Feeling overwhelmed after lugging your big suitcase out of the closet? We don’t envy you. We know that packing can be a pain.
No one wants to try to hoist an overloaded piece of luggage over every step and bump that the wheels won’t clear, or worse yet, pay fees for overweight baggage. So next time you’re packing, keep these tips handy and make the most of your suitcase space.
Keep on Rolling
You might be tempted to fold your clothes neatly in the suitcase, but if you’re looking for a space-saver, think outside the square. Specifically, go round. As it turns out, rolling your clothes actually takes up less space – especially if you’re packing T-shirts, which can be rolled together a couple at a time.
If you really want to go the extra mile, store clothes in airless baggies or clothes compressors. With clothes that tightly packed, you’ll have plenty more room for your mid-trip purchases.
Wear It Again
We aren’t condoning wearing dirty clothes, per se. But if you’re not working up much of a sweat, you can get a couple of wears out of your outfits. Similarly, if you are a bit more active, but you have access to a washer and dryer in your hotel, you can leave behind a couple pairs of pants and shirts. Just plan some time in your itinerary to do the wash.
Many hotels and hostels also offer laundry services, which might be your best bet if your budget allows. Call ahead to find out about your hotel’s particular amenities, as well as local laundering services. Make sure to ask about their hours as many laundry services aren’t open on Sundays.
If It Fits, Ship It
Are you trying to sit on your suitcase to get it closed? If so, you’re probably going to get hit with a substantial overweight-baggage fee. Rather than schlepping that heavy gear around with you, use FedEx, USPS or UPS to ship your luggage. It might worry you to hand your bag off and not see it until you get to your destination, but guess what? You’re doing that when you check your luggage at the airport anyway.
FedEx also highlights some additional benefits of shipping your luggage, such as not having to manhandle your suitcase around a crowded airport, as well as the ability to ship anywhere – not just FedEx service locations, but your hotel or even your home.
Wear Your Heavier Items
Maybe you just have to bring along your new leather boots, but they’d take up a lot of precious space in your suitcase. Don’t pack ‘em … wear ‘em! Same thing goes for a heavy coat if you think you’ll need one – you can always take it off and carry it on your arm in the airport and stash it overhead on the airplane.
If you just can’t avoid packing heavier items, pack them first. This will create a sturdy foundation that should help keep some lighter items from shifting around and getting damaged during travel.
More Packing Tips
Do you know anyone whose favorite part of travel is packing? Neither do we. But we all do it, and doing it well makes all the difference on your trip. These great tips might just get you excited to pack your next bag! (And don’t forget our tips on avoiding baggage fees!)
Our packing tips don’t just stop at your luggage; make sure you know what you can and can’t throw into your carry-on before you head off to the airport, too.
Got a great packing tip of your own? Share it in the comments! And if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, you must check out this video showing you how to pack a carry on bag – it’s pretty amazing how many items of clothing you can get into such a small bag. It may be slightly unpractical for most situations (they don’t account for shoes, toiletries, etc. and it would be a pain to get any one item out if you’re only going on a short trip), but it is pretty amazing to watch, nonetheless.
And before you do your packing-pro strut to your terminal, remember to pre-book your airport parking and avoid the parking hassles – reserve your spot today!