Six Packing Tricks and Tips

by  Amanda Black | Feb 26, 2013
Packing / humonia/iStock

I'm always looking for ways to optimize my carry-on space when traveling. I used to overpack to the max. Then I went on a backpacking trip around Europe. I quickly learned that packing five pairs of shoes and four guidebooks was not going to cut it...that is, unless I wanted to hire someone else to carry my backpack, which would effectively zero-out my measly budget. Here are some things I've learned along the way for packing light and right.

Bag it up
If you want to save a ton of space, roll your clothes (don't fold them) and put them in plastic bags; a freezer bag or galloon bag will work. Suck out the air like you would if you were storing something in the freezer. You'll cut down on space, organize, and reuse!

Tissue paper
For your fancy outfits, like a nice blouse, skirt, suit, etc. use tissue paper and fold your clothes around it. There's a reason stores wrap clothing with it – the paper prevents wrinkles!

Shoe stash
If you're like me and don't like having to wash your underwear and socks while on vacation, stash pairs in your shoes so they don't eat up prime space in the rest of your suitcase.

Packing Tips /

Shampoo save
I hate it when my liquids leak. To prevent it, place them in a plastic bag and put a piece of plastic wrap over the top of your bottles before screwing the cap on. You'll never have a sticky suitcase again. And instead of packing the whole bottle, get travel sizes at your local drugstore or by requesting sample-sizes of your favorite toiletries online.

Razor protector
Reaching into my toiletries bag is often dubious after a bumpy flight. I know I put my razor face down, but it probably flipped over. Save yourself from cuts by clamping a binder clip over the blades (or just don't throw away the safety guard that it comes with).

Jewelry fixes
Stash your favorite rings and earrings in the compartments of a pill box. If you're bringing along a favorite necklace, wear it or string it through a bendy straw so that it doesn't get tangled in your bag.

Do you have any favorite packing tips? Share them below!

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