10 Space Saving Tricks for Traveling
Over the last few years I have experienced many forms of traveling. I went to a weekend getaway with 10 other girls back in February in a one room cabin, I've made multiple road trips down to see my family in Illinois, I went for a weekend in California last fall, a week long cruise to Alaska last summer and a two week long excursion through India last winter. Needless to say, I've had many different requirements and space limitations when packing and my skills for creating space in a suitcase have greatly improved.
As I'm getting ready to leave for New York at the end of this week, I thought it would be fun to show you all my favorite tips and tricks that make packing easy!
1. Don't procrastinate on packing/laundry.
A big part of packing wisely is being able to plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute to plan out what you're going to wear adds extra stress. I usually lay out my outfits for each day a week ahead of my trip. At this point you will have ample amount of time to do laundry (depending on the length of the trip) and you can grasp an idea of how accurate the weather will be during your stay.
2. Wear your heaviest items.
Have some chunky sneakers that take up too much room or a jacket or sweater that is bulky? I would suggest wearing those items on your plane ride. This will save large portions of space in your suitcase that you can fill with other items to take or souvenirs to bring home.
3. Start with Shoes.
Put your shoes on the bottom layer of your suitcase to not only keep your other items clean, but to get the most cumbersome items placed first.
4. Capitalize on empty space.
One trick I learned recently that lets you utilize unused space is putting your socks and underwear inside of your shoes. You can also put breakables in your shoes so that they will be stabilized and safe. If you want to take multiple bags on your trip, make sure that they can either fold down flat, or stuff them with items so that they are not wasting precious space.
The goal of packing is to get the heaviest items on the bottom and work our way up to the lightest, for the next layer we are adding pants. Fold them in half "hot dog" style and then in half "hamburger" style. We don't want to bulk up the pants, but keep them as thin and flat as possible. You may also want to fold dresses and jumpsuits at this point and just do them in half and fold the sleeves as shown below.
6. Tops, tanks and pajamas.
If you didn't already know, rolling up your shirts, tank tops and pajama sets is an easy way to keep items compact. No worries if your items get wrinkled, as most hotels have irons, or (a little trick I learned in India), you can hang your item in the bathroom while you take a shower and the steam of your hot water will do a lot of the work.
Layer bras and fold them in half to help keep their shape while also limiting the space they will take up.
8. Leave the shower supplies.
Unless you have a specific body cleanser or shampoo product, most hotels will offer shampoo, conditioner and body wash to you as part of your stay. If you do choose to bring any bottled items make sure that they fit the size requirements that your airline accepts and PLEASE be sure to put them in a plastic bag or container that will not open and leak all over your items.
9. Final tips and tricks:
- Limit as much as you can. Don't take your entire makeup bag, but only a small bag of products that you will NEED on the trip. In the same way, if you're traveling with a friend, take one straightener or curling iron for hair and leave the blow dryers behind because every hotel has that in their bathrooms.
- Keep earrings organized in buttons! The rod that goes through your earlobe can also fit in most of the tiny holes on buttons. They you do not have loose earrings flying around your suitcase.
- Pick and pair minimally. Instead of three separate outfits on your trip, take your favorite jeans and pair them with multiple tops so you can have more outfits with less items taking up space. You can keep your looks updated and fresh without packing half of your closet.
- Stick wires and earphones in your glasses/sunglasses case. This will keep them from tangling up and will mean less digging around later.
- Utilize the pockets. Sounds simple, but many times people only focus on the main body of the suitcase and not the outside.
10. Weigh your bag at home.
You don't want to get to the airport and find out your bag is overweight. You'll either have to throw out your items or pay more for the extra bulk. I don't know how other people do this, but my tip is to always borrow a friend. One person steps on the scale and the other person records their weight and then that person steps on the scale holding the suitcase and the weight is recorded again, then you subtract their weight from the combined weight. I'm sure there's an easier way to weight suitcases, Mama O and I just haven't figured it out yet :)
I hope that these tips and tricks are helpful for you as you organize your next trip. If there are any bits of advice you think I've forgotten, comment below!