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How to pack intelligently for your next trip

The airplane age brought new goals for travelers, one of them being the art of packing lightly.

Those who fly often prefer to fly with a carry-on so that they avoid the chaos of the baggage carousel. People travelling on a budget like to travel with nothing more than what they can carry over their shoulders, while casual vacationers want to keep their luggage light so that they have room for some souvenirs.

Furthermore, most carriers now charge for checked baggage, with fees that start at $25 per suitcase on domestic and regional routes, which only adds to the reasons why people prefer to pack as little as possible.


According to MNN, there are some tips that you can follow if you want to make sure that you don’t go overboard when packing.

1. Don’t pack for the worst case scenario

It is best to travel for the best case scenario and save money in your travel budget to “buy your way out of any jams”, according to Europe travel guru Rick Steves.

Most of the time, you won’t have to buy those extra items. Another tip is to focus on what you will need to enjoy your trip. For instance, you will need good footwear, but you may not need your entire collection of sweaters.

2. Use packing cubes

These are something new when it comes to suitcase organization. Made from a lightweight material like nylon, they allow the packer to compress their clothes and other items to fit better in your suitcase.

They come in different sizes and sometimes have a mesh window that allows you to see what’s inside without unzipping them.


This way, your suitcase will be more organized. Your underwear and socks will be placed in a single packing cube, so you won’t have to dig through your suitcase and undo your packing to find your favourite pair of socks.

3. Use zipper storage bags

While not as durable as their counterparts described above, they offer similar advantages. They are also better at storing liquid and toiletries, even though they don’t last too long. The biggest downside is that they are not biodegradable.

4. Roll or fold?

Travelers can’t decide what is more space-efficient: rolling their clothes tightly or folding them flat? It turns out that laying clothes as flat as possible in a suitcase can give you one more change of clothes per week in a carry-on case compared to rolling them, according to a survey by writers at Conde Naste Traveler.

Other packers suggest that rolling works best for lightweight clothing, like sweatpants and T-shirts, while folding works best for heavy items, like jeans.

5. Plan your wardrobe

You might want to maximize your wardrobe by bringing items that offer you the possibility to mix and match them.

Clothes with similar color palettes will allow you to create more outfits. If you’re going on a longer trip, spending money on the laundry service at the hotel or at a laundromat will be cheaper than the bag check fee.

6. Weight-saving luggage

Duffel bags are a good option. They’re lightweight and allow you to stuff extra things in them even when they seem full.

The downside is that they have no hard sides to protect fragile items, so it’s best to be careful with what you stuff inside. Semi-rigid bags exist, but they sacrifice overall capacity for protection.

Daisy Wilder