It’s time to hit the road for your long-awaited vacation—next stop, paradise. However, first, you have to start packing. Staring at that empty suitcase might immediately turn your excitement into a panic. After all, packing can be stressful leading up to a trip. Lucky for you, there are several packing hacks to help you double the space in your suitcase, so you don’t have to fork out money on a second bag.
- Plan Outfits Ahead
Typically, overpacking is the result of insufficient planning. Especially if you are planning a longer trip, plan out all your outfits early. By planning enough outfits for all the days you plan to vacation, you eliminate confusion and bring only the necessities. Additionally, it makes the trip less stressful because you don’t have to think about what you’re wearing.
Consider choosing pieces you can mix and match or sticking to a color scheme to make the job even easier. You can also wear your bulkier layers in the airport, so they take up less space. Don’t take something you “might” wear to save space for souvenirs on the way home.
- Bring a Sunglass Case
No summer vacation is complete without the right pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses are often the essential element and the last detail you need to complete your summer look. Depending on your facial features, and the outfit you plan to wear, you may choose to bring some Tom Ford sunglasses, aviators, or wayfarers. Nevertheless, it is essential you invest in a sunglass case to keep your sunglasses protected.
You can throw them in your backpack or your purse while walking around on vacation and not have to worry about them breaking. Furthermore, an empty sunglass case makes the perfect storage unit for headphones, cables, and small charging devices. You can also use it to keep all the similar items together in one place, making them easier to find and less likely to get lost or damaged.
- Roll Clothing
Folding your clothes is no longer in vogue. Instead, roll your clothes before packing them in your suitcase so you can save space and keep everything compact. Even better, consider packing your rolled clothes in reusable and compressible plastic bags to reduce the amount of space all your items take up. It will spare your clothes from getting wrinkled and save you the hassle of finding an iron, so you can look presentable when you reach the destination.
You can also use packing cubes to separate different items and keep everything organized. This makes it easier to see exactly what you have when you arrive at your destination. Additionally, store shoes in dust bags so they don’t get the rest of your clothes dirty.
- Use Dryer Sheets
Placing dryer sheets in your suitcase is a great way to keep everything smelling fresh. All you have to do is throw them in with your luggage. In case you forget to grab dryer sheets, toss in some of those great smelling hotel soaps in your bag, and your clothes will smell great. What’s more, once you are back home, you will have soap that will remind you of your fantastic vacation.
- Look up TSA Requirements
Finally, you have packed your suitcase and are ready to fly, but what happens when you don’t follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage?
If you have a large bottle of shampoo or a full-size gel deodorant in your carry-on luggage, the security line and TSA will confiscate your items, holding you while they search your luggage. So, to save time in the airport, ensure you are familiar with the agency’s rules—all liquids brought onto flights must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller and inside a single, clear, quart-size-zip-top bag.
Additionally, consider finding out which items according to the TSA are considered liquids or gels and are thereby subject to the 3-1-1 rule. Food items such as pudding, icing, peanut butter, and mashed potatoes are gels. Whereas lip gloss, mascara, and aerosol items are liquids or gels.
Always Stay Realistic
If you don’t work out at home, why would you have to bring along running shoes and workout clothes for the hotel gym? Similarly, if you dread stilettos on a night out, would you prefer wearing them on the cobblestones after a day of roaming around? The rule of thumb is only to pack things you will really require and not what you think you might need so you can relax and enjoy your trip fully.