Even if you're getting ready for the vacation of your dreams, packing can be stressful. You don't want to forget anything, but you also don't want to make the mistake of overpacking and bringing things you'll never end up using. As your departure date grows nearer, you realize you've been slacking on packing and now there isn't any room left in your suitcase for souvenirs. Fortunately, we've got some tips to help you reclaim some space inside your bag.
Roll or Lay Your Clothes Flat Instead of Folding Them
Like most people, you're probably used to folding your clothes. While this has its benefits, it's not helping you when it comes to saving space. Instead, try rolling your clothes or laying them flat and stacking them. This will save much more space inside your bag. This also won't make any difference in terms of wearability, plus you can bring more of your wardrobe in your carry on.
Put Your Heaviest Items at the Bottom
Placing your heaviest items, such as walking shoes, at the bottom of your suitcase has a few benefits. First, it will help with the overall weight distribution and keep your suitcase from toppling over. You also won't have to struggle to dig around your bulky items to when searching for your pajamas.
This also helps when it comes to moving your suitcase around — especially if it's soft. Lighter, easily compressed items on top will help you fit your suitcase into tight overhead bins and narrow hotel closets.
Pack Smaller Items Inside Larger Ones
Throughout your entire packing process, keep an eye out for unused space that would otherwise go to waste. One example is shoes. You could leave them empty, but they're an ideal spot for packing extra socks. If you're traveling with kids, you can probably fit their shoes inside your shoes.
Glasses cases and contact cases are another spot to keep in mind. These can be ideal spots to tuck earbuds, medication, toiletries and more. Sure, this can mean more time unpacking when you get to your destination and more packing before you return home, but it's a great way to utilize space.
Avoid Using Pouches or Cases for Everything
Instead of bringing a pouch for all your smaller items, try to make use of existing space instead. Bringing multiple pouches and cases fills space and while you can try to pack everything to the brim, this is still less than ideal.
Certain things need protection like glasses. That said, do you really need that pouch for toiletries when you can stash them somewhere else in your bag? Probably not.
Wear Your Bulkiest or Heaviest Items
One of the easiest ways to save space in your suitcase is to know what not to pack. This doesn't always mean leaving things at home though. If you're traveling to a winter destination and need to bring a bulky sweater or overcoat, but can't afford the space, just wear it instead.
On the other hand, make sure to stop and ask yourself whether you really need to bring everything.
Use a Soft Suitcase
This is less a tip about saving space and more about making sure there is more space to fill. People tend to prefer hard suitcases because of the perceived extra protection. That said, a soft suitcase can still offer plenty of protection, and has the added benefit of being flexible and adaptable. You don't want your suitcase to be bursting at the seams, but if you really want to pack in that final piece of clothing, a soft suitcase can make the difference.
Don't Pack at the Last Minute
Finally, the easiest way to make sure you have room for everything you need is not to wait until the last minute. Take your time, make a list of everything you think you'll need, then go over it again with the idea of cutting anything unnecessary.
Once you've got a plan, you can start slowly filling your bag and think about the best way to optimize storage space. If you take your time, you might find you have so much space left you can bring some things you initially cut from your list.