Try These Pro Packing Tips to Travel Lighter

If I pack in advance instead of waiting until the last minute, I can usually get a few weeks of clothing into a carry-on.

This includes room for anything that I might decide to bring home. The key is having a clear picture of your trip to prepare the items you’ll need for travel and having the discipline to leave everything else behind.

Here are a few pr0-packing tips to help you get the most out of your suitcase’s limited space.

Pro Packing Tips

1.  Plan to leave 1/3 of your suitcase empty. As you’re packing, challenge yourself to leave extra space in your suitcase. Not only does that push you to pack less, it also leaves extra room for souvenirs. Leaving a small space for souvenirs helps travelers to be thoughtful about what they are bringing home so they aren’t wasting money on junk drawer souvenirs. Plus, fewer items in a suitcase means you’ll have no problem lifting your carry-on to the overhead bin!

 2.  Plan your outfits in advance. Lay out all your clothes and stick to a similar color scheme. This allows you to mix and match tops and bottoms to create lots of unique outfits. By choosing outfits with the same colors, travelers can also take fewer accessories like belts, shoes, and jewelry because everything will match.

 3.  Plan to do laundry. Get double wear from each outfit by washing clothes halfway through your trip. Many hotels are equipped to handle laundry, so it’s convenient and costs less than extra baggage fees. You could also handwash your clothes and let them air dry if you’re staying in the same place for a few days. Doing laundry lets you pack fewer clothes that can last throughout your entire trip.

 4.  Pack early. I packed a week prior to my last cruise. I could add or remove items throughout the week so that on travel day, I was sure that I wasn’t forgetting anything. I took my time and avoided any last minute panics. It was a huge change over the usual – which involved runs to various stores for left-behind items.

 5.  Roll your clothes.  My mom was in the military and she taught me how to roll clothes to best utilize tight spaces. I’m not sure why rolling lets you get more items into a suitcase than folding, but it works.

 6.  Use travel size items.  Even if you check your luggage, use travel size bottles to hold your toiletries. Also, check your department store for testers of your favorite fragrances.  Every bit of extra space is a plus.  And just in case you love souvenirs,

 7.  Take an empty or mostly empty cloth bag as a carry-on or personal item.  You could also pack it in your suitcase.  This will serve as additional storage for your travel purchases.

 Together, I’m sure that we have enough packing tips to prevent excess baggage fees.  So share your tips!

 Need some inspiration?  Check out this guy’s supernatural packing abilities.

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  • Hi there! This post couldn’t be written much better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

  • That is an amazing idea! It would be a wonderful legacy to a country that you visit. I’m a total bookworm and would love to share a few books with others. Thanks!

  • Good post with great tips. I’ve never tried the 1/3 tip. My suitcase really is one you’d use for a weekend so there’s usually just enough room.
    I get laughed at by my friends because they think I take so little when I travel. But I learned through experience and from friends who’ve arrived and their luggage didn’t. I make sure whatever I carry can be stowed in the overhead. That way, when I get off I don’t waste time waiting for luggage. Travel is a hassle as it is, why add more stress? Last time I went to London, I took the train into Paddington and had to lug my (small) suitcase up stairs and a walk long distance to the next train. It would have been so much more stressful if I’d had a larger suitcase.

    • It’s nice to hear from a like-minded traveler! I’ve never had the experience of having lost luggage, but it happened to my mother. When the luggage arrived at the hotel, the handle was broken. Good thing that the vacation seems to erase all the pre-vacation stress!