Updated: Feb 16, 2020
Vacations are fun; packing is not. The tedious arranging, the cram fest, the squat attempt at holding everything down so you can make the zippers touch. “Difficult” is an understatement—packing borders the definition of a full-blown nightmare.
That is until you crack the code on how to do it right. See, packing is an art. An elite group of people—by the name of wanderlusters —has nailed it… and so can you. The next time you bring out the luggage, try these 10 tricks to packing it like a boss.
There’s an answer to your prayers with packing cubes, aka compression bags.
The objective is two-fold: 1) To keep your clothes sorted and 2) To make more room.
With packing cubes, you’re able to fold or roll your clothes individually to fit into the square/rectangle. It blocks out air and keeps everything as streamlined as possible.
2. Use the Pyramid to Your Advantage :
Rather than throw all your clothes into the suitcase at random, utilize the pyramid approach. This approach is straightforward: Put your heavy, bulky items at the bottom, and pile up the lighter items as you move up. Don’t forget to put your first-night items at the very top! Anything you may need for the first night of your trip needs to be accessible.
3. Pick Your Outfits:
It may seem silly to go into fashionista mode for your vacation, but there’s a reason for it. You shouldn’t be packing clothing items individually; you should be packing outfits. This way, you’re two steps ahead of the game. When you get to your destination and you’re ready for your date-night outfit, you’ll already know exactly what you’re wearing. Plus, it avoids the added stress of realizing you packed two counterparts that don’t exactly match.
4. Stop Saying “Just in Case” :
At some point or another, we all succumb to the “just in case” syndrome. It’s the principle that, when packing, all you can think about is what you might need and you lose a sense of pragmatism. You may pull out a pair of hiking boots (for your trip to the Bahamas) and say, “I’ll bring these just in case.” If you want to optimize your packing strategy, get this phrase out of your vocabulary and pack only the things you know you will use.
5. Choose Versatile Shoes :
If you pack a different pair of shoes for every individual outfit, you’ll end up wasting a lot of space. It’s always a tough call (because shoes are life), but you’ll thank yourself in the end. Try to aim for 3 pairs: one for nighttime events, one for the daytime, and one for activewear.
6. Roll, Don’t Fold:
Packing your suitcase isn’t like doing the laundry—so you shouldn’t be folding your clothes! Rolling your clothes allows you to compress them and create more space in the suitcase. Don’t worry, it won’t cause them to crease! Target the small items like shirts, boxers, leggings, etc. to be rolled.
7. Bring Dirty Clothes Bag (and Leave Room!)
When packing, dirty clothes are the ultimate enemy. If you don’t separate them from the rest of your clothes, you’ll end up with a smelly suitcase. But when you do separate them, you should do it in the most efficient way possible so that you don’t take up too much room. To combat both of these nuisances, clear some space ahead of time in one of the pockets of your suitcase. Bring an empty bag and load it up with your dirty clothes. Piece of cake!
8. Write it Out:
If you want to stay pristinely organized, make a list of everything you plan to bring for your travels. Separate your list into different categories so you account for everything.
9. Opt for Travel Sizes:
Travel-sized items are there for a reason and one reason only: Travel. When you’re packing toiletries, make a trip to the store to buy travel-sized items to store everything. It will make your life easier and cleaner!
10. No Empty Space Left Behind:
Empty space is good in some scenarios but not when it comes to your suitcase. That doesn’t mean you should pack your suitcase to the brim, but you should be aware of any pockets of empty space so that you can find a way to fill them. If you spot a small empty space, fill it with a pair of gloves or a book. It’s not rocket science, but it’s important to be mindful of your underutilized space.