You’ve booked the trip, made hotel reservations, and planned out an itinerary that promises the perfect balance of activities and chill time. Now, all that’s left to do is pack and head out on vacation. Before you try to cram your entire closet into your suitcase, here are a few tips to maximize space and leave home with everything you might need.
Make a Packing Checklist – It’s a good idea to write out a list of what you think you’ll need at least one week in advance of your trip. List out everything from toiletries to clothes for different activities and any needed medications.
Roll Rather Than Fold – Suitcase space is a commodity, and one of the best ways to maximize that space is to roll your clothes rather than fold them. A tight roll squeezes the air between the folds, leaving more room.
Utilize Packing Cubes – To get even more space out of your suitcase, consider using packing cubes. Not only will the cubes help keep all your stuff organized, but they can provide an extra layer of compression.
Abide by the 3-1-1 Rule – Follow the 3-1-1 rule before you leave home, and you won’t have to dump your jumbo bottle of pricy shampoo in the airport trash bin. The 3-1-1 rule is the TSA’s guidelines that permit airline passengers to bring “liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters.”
Wash Your Clothes on the Road – If you are staying in a rental home, be sure to find out if there’s a washer or dryer. And if you’re staying in a hotel, find out if they offer laundry service. If you’re able to do a load or two of laundry on your trip, it will really cut down on the number of outfits you need to pack.
Pack in Layers – Consider packing outfits for each day that can be layered. This will help to ensure you have an outfit you can be comfortable in from one climate to the next while flying. This can also help TSA agents get a better picture of what’s in your bag – and gets you through security checks that much faster.
Keep Essentials in Your Carry-On – Don’t, we repeat, don’t put valuable jewelry in your checked luggage. Play it safe and keep essentials like credit cards, jewelry, passports, and medication in your carry-on bag. The last thing you want is the valuables in your luggage ending up in Houston when they’re supposed to be in Honolulu.
Bring a trash bag – This little item can really come in handy at the end of your vacation. If you’re unable to do laundry or have some wet clothing because you went straight from the beach to the airport, throw it in a trash bag to avoid the rest of your suitcase contents smelling funky when you head home.