply soap and other basic toiletries, meaning there’s less for you to bring. Headed on a two-week vacation? Read the 10-day weather forecast so that you can dress appropriately for the weather and avoid unnecessarily packing bulky wear such as coats that you may not need.
- Pack minis. No reason to shove a giant 16-fluid-oz. container of hair shampoo into your luggage that risks spilling when a travel size will suffice. Items like toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorant can also be purchased in convenient, compact travel sizes, thereby taking up much less room in your luggage than full sizes.
- Avoid packing multiples. Rather than pack two pairs of high heels, pack one versatile set that can work with most of your wardrobe. Be practical when packing. For example, avoid bringing double sets of sunglasses, rather pick one pair that will go well with most outfits. Overpacking can be overwhelming, so when in doubt, remember your goal to travel light. Simply say no to doubles.
- Use airtight compression bags for puffy clothes. Compression bags are available in multiple sizes and can help save a significant space in luggage. While some require vacuums, others do not and work by rolling and removing air. Thus, they provide a perfect space saving storage solution for bulky travel items.
For many, the struggle to pack, close, and transport luggage through a busy airport is real. However, with the above tips, you can put an abrupt end to packing misery by being informed, organized, sensible, practical, minimalistic, and wise when it comes to arranging items in your luggage. Know that packing like a pro is well within your capabilities with the above tips!