As soon as you book your next trip, you’re likely going to start dreading the process of packing. Whether you’re leaving for a few days or a month-long vacation, packing is the least excitable part of any travel excursion. That being said, it doesn’t have to be a laborious, irritating process. Here are five tips for packing your suitcase efficiently without wanting to forget the trip altogether.
1. Roll it.
Sounds crazy, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Rolling your pants and shirts can save a substantial amount of space in your suitcase. Furthermore, it’s an effective way to make sure that your clothing doesn’t get (too) wrinkly when it’s squeezed into a tight compartment. Begin by folding the clothing item vertically to reduce its width, then roll it from the bottom, up. Once it’s compact, place it into the suitcase, and voila!
2. Don’t say no to backpacks.
A backpack may not be the most fashionable item to have on you while you travel, but it can be one of the most helpful ones as you look to pack efficiently.
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“My carry-on is a sturdy backpack (made to carry a computer),” says Bitsy Kelly, world traveler and vice president of Corporate Communications for Outrigger Hotel & Resorts. “This leaves my hands free to carry tickets/jackets/coffee when going through airports. It can also substitute as my ‘personal’ item thus allowing me to carry a larger carry-on bag when needed.”
3. Pack disposable items.
Think of items that you can possibly throw away once you’re finished using them – bottles of shampoo, soap or lotion.
“This is a great weight saver on the way back if you pick up things on your trip,” says Jeremy Clement, founder of ProjectExpedition.com, an online travel marketplace.
4. Use your shoes wisely.
When you pack your shoes into your suitcase, don’t just forget about them – use them to your advantage. Place smaller items into your shoes, such as jewelry and charging cables, to save space in your suitcase. Fill them with socks and other accessories that would otherwise need another spot in your bag.
5. Make a list.
It sounds like a tedious task (and one that you might not want to do), but a list can end up saving you an ample amount of space at the end of the day. By making a list, you’ll have everything you need laid out in front of you. This can reduce the odds of over-packing and make sure that you don’t forget key items like undergarments. As an added bonus, list making can limit the amount of stress around your trip as a whole.
Whether you’re traveling half way across the world or just a hundred miles away, your suitcase doesn’t have to be your worst enemy. These five tips can help you rethink the packing process and become a pro at traveling efficiently on a regular basis.