Heading out on vacation soon? A weekend getaway, or a weeklong business trip in your future? If a suitcase is involved in your travel plans, then you’ll want to take note of these space saving suitcase packing tips!
My Top 5 Tips for Efficient Suitcase Packing
Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, if a suitcase is involved, then packing is too! Maximizing every inch of suitcase space is especially imperative when traveling by airplane, where baggage fees might be paid. Will all your travel gear push that checked bag over the 50 pound limit? Will your gear fit into a carry-on, allowing you to avoid checked baggage fees? What if Security opens your bags? Are your undies at risk of spilling out for all to see?
With a few simple packing strategies, your bags will be more efficiently packed and ready to hit the road, with everything nice and neatly tucked inside!
1.Organize Before You Pack
Before packing your gear, organize it! A little pre-pack planning goes a long way to ensuring you’re bringing the essentials, and not overpacking. Organize clothes by outfit. Choose a color palate that is both versatile, and easy to mix and match. Assemble outfit options before packing into your bags to ensure items offer “double-duty” wearability.
Traveler’s Tip: Center your clothing choices around neutrals with one pop of color for maximum flexibility. Avoid items that are “one-time wear” only.
2.Roll ’em Up
Ready to pack it up? Then it’s time to roll it up! Rolling clothes saves both on suitcase space as well as help reduce wrinkles. An added benefit to rolling clothes, when combined with packing cubes, is a more organized suitcase. Check out the infographic below for more tips and tricks on efficient clothing rolling techniques. They really do work!
Traveler’s Tip: Packing clothes still in their dry cleaner bags? Simply roll them up in the bags! It’s quite effective in keeping wrinkles to a minimum.
3. Pack It with Packing Cubes
Perhaps my most loved packing tools are packing cubes. Packing cubes compress clothes for more efficient utilization of packing space. An added benefit is they also keep clothes nicely organized within, and provide easy access on the go. Larger cubes are perfect for shirts and pants. Smaller cubes keep socks and underwear under control and under wraps!
Traveler’s Tip: The smaller packing cubes also make great travel storage solutions for medicines and other small items you might otherwise toss into an open suitcase.
4. Stuff Those Shoes
Packing an extra pair or two of shoes? Don’t forget to utilize that empty space inside the shoe! Unstuffed shoes are simply open spaces begging for something. Stuff them with socks or other small items that might be easily lost inside the suitcase. The inside of a shoe is also a perfect space to stash gently wrapped fragile items.
Traveler’s Tip: Concerned about dirty shoe bottoms? Place shoes inside a plastic grocery bag or a specialized shoe bag. Grocery bags can serve double duty as both shoe bags as well as dirty clothing bags while traveling.
5. Fill Up Those Nooks & Crannies
Utilize every nook and cranny inside that suitcase, from the often wasted space between the wheels, to those empty side pockets. Fill the bag in layers, stuffing empty spaces with like-sized items as you go, stashing flat soled shoes along the side walls, and placing items that don’t roll well or don’t fit into the packing cubes, flat across the top layer. Also consider:
- Wrap belts around the outer edges of the bag.
- Use socks, underwear, or small clothing items to stuff empty corners.
- Fill side pockets with flip flops, magazines, papers, or other smaller, thin items.
Traveler’s Tip: Checking that bag at the airport? Don’t forget to check the weight before you head out the door! Nothing worse than the unpleasant surprise of finding out your bag weighs over the limit, and extra fees are imposed.
Pack Your Next Vacation Into One Bag!
Yes, it really can be done! Pre-pack planning, organization, rolling, packing cubes, and efficient packing strategies have enabled us to pack a two week vacation into one carry-on bag for each person. Here are more tips to ensure you too are on your way to a slimmer, more efficient suitcase the next time you travel.
Find this infographic and more at Visualistan.
How Do You Pack Your Suitcase?
With the rising costs of checked baggage fees, and the often long waits to retrieve bags after arrival, our strategy has shifted to carry-on bags only, even if it means we wash clothes along the way. When traveling by car, we do pack a bit more, but we still keep it to a minimum. Less items along for the trip mean less items to keep track of or at risk of being left behind!
How do you pack your suitcase? Do you use packing accessories like packing cubes or compression bags? Do you roll instead of fold, your clothes? Have you been successful in packing two weeks into a carry-on bag? Do share your own packing tips!