Become a Packing Pro with These Invaluable Tips
Master the Art of a Perfectly Packed Suitcase
Never mind the kitchen sink — sometimes it can be a challenge just getting all of your clothes into one suitcase. Packing for your trip somehow ends up being a logic puzzle where you have to put a maximum number of items into minimum space.
Packing lists can help but there is a definite art form to packing, so to make it easier for you we have put together our best packing hacks.
Roll, Don’t Fold
Maybe it’s because we’re used to folding clothes before putting them in our drawers, but our instinctive actions to fold our clothes before packing them can lead us astray.
Seasoned travelers will tell you one of the best travel packing tips is to roll up your clothing items — this will allow you to pack them more tightly and get more in! Plus, you have the added bonus of avoiding sharp creases from folds.
Use Packing Cubes
Organization is the key to successful packing. Instead of stuffing things willy-nilly into your suitcase, try using packing cubes.
These zip up bags are perfect for separating out your things — they are essentially removable compartments. You can have one for your socks and underwear, another for tops and another for bottoms.
Not only will this keep everything tidy and separate, but you won’t have to root through your whole bag to find just one thing — you just need to pull out and open up the relevant cube to get to what you’re looking for
They’re also handy to use as dirty laundry bags, and can keep grubby clothes away from your clean ones.
Shower Cap Shoe Holder
You know those shower caps you sometimes get in hotel rooms? Next time you come across one, keep it and make use of it with this packing tip!
They are the perfect size for covering your shoes. Just slot your shoes inside so the soles don’t leave marks on anything in your suitcase.
Add a Stash of Zip Lock Bags
Packing zip lock bags is easy, as they don’t take up much space, but they could be invaluable.
Small plastic bags are fantastic for storing bottles of liquids such as hand creams or shampoos, as they will contain any spills. There is no better way to store a bar of soap while you’re traveling, either.
They can be used for souvenirs, like seashells you carried back from the beach, or for storing food you swiped from the free hotel breakfast.
You can also use them for storing electronics cables — the list goes on when it comes to this packing trick!
Pack a Scarf
Packing efficiently for travel means selecting things that have more than one use.
Scarves are a great example of this, as they can pretty much do it all. A scarf can keep you warm in colder climates, add a little color to plain travel outfits, be balled up into a pillow on the plane, be spread out as a towel on the beach and even be used to wrap around yourself as a sarong or dry yourself off in a pinch.
Scarves are also fabulous for covering your shoulders when you need to be a little more conservative, such as when you enter a church or temple. One item, endless uses!
If you can’t leave home without your favorite necklace, just be sure to pack smart. Bundling all of your jewelry items into one bag can be a recipe for disaster, so use a few simple hacks to make sure nothing gets lost or broken.
Thread fine chains through straws so they don’t get tangled, use empty lip balm containers to store earrings, and fasten small studs through the small holes in buttons so they stay together and don’t get lost in your bag.
Use Your Shoes as Storage
Every little bit of space counts when you’re packing efficiently — including the insides of your shoes. Stuff your socks or other items inside your shoes to get the most out of your packing space.
Be Weight Conscious
If you’re traveling with a wheelie suitcase, pack your heavier items at the lower end of the case. That way, when it’s upright and you’re dragging it along the weight will be more ideally balanced for rolling.
Find the Right Fabrics
Some clothes just don’t take kindly to being packed tightly, no matter how carefully you roll them. To make sure your outfits still look decent when you pull them out of your suitcase, choose your fabrics carefully.
Wrinkle-resistant and washable fabrics are ideal, such as washable silk or merino wool, or microfiber fabric. Cotton, on the other hand, wrinkles easily and takes longer to dry, so it’s best to steer clear.
Our final tip can often be the hardest — pack light. Packing light in fall and winter can be particularly difficult, but there are many shortcuts you can take even in instances like this to keep your suitcase from overflowing.
You can find many travel-oriented versions of everyday items, such as travel towels. They are much lighter and take up less space than the regular ones. You can also decant liquids like shampoos and cleansers into smaller bottles to make them more lightweight.
Even though it is tempting to take 10 different outfits “just in case,” it’s much easier to take fewer clothing items, but make sure they can mix-and-match to give you more flexibility. You might groan at the thought of having such a limited wardrobe while you’re traveling, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re hauling your luggage up steep flights of stairs, or wandering around the streets trying to find your hotel.
If you can’t walk around comfortably with your bags for an hour, you should probably take a few things out.
Plus, if you can pack all of your things tightly into a carry-on bag, you’ll be able to avoid hefty baggage fees on many airlines!