Pack smarter, not harder! Read more to learn 5 expert tips on how to pack a suitcase efficiently from the frequent flyers who know best!

Try as we might, some of us just can’t seem to grasp the concept of packing light. When the time comes to prepare for a trip, we’re tempted to load up everything but the kitchen sink. Nevermind that usually we end up bringing many items we will never need and packing only half of those that we actually do. If you’re one of the millions of travelers that struggle with packing efficiently, this post is for you. Read on to learn how to pack a suitcase, with just the essentials, no matter where life takes you next!

1. Roll it Up

Packing A Suitcase - AssistAnt TravelThere are only a few basic rules when it comes to the popular military choice of packing called Rolling. These include the following:

  • Calculate the exact number of outfits necessary for your trip
  • Start with underwear and t-shirts as the core of each outfit, then wrap additional layers around the center
  • Wrap the lightest items closest to the center and the bulkiest items (such as trousers, sweaters, and blazers) last
  • Roll the items for each outfit into a neat, tightly-bundled cylinder
  • Place each cylinder into your suitcase, careful not to allow the individual rolls to loosen as you are packing
  • To ensure that your outfits stay neatly in place when packing, secure a rubber band around each roll before placing it into your case

This will help you to eliminate random items that you haven’t coordinated with the rest of your wardrobe for the week. And, it will help you to avoid packing items that are unnecessary, and probably won’t get worn while you’re away from home.

2. Bundle Technique

It’s probably one of the most-shared bits of advice for saving space when you travel. Still, there are plenty of us who have yet to jump on board with bundling our clothing when packing for trips. If “the bundle method” is still new to you, not to worry. It’s so simple that anyone can get it right. And, it’ll probably only take one try until you’ve mastered the art yourself. Essentially, you are layering your clothes at opposite angles on a flat surface and then wrapping them around a central pack of your small items. There are many tutorials about this efficient method.

3. Organize by Compartments

Another one of the top secrets recommended by practically every expert traveler you’ll meet is to organize your items into compartments. Using packing compartments not only saves space, but it helps you to keep your items organized before, after, and during your trip. There are several types of packing compartments available that are made expressly with the space-conscious traveler in mind. Packing cubes or space-saving packs can be purchased online and color-coordinated to keep the contents of your suitcase clearly separated. When using compartments of multiple sizes, it’s usually best to use the largest compartment for your clothing. Then, you can use the next size down to store an extra pair of shoes, along with your socks or hosiery needed for your trip. If possible, limit the pairs of shoes for any trip to one pair of casual, comfortable shoes, which you can wear to board the airplane and another pair of dressier shoes that you’ll wear for dinners out or similarly formal events. Ladies can save additional space by choosing a dressy low or flat-heeled shoe. If you must pack boots or athletic shoes, try to fit them into the side or outer compartments and stuff them with other necessary essentials.

4. Use Space-Saving Hacks for Packing Toiletries

When packing toiletries for a trip, never, ever attempt to pack full-sized bottles of shampoo, body wash, lotions, etc. into your suitcase. Not only does this take up entirely too much of wasted space, but these items also tend to be quite heavy. Toiletries can quickly pack on extra pounds and weigh down your suitcase, which can result in a major inconvenience when carrying your suitcase down long stretches of crowded airport terminals. Instead, try to fit each item into the smallest possible container. If you have any extra hotel or trial-size items at home, pack those and then toss the containers before you head home. This will free up a small amount of space for any souvenirs or trinkets you might have acquired while traveling. If the hotel that you’re staying at offers their own miniature soaps and shampoo, squeeze them into a side pocket for future travels.

5. Pack Only What You Need

Perhaps it goes without saying that if you’re trying to pack light, then you should only pack what you need for your trip. But, many of us have trouble when it comes to applying this practical solution to our real-life ventures. It can be helpful to create a checklist with the bare necessities needed for your trip. Then, be careful to stick only to those items included on your list. Avoid the temptation to throw in extra, last-minute items. These can often be the difference-makers in packing light versus packing way too much. Also, remember that you will tend to fill whichever suitcase you choose to take with you. With that in mind, choose the most sensible size suitcase for your getaway. In other words, choose the smallest-possible sized suitcase that still accommodates the items necessary for your destination.

6. Maximize Every Inch of Space

You will find that you won’t need as large of a suitcase if you maximize every inch of a smaller-sized suitcase. This means filling each pocket, including those on the side, as well as any inner and outer compartments. To eliminate the need for an additional carry-on, pack flight essentials into the outermost compartment of your suitcase. Include a thin, zippered computer bag for your laptop and separate pack for headphones, a USB charger, and power cords. Finally, include a small wallet and a cosmetic bag for any necessary travel items, such as your passport, lip gloss, powder, and hand sanitizer.

Make Your Next Trip Easy & Effortless

For some people, traveling away from home may be exciting, but it can also breed anxiety. Along with figuring out how to pack a suitcase, it seems as if there are a million other things to think about. Where will I stay? What will I do there? How will I get to my hotel? Just the thought is enough to keep many people from ever leaving home. But, there’s a world of adventure waiting for you out there. And, making the trip is totally worth the trouble it takes to travel. So, let us take the worry out of planning your next trip. Contact us today to let us take care of the details, so all you have to do is enjoy the destination!

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