Pre-budget airlines, packing used to be an easy operation. You’d have a big suitcase to loosely throw your belongings in and have plenty of space to bring back souvenirs for all of your nearest and dearest. Your suitcase would be big and bulky to be sure, but at least you didn’t need to arrive at your destination with all of your clothes wrinkled and stuffed into all corners of your bag. Kudos to those who have worn extra clothes on the plane to have extra room in their luggage.
But no one really wants to spend a five or more hour flight sweating profusely through five sweaters, so here’s some ways in which you can fit all of your belongings in your carry-on bag with room to spare.
1-Roll your clothes
But this will leave my clothes all wrinkled, you scream in horror. This is only the case if you throw them on top of each other pell-mell and half-fold, half-roll your t-shirts. But if you very neatly layer your clothing biggest to smallest on your bed and smooth each piece down before adding the next one, you’ll be fine. Make sure to roll from the very bottom of the stack and keep it very tight. Think sushi, not burrito. If you’re only going a trip for two to five days you should be able to get away with one big roll of clothes. Five to seven and you’ll need two. Any more than that and you should bite the bullet and purchase a checked bag.
2-Tidy up your shoes
The old technique used to be to attach your shoes to one another with a rubber band, throw them in a plastic bag, and toss them in your luggage without second thought. But this is inefficient and can also leave ugly rubber band marks on your shoes. Instead, marry your shoes so that they are tucked inside of each other and stick them in a huge ziploc or cloth shoe bag. Tuck the excess around the shoe, and voila! No space at all. Also make sure to wear your biggest shoes on the plane. This method is highly impractical with boots anyway.
3-Speaking of which
Oddly enough, socks and underwear seem to take up an insane amount of room in our luggage given how small they are. But not to worry, there are ways around that. Before neatly tucking your shoes, fold your socks as small as they get and store them in your shoes. For underwear, apply the rolling method. Unless you’re especially particular about your knickers being wrinkle free, don’t worry so much about the tight rolling and smoothing between items.
Packing boxes are the best friend of backpackers because they allow for things to be stored without having to dig for them, as is the curse of the vagabond. But they’re also great for the average weekender. This precious little boxes are optimal for packing your non-liquid toiletries because you’ll avoid getting makeup all over your clothes, but also because they’ll stop you from bringing too many items. They can further be used to store knickknacks that you don’t want to lose in transit.
The travel towel is a brilliant invention if you’re going somewhere where regular linens will not be provided. If you’re staying at a hostel, for example, they’re a must. Hostel towels are notoriously filthy so it’s best to bring your own. Generally made out of microfiber, they’ll get your body dry in a jiffy while taking up the space of a washcloth.