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Efficient Packing Tips
You’ve probably seen people at the luggage check in counter with multiple large suitcases, and of course paying extra fees for all the weight they are bringing on board the aircraft.

Not only is brining many heavy items costly, but it’s time consuming. You have to load the bags in and out of the car, wait in line to check them in, and then wait again after arriving for them to be brought from the aircraft to the baggage claim area. 


This is probably not how you want to start your trip! Even if you do not mind spending extra time and money to check your bags, there are inevitably times when the airline miss-routes bags, leaving you without your essentials until they can sort out where your bag is and how to get it to you.


There is a way to avoid all of this!



Imagine walking right past the bag check line with just a carry on bag, worry and hassle free. It might seem daunting to fit everything you need for a long trip into a carry on bag, but it is possible.


Once you are able to fly carry on only, your flight experience becomes much faster and easier. But how do they do it?


Here are a few tips to making your bag lighter: 


First, make a list.


When you write out a list, you are able to make sure you are bringing everything that you need and nothing that you do not. Throwing everything in your suitcase at the last minute often leads to bringing things that just end up taking up space without a real purpose. When choosing what to put on your list, focus on items that have more than one purpose or that you will wear more than once.


Multi-purpose items are very helpful in making the most of the space you have. For example, you can bring pants that can turn into shorts, or a skirt that can also be worn as a dress. These convertible items are fantastic to maximize efficiency in packing. You can even go as far as planning out your outfits for each day to reduce the amount unnecessary clothing brought along. You should also check the weather of the places you are visiting and make sure you only take items that are suitable for the local climate.


Once you have a comprehensive list of what you want to bring, go over it once or twice more to see if you can cut anything out to get down to the essentials. Challenge yourself to take out at least 5 different items from your original list.


Wear your bulkiest clothes on the flight. By having your biggest items out of your bag, you are able to bring more with you. If you want to bring a pair of boots or heels, it is a great idea to wear them onto the plane instead of trying to cram them into your bag. You can also wear any jackets or coats since the plane is usually cold anyway.


Consider buying toiletries at your destination. Many accommodations provide these items for free! You cannot bring much of any liquid onto the aircraft, so purchasing things like shampoo and conditioner once you arrive can be a great option, especially when you are travelling somewhere where these items are cheaper. Using toiletries from another place is even a great way to get in touch with local life. If you particularly love the toiletries you already have, you can purchase small reusable travel size containers to cut down on space.


Be mindful of how you place your belongings in your suitcase. Packing a small bag requires strategy. Determine how to make the clothes and other items you are bringing as small as possible.


There are a few ways to do this.


One great way to minimize the amount of space that your clothes take up is to roll them instead of folding them. Rolling clothes up makes them much smaller than just folding them or tossing them in your suitcase.



Another good option is packing cubes; you can place your clothes in them and then force the extra air out, making it very compact.


Pack your larger items, like shoes and jackets first. Once these items are in, you will have created smaller gaps between those items and the edge of the bag. You can use these spaces for things like underwear or small t-shirts.


Every possible space should be effectively utilized, even the space in your shoes!


Take your socks or other small items and place them into the shoes to make sure that area isn’t wasted. At first this process might take a while, but once you pack your bag a few times you will find a way to quickly maximize packing your bag.


Do laundry.


You probably do not want to have to do laundry on vacation, but if you are travelling long term it might be necessary. Either way, washing your clothes is a great way to pack lighter. Some accommodations will have washing machines and dryers on site. Laundromats are also easy to find in many destinations.


If you are on a tight budget or have delicate items, you can even try buying laundry detergent packets and washing your clothes in the sink. Bringing less clothing and washing as you go is key to packing light on longer trips.


The best packing tip of all is simply to bring less with you. It can make people nervous to not have a lot of their belongings with them, but the reality is that you probably need a lot less than you think. There are countless things that you might find useful on your trip, but when packing lightly you should focus on only bringing what you absolutely need. If something comes up and you end up needing an item you did not bring, you can always buy it and it can even become a souvenir. As long as you have your passport and a little bit of cash, you can make it!