How you pack your bags can make or break a vacation. No it won’t make the sights any more worth seeing, nor will it reverse that food poisoning you obtained from a street vendor, but it can make things flow much more smoothly. By having what you need in an organized fashion, you can find items more quickly, have a clear understanding of what’s where in your suitcase, and save time and stress by not forcing yourself to dig every time something needs retrieved. It might sound simple or a step that would hold little value, but once experienced, it’s a step that can never be looked back upon. You’ll never want to host a messy suitcase again, we promise. In order to have the most useful suitcase around:
6. Invest in a Functional Model
Yes, the suitcase itself matters. Find one with pockets, straps, wheels, and a handle that easily retracts. That way you can ensure the model itself is working for you at all times. You won’t have to fidget with something that gets stuck or a zipper that inevitably won’t close, which can cause an incredible amount of stress while traveling. Outside pockets can also help you keep paperwork where it’s easy to reach, which is great for checking in to flights or hotels.
5. Get Travel Accessories
Whether you’re shopping in the bins with small versions of everything, or prefer to grab bottles and fill your own, these small versions will cut down serious space. There’s also a less likely chance that smaller bottles will explode (or if they do, there will be less mess to clean up). Then keep all of these items stored away in a toiletry bag. That way you can grab and take all items when showering or getting ready. No need to dig and poke around the entire bag – everything with be readily in place and ready for you.
4. Roll Clothes, Don’t Fold
In the army, rolling shirts is known as the “ranger roll”. It keeps items compact, allowing you to pack more in the same amount of space, and it eliminates the chance at wrinkles. In contrast, folding creates (and then seals) creases, and leaves clothes just a stray finger away from coming completely undone. Rolling clothes is certainly a technique to be mastered, but even amateur versions create more space in any size of suitcase.
3. Stuff Nooks and Crannies
Consider packing a suitcase like a high-stakes game of Tetris. Where, if all of the items don’t fit, you’ll be forced to live without it. In this aspect, don’t look at a suitcase as a square with set pockets, look at is as a space that can be transformed as needed. For instance, stuffing socks and underwear (or other small items) into the very depths, where larger pieces don’t fit. Corners are great for shoes, while pockets might be best for flat items or thing that need wrangled. Using them, as they’re often thought to have been made, for undergarments, swimsuits, scarves, etc., can leave them overflowing and unable to zip once again paired against its larger half.
Before putting it into your suitcase, ask yourself if each item is actually something you need. And if so, compare that need against how much space it takes up in your case. By cutting down your packing list or leaving extravagant items (that may or may not be a priority) at home, you can free up some much needed space. All without needing a bigger bag, or paying additional weight fees to your airline of choice. It’s an extremely simple step in theory, yet still one of the hardest for people to complete in actual practice.
1. Wear Your Bulkiest Items
Have heavy shoes? Taking a coat or thick sweater? Wear them on the plane to free up serious space. Sure you’ll have to take them off to make it through security, but once that’s over you’ll have a comfortable day that’s plenty warm, not to mention reusable as a pillow, when finding yourself in various airports. It’s a step that will make your travel bag lighter, while freeing up room. That way you can still pack more, but without sacrificing what you’re able to bring, or what fashion trends make it to vacation.