Doesn’t matter if you’re going away for a few days or a fortnight, with a bit of planning and simple storage techniques, you’ll be able to pack your holiday’s worth of gear into a standard carry-on.
- Over-packing is a rookie mistake, and a costly one. If your bag is bursting when you arrive, how are you going to bring all those souvenirs back home?
- Choose the right bag for your trip. Different trips have different luggage requirements. For a shorter trip, you may want a smaller bag. If you are going to a bunch of different destinations then opt for an easy-to-carry backpack instead of a cumbersome suitcase. Depending on your needs, you can find bags that have built-in toiletry kits, garment bags, shoe storage, gadget storage, and other features.
- Put larger items at the bottom and lighter items on top of the suitcase. This will make it easier to find items and will keep heavy objects from damaging lighter pieces such as souvenirs and toiletries. This will evenly distribute the weight and prevent lightweight clothes from wrinkling.
- For fragile items, purchase a smaller hard case that you can pack in your bags. Items like shampoos, creams, and lotions should be packed in water-resistant bags. Put fragile items in the center of your case. This way, they are less likely to be broken. You can also roll them up in t-shirts or other pieces of clothing for additional padding and protection.
There is a right way to pack a bag. This is it:
- Lay your suitcase flat, fully opened and pack as many socks, undergarments into the shoes as will fit, then set the shoes at the bottom of the bag.
- On top of the shoes, place heavier rolled items such as jeans, sweaters, etc. Pack them in as tightly as they’ll go. This will minimize wasted space and prevents the rolls from coming undone during transit.
- Place fragile items in the center of the bag on top of the heavy-roll layer to protect the items from breakage.
- On top of them, place folded items. You can also place these items in a dry cleaner bag to prevent wrinkling.
- Any additional lightweight items—belts, socks, etc—should then be crammed into any available nook to stabilize the packing.
- Put your toiletry bag on top of the folded layer, close the suitcase lid and you’re done.
- For the return trip, bring along a compressor bag. Carry your dirty clothes in it. These compressor bags will reduce their content’s volume, leaving you with plenty of extra room for souvenirs and gifts.
- Carry a few plastic bags with you so that you can pack dirty shoes and laundry. This allows you to take your dirty items with you without having to pack an extra bag or use a whole side of your suitcase just for dirty clothes. You can use a grocery bag, small trash bags, or even shower caps for shoes.