Pack Like a Pro—Learn How to Fit More in Your Suitcase

Packing for a Trip

Pack Like a Pro—Learn How to Fit More in Your Suitcase

Every seasoned traveler has busted a zipper or two in her day. It’s a rite of passage for a novice packer. But you can skip the novice stage and advance right to expert with just a few simple tricks. Check out our list of surefire ways to pack everything you need (and then some) without stressing your suitcase to the point of a clothes explosion:

Roll, don’t fold.

This is Packing 101. Folding items like t-shirts, underwear, and even jeans and dress pants is a huge misuse of space. You’ll be able to fit much more in your suitcase if you roll these pieces instead. When you’re dealing with pants, fold them in half first and then tuck them as tightly as you can into a spiral. A perk to rolling instead of folding is that tops and pants tend to stay smoother in your suitcase, so you might not have to iron them when you arrive.

Don’t waste space—even inner-shoe space.

Those rolled-up bundles are the perfect size to stuff inside your shoes, space that would usually be wasted. Stick socks right inside of the sneakers with which you intend to wear them, or stow your underwear inside of shoes. Any socks, underwear, or small t-shirts that can’t fit inside of shoes should stay outside the suitcase until the final stages of packing. Chances are you’ll be able to squeeze them in empty nooks and crannies scattered throughout the suitcase.

Embrace bundle wrapping.

Now forget everything you’ve just learned about rolling—or, almost everything—and try bundle wrapping. This efficient method devised by  One Bag only begins with rolling. First, you stuff a small pouch full of rolled-up socks, underwear, and other small, lightweight pieces—this will become your “core.” Next, you refer to One Bag’s list of garments, which goes from most to least space-consuming. In descending order from biggest to smallest, pile your items and fold them into one neat, square package according to this diagram.

Vacuum fluffy pieces into thin packages.

The advent of the vacuum-sealed travel bag has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for frequent jetsetters. Vacuum-sealed bags come in a variety of sizes, and they’re usually affordable. You can typically use your own vacuum to suck out the air once you’ve packed them, leaving behind a much smaller version of what you initially stuck inside. The bags work best for items that naturally hold a lot of extra air, like fluffy sweaters, towels, or blankets.

Invest in a toiletry bag and pack it on the bottom.

Particularly if you travel often, you’re going to want to buy a toiletry bag. They keep everything from your toothpaste to your tweezers neat and organized, and as a result save some space. When you pack your toiletry bag before flying, make sure you keep any liquids separate for inspection. The toiletry organizer itself should be packed toward the bottom of your suitcase so as not to flatten lighter pieces of clothing.

How to Pack Like a Travel Ninja [Forbes]

Seven ways to fit more stuff in your suitcase [USA Today]

How to Pack It: Packing Clothes [One Bag]


Attribution: CC BY-SA 2.0/ Flickr/Lisa Parker

  • October 30th, 2015
  • Posted in: Avalon