Getting ready for a trip? You need these packing suitcase hacks! From carry-on hacks to the best packing cubes you can buy, keep reading to see how you can pack more than ever – and stress less while you do it.
Gearing up for a vacation is exciting. But packing your suitcase? Not so much.
Figuring out what you need to bring for a long weekend or a big trip can be overwhelming. And finding a way to fit all that stuff into your luggage can be even tougher.
Whether you’re limited by the size of your suitcase or limitations by your airline, you’ve got to find a way to make it work. Which, in some cases, is easier said than done.
But I’ve got some good news: it’s definitely not impossible. With these hacks, you can make the packing process a breeze and be on your way to your vacation destination with less stress. And all of the stuff you need to enjoy your travels!
And if you thrive on checklists and printables, then you’ll love our Road Trip Planner. It will save you time and sanity! Or get our Travel Planner. You can use it to plan any type of trip that you want to take.
Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
Don’t Want To Check A Bag? Try These Carry-On Hacks!
With rare exceptions, checking your suitcase for your flight isn’t free. You’ll have to pay extra to stow your luggage – and plan for extra time at the airport to check it in and collect it after your flight.
If you’d rather not deal with that headache, you can skip the checked bag and bring a carry-on instead.
While there are limits on the amount of stuff you can bring, with a little planning, you might be surprised to see just how much you can fit into your carry-on. Here are just a few ways you can maximize your carry-on luggage and avoid checking a bag on your next flight:
Know your airline’s requirements.
Each airline has slightly different requirements around carry-on luggage. Most require carry-on luggage to fit within certain dimensions, likely within an inch or two of 22″ x 14″ x 9″.
Some airlines also impose weight limitations on carry-on luggage that you’ll need to be aware of. And some airlines – like Spirit and Frontier – will actually charge you for a carry-on bag, allowing only a personal item at no cost.
You can always find this information on your airline’s website, so do your research before you start to pack. By knowing what you’re working with before you get started, you’ll set yourself up for a successful trip with your carry-on luggage.
Maximize your storage space.
Pick a bag that takes advantage of your airline’s maximum carry-on size – and fill it to the brim. While it’s smart to strategically fold and pack your carry-on, you’ll often find “dead” spaces in your luggage where nothing really fits. You can pack socks, underwear, small toiletries, and other items that don’t necessarily need to be folded in those gaps and corners to maximize space – and ensure your stuff doesn’t shift around too much en route to your destination.
Wear bulky items.
One of the best things you can do when traveling with a carry-on is keep big, bulky items out of your bag. A pair of boots or a winter coat will take up a ton of space. So wear those items onto the plane instead of packing them away. You can always take them off once you’ve boarded and stow them under your seat or in the overhead compartment.
Don’t forget about your personal item!
Most airlines will allow you to bring a carry-on in addition to a personal item. That personal item can be a purse, a backpack, or in some cases, even a small duffel bag. By making the most of your personal item, you can add valuable packing space for the stuff that you need when you aren’t checking a bag.
If you carry a small purse, consider bringing a backpack as your personal item and putting your purse inside.
Space-Saving Packing Techniques For Any Suitcase
Regardless of whether you’re bringing a backpack, a carry-on, or a full suitcase on your next adventure, there are some space-saving packing hacks that can help you. Here are just a few techniques you can try to squeeze the most stuff into your luggage:
Make – and stick to – a packing list.
It might sound a little obvious, but one of the best things you can do to save space when packing your luggage is to make a plan.
Packing a suitcase without a plan is a risky move. You’re risking forgetting something important. And you’re likely to pack more than you need.
Instead, sit down and make a detailed list of exactly what you need to bring. Plan each day. Anticipate the weather, think about your activities, and be realistic about what makes sense. Then, use it as a checklist to ensure you are bringing what you intended – no more, no less.
Pro Tip – For even more helpful list templates and other resources to stay organized, check out the Take Action Printables binder! And if you’re going on a road trip, use the Cluttker Keeper Road Trip Planner to keep you organized!
Roll your clothes.
If you aren’t already rolling your clothes, the idea might sound a little strange. But believe me, it’s an effective way to save a ton of space and avoid those pesky wrinkles! This quick guide from Reader’s Digest will show you how it’s done.
Use packing cubes to optimize and organize.
Packing cubes are soft-sided containers you can use to organize your clothes and necessities in your luggage. There is so much to love about them! They make it easy for you to fit more into your luggage. They also make it easy to stay organized and find what you’re looking for once you’ve reached your destination.
Some packing cubes even help you condense your belongings. They do this by compressing them with additional zippers and straps you can tighten once they’re filled.
Choose versatile clothing.
An easy way to save space when packing? Bring less stuff by sticking to items that you can mix and match. Pack one or two pairs of shoes that can work with pretty much anything. Apply the same philosophy to other stuff – jackets, sweaters, even jeans.
Consider doing laundry on your trip.
Nobody wants to do chores while they travel. But washing clothes on vacation can keep your luggage from overflowing.
Look for an Airbnb with a washer and dryer or a hotel that offers a laundry service. Then, take advantage of it during a quiet morning or lazy afternoon.
Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
More Travel Organization tips
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