It is, quite possibly, one of the hardest life skills to master. Over-packing for a trip is a mistake we have all experienced or might still be experiencing. It is not efficient or smart and only consumes our time and effort and at our arms' and backs' expense!
But fret and fear no more. Here's a guide to get your mountain of luggage into a standard carry-on:
1. Plan ahead: First things first: make sure that you are familiar with the weather and location of your destination. Know the itinerary of your trip or the activities that you will be doing. With this, you'll be able to pick out your daily outfits (do I bring 2 dresses? A pair of pants?) and essentials (do I have to bring an umbrella?) .
2. Heavy on the bottom: It is more efficient to put the larger and heavier items, such as your shoes, at the bottom of your suitcase. On top of your shoes, lay the other heavy items such as jeans or sweaters. This way, it is easier to locate the items and there is no worry that something will be rumpled or crushed by the heavy item's weight.
3. Rolling VS Folding: Of course you don't want to cram all your clothes into your suitcase. Well, before you didn't mind but now you know better. There are two techniques in putting your clothes into bags: rolling and folding. Folded clothes are less wrinkled but take up a lot of space while rolled clothes are more likely to be wrinkled but definitely occupy less space. The trick is to do both. Roll wrinkle-free materials such as wool, cotton and and knits. For starched clothes, like collard shirts and dressier items, like slacks or dresses, make sure that they are folded properly. Combining the two methods will make your suitcase more of a closet than a jungle.
4. Toiletries and other items: Where to put your in betweens? For fragile items, place them in the center of your bag so that the clothes will prevent the items for breakage. Any additional items like your belts or socks should be stuffed into any pocket nook or cranny for efficiency and stability. Put your makeup bag and/or toiletries bag on top of everything. All that's left is to close your bag!
5. Bring along a compressor bag: It's hard to say goodbye to a vacation but it's harder to have to spend your last day on it stashing dirty socks and underwear. It is recommended that you bring a compressor bag like the Eagle Creek Pack-It. Just toss all your dirty clothes in it and it will compress the contents' volume to over half.
It might have taken years and many a rumpled shirt to learn the art of packing but you are now here and your days of overstuffed luggage are over. Follow these tips and techniques and you just might enjoy packing as much as the vacation!
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