Packing for vacation can be one of the most stressful aspects of the entire process. It’s difficult to remember or anticipate everything you might need during the trip, and it can be easy to add too many unnecessary outfits or pairs of shoes and then realize you don’t have room for last-minute essentials like phone chargers or a toothbrush. Here are some tips for packing effectively and making the most out of your luggage space.
- Roll your clothes
Rolling your clothes up into cylinders creates more space in your suitcase for bulkier items that can’t be compacted, like shoes or electronics.
- Keep valuables with you
While it’s always tempting to make your carry-on bag as light as possible to save yourself a shoulder ache, it’s best not to put any of your valuables in your checked luggage. If any of your bags get lost or stolen, it’s important for you to retain essentials like your ID, passport, phone, and any medication you may need.
- Bring a bag for souvenirs
Instead of underpacking, which can cause items to shift in transit and potentially break, consider bringing a compact bag that folds out. When you return you can use this bag for momentos and not worry about overfilling your bag on the way back.
- Pack the right kind of clothes
Make sure to consider the kind of clothes you’re packing before folding or rolling them up. Woven fabrics will wrinkle easily, whereas stretchy fabrics are less prone to retaining creases. If you are determined to take a specific outfit, consider bringing a compact iron or steamer with you, especially if you don’t know if one will be available at your destination.
- Bring plastic bags
Plastic bags of various types are useful for storing wet clothes, separating liquids at TSA checkpoints, or holding laundry. You can even put them between different layers of clothing to reduce the likelihood that delicate items will catch on something else and be damaged.
- Make a list
As with many things in life, being prepared before you start packing makes the process go much more smoothly. Create a list in advance when you aren’t stressed or in a hurry so that you can carefully consider what you might need before you have to leave.