You don’t have to sit on top of your suitcase to make everything fit. If you’re tired of struggling with your luggage, here are just five tips for packing like a ninja.
1. Roll Your Clothes
This is a trick commonly used by flight attendants and other busy travelers. Instead of folding or stacking your clothes in a bulky, cumbersome way, use the rolling method:
– Put your garment on a flat surface.
– Fold over any collars, sleeves, zippers or adornments.
– Starting with the bottom corner of the fabric, roll up the garment like a poster or wrapping paper tube.
The finished product may not look like much, but it will take up less square footage in your luggage and allow for easy layering.
2. Use Layers
Speaking of layers, this is another simple way to get the most bang for your buck in terms of packing space. Create 2-4 “tiers” inside of your luggage with the heaviest things on the bottom and the lightest things on top. Here’s a sample of what your suitcase might look like:
Bottom layer: shoes, coats, books
Middle layer: shirts, pants, electronics
Top layer: toiletries, jewelry, makeup
By creating flat layers with your rolled-up clothes, you’ll be sure to use every inch of space without wasting any.
3. Buy Compression Tools
Compression tools come in many different varieties. The most common are packing cubes that do all of the stacking and layering for you, but you can also find garment bags that will squeeze your clothes together by sucking out all of the unnecessary air. Use these compression tools to help you with stuffed suitcases that just won’t close on their own.
4. Utilize Every Open Space
If you’re packing boots, use the empty space inside of them as a holder for socks and underwear. If you’re packing jeans, use their pockets to hold toothpaste and hair gel. If there are gaps or empty spaces in your layers, fill them with things like pajama pants since it doesn’t matter if those items get wrinkled. You can always wrap your belongings in plastic baggies if you’re worried about germs. The most important thing is that you aren’t neglecting the empty room in your suitcase that can be filled.
5. Learn the Airline’s Rules
Last but certainly not least, do your homework about your airline’s luggage policy. There might be wiggle room that you can exploit for more streamlined packing. For example, some airlines allow a “personal item” like a laptop bag in addition to your regular carry-on, so those are two pieces of luggage that you can stuff with anything that doesn’t fit inside your checked suitcase. A little research now can save you a lot of headache in the long run.
These are just a few tips for packing like a ninja. Whether you’re headed across the globe or just to your mom’s house for the weekend, these tips will help you transport everything that you need for a good trip.