Whether packing is a hurdle or one more exciting leap closer to your summer vacation, we have 15 packing hacks ready to help make the most of your trip and your luggage space.
1. Brown or black. Shoes take up the most space in a suitcase. Decide what color shoes you want to bring first and plan your outfits accordingly. Plan on wearing your biggest shoes while in transit to make the most of your suitcase.
2. Roll your clothes. Rolling your shirts, shorts, and pants gives you more room in your suitcase, prevents wrinkles, and it also allows you a better view of your clothes without having to dig through them. This is how flight attendants do it, and they would know best.
3. Belt basics. Coil your belt into a circle and use it to keep collared shirts clean and uncrushable.
4. Reuse: Breath mint containers. Plastic breath mint containers are a small, sealable way to carry earrings, bobby pins, cuff links, and more.
5. Reuse: Shower caps. Wrap your shoes in a shower cap and protect your clothing in your suitcase from snags, dirt, and whatnot. Several hotels include them in their welcome baskets, so you can always add this for the trip home.
6. Reuse: Pill container. Day-of-the-week pill containers are also an amazingly savvy way to transport jewelry and other small items. And also your multivitamin.
7. Reuse: Old buttons. If you wear a lot of stud earrings (and tend to lose them), pair them up with an old button by fastening them through the button holes.
8. Reuse: Medium binder clips. Protect your razor while traveling by clamping a medium binder clip over the blade head. Clips are also great for organizing cords, keeping business (or playing) cards together, and organizing receipts.
9. Reuse: Contact cases. Contact cases are perfect for small dollops of foundation, concealer, face lotion, lipstick and more. Just remember to include them with your liquid items when if placing them in your carryon.
10. Resealable plastic bags. You’ll need a quart-sized one for your 3oz liquids if you’re traveling by plane, and you can use them to wrangle all sorts of things from hair bands and neck ties to charging cables and makeup brushes. They also make a great makeshift waterproof protection for your phone if you head to the beach (the touch screen works through the plastic).
11. Use plastic wrap to prevent leaks. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the beach only to find that your sunscreen has gotten everywhere. Prevent catastrophe (and sunburn) by unscrewing the lid to the bottle and sealing the opening with a 3” square of plastic wrap before putting the lid back on.
12. De-crease wrinkles. Use dry-cleaning bags when packing clothing that wrinkles easily. Simply lay the clothing flat within the bag and then fold (or roll) as you normally would. The plastic will act as a barrier and help prevent creases.
13. Make the most of your shoes. Tennis and slip-on shoes have room for socks and items that could benefit from a little stability.
14. Bring your own water bottle. Save money, save water, and save the planet by bringing an empty refillable water bottle through airport security and filling it up on the other side of the checkpoint. You’ll have room for it because you’ve already taken our advice in the above steps.
15. Save room! Leave a little room to spare in your suitcase for shopping, souvenirs, and reconfiguring. You never know what you’ll find on vacation, and it’s easier to have room than make room (or pay for shipping).