Some of us leave packing to the last minute...and I'm one of those people. No matter how often I hop on a plane, organizing my luggage is always left to the last minute - and "organizing" what goes in my bags (and where things go) hasn't always been a strong point.
Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than even the neatest fold! You can even pre-plan outfits and roll them up together for quick access - this way you don’t have to go rummaging around through your luggage looking for some buried item! Also, your things will be less wrinkled when you pull them out for use.
Do you have access to a washer and dryer where you’ll be visiting? If not, do you know if the hotel or host can arrange this service for you? Look up where you can launder clothes (and how much it costs) in advance and don’t stress about packing SO many clothes for freshness purposes.
This tip goes two ways: first, wearing layers while traveling is helpful for passing through multiple climates with ease, especially if you have long layovers. Different airports may have varying degrees of heat and humidity, and most airplanes are fairly chilled. Be prepared for any environment by showing up dressed for the coldest climate! AND, if in the unfortunate event that your luggage gets lost or delayed, you can have a few options for dress when you fit some smaller, light clothing items in your carry-on. Wearing the bulkiest clothes on your travel days makes for more room in your checked bags.
Second, packing your luggage in layers according to item type can allow for easy screening when your bags pass through airport security, making it less likely that your things will get held up. This is also useful for remembering where you placed items when searching for something upon arrival!
It’s always best to keep fragile items in a carry-on if you’re concerned about something getting broken in the process of luggage passing hands. If you absolutely need to put a delicate piece in your checked bag, wrap it up in clothing and place it in the center of your suitcase without harder items (such as shoes or toiletries) touching it. This will lessen the likelihood of damage, but there are no guarantees!
Placing shoes inside a shower cap will prevent other items from getting dirty, and throwing a laundry dryer sheet in your suitcase will keep your clothes smelling nice! A couple of reusable cloth bags are convenient for separating clean undergarments from used ones and will also make your luggage appear more organized after a few days of digging around.
Sealable plastic bags can really be your best travel buddy. Pack all potentially leaky items in different baggies, then place them all in a larger plastic bag that can be tied up for double protection. If one item leaks and its baggy fails, you’ll have one more layer stopping the mess from spreading to the rest of your suitcase.
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