It doesn’t matter where you’re going, or how long you may be travelling for – no-one wants to have to deal with the hassle of an over-packed suitcase. Although it may be easy enough for objective individuals to suggest that you simply “pack less” – only you know exactly what you’re going to need for your journey – and sometimes being prepared means finding a solution that teaches you how to pack light, without compromising on necessary items. With a little planning and some careful consideration, the right storage techniques and packing tips can allow you to fold your entire vacation’s worth of gear into a standard carry-on – meaning that you don’t have to worry about extra fees and other travel concerns. From making the most of organizational packing cubes, to settling the debate about folding or rolling clothes, this article will help you discover the best way to pack a suitcase.
STOP PACKING THINGS YOU DON’T NEED
It may seem obvious, but one of the best things you can do to save room in your luggage, is to avoid packing things that aren’t actually necessary. Most people hate the concept of packing to begin with, and leave everything until the last minute, so that they end up including more items than they actually need in a state of last-minute panic. By planning for your trip in advance and deciding exactly what you’re going to need ahead of time, you can reduce your chances of over-packing. Create an itinerary for your trip and make a list of items you’re going to need.
Often, the most important items to keep in mind are:
- Everyday clothing (socks, underwear, pants, shirts)
- Business or weather-specific clothing
- Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics)
- Travel documents (passports and boarding passes)
COORDINATE AVAILABLE SPACE WITH PACKING CUBES
Packing cubes are versatile, lightweight bags that can be used to categorize different sections of your suitcase, and maximize the space you’re using for everything from toiletries, to socks and shoes. The best packing cubes should allow you to make more of your luggage capacity, without sacrificing your suitcase system, by segmenting everything into its own smaller, stackable bag. For instance, you can have one small packing cube full of medications, and a larger cube for holding your evening outfits.
Using packing cubes to compress your clothing allows you to maximize space without the stress of untidy and disorganized luggage. They’re the perfect solution for neatness-oriented packers, who like the convenience of knowing exactly where each item is in the case of a last minute scramble. With these nifty accessories, you can avoid loose items getting lost within the abyss of your suitcase, and you can even reduce the time it takes to pack up at an end of a trip by giving each day it’s very own cube.
KNOW THE VALUE OF ROLLING AND FOLDING
Just because you’re using packing cubes to organize your luggage doesn’t mean you’ll be free from the folding or rolling debate. When making a decision between the two choices, you’ll discover that rolling can take up less space, whereas folding makes your clothes less likely to wrinkle. Often, the best idea is to make use of a combination of both methods. For instance, for wrinkle-resistant soft materials such as knits, cottons, and wools, you should be able to roll without concern – just make sure you keep the roll as tight as possible. On the other hand, starched garments and dressier items should always be folded.
Once you’ve determined which clothes you’re folding, and which you’re rolling, it’ll be time to start placing them within your suitcase. During this time, try to create a foundation by placing the heavier items towards the bottom of the luggage, and the lighter items to the top. Heavy items can withstand more weight and reduce movement, so keeping them below lighter items can help to reduce wrinkles. Even flight attendants use this method!