According to Trip Advisor, most major airlines charge between $30 and $35 for a first checked bag, and those costs go up by $10 to $20 for each additional bag. So it’s easy to see why it’s such a savvy move to find ways to pack more efficiently.
• Create a packing list. Just like shoppers know how much more effectively they shop for groceries with a list in hand, veteran travelers know using a list when packing ensures they’re less likely to forget must-have travel items. Think about the activities you’ve planned and each member of the family, and make a list of the items each person needs. Check off items as you pack.
• Invest in packing cubes. Specially designed packing cubes group similar items together in a suitcase. So shirts can go in one, pajamas in the other and so on. Then simply grab the cube needed when on vacation.
• Consider rolling clothes. Rather than folding clothes and placing them in a suitcase, roll them. It’s generally understood that rolling prevents creasing and clothing takes up less space. It also enables you to see items more readily in the suitcase.
• Pack heavy items first. Put the heaviest items on the bottom of the suitcase closest to the rolling wheels. This distributes the weight accordingly and makes the suitcase easier to roll. Another option is to wear your heaviest item on the flight, such as those bulky hiking boots. This can lighten the load on flights that charge overages for heavy luggage.
• Segregate carry-on belongings. Use plastic zip-top bags or small packing cubes to separate key items in the carry-on. This way you can easily reach your earbuds for the flight or grab those passports and other IDs without hassle.
• Bring a laundry bag. Whether it’s an actual laundry bag or a kitchen trash bag, have a way to corral your dirty clothes for the trip back. Stash a fresh dryer sheet in the bag to mask the smell of soiled clothes. Plastic bags also can store wet swimsuits for the trip home.
• Use every bit of space. Employ the Russian nesting doll concept when packing. Store socks inside of shoes, tuck underwear inside of bra cups, and use a belt to help keep a collar on a shirt in the right shape.
Packing for a trip takes finesse. With some handy hacks, all travelers can perfect their packing techniques.