Packing Hacks: The 12 Best Space Saving Tips

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Here at the Travel Hack we’re big supporters of packing light. So I don’t want you thinking these tricks are a free pass to stuff more things into your suitcase. These packing hacks are about making sure your bag is organized and flat enough to fit into the overhead bins. Is it just me, or do those bins keep getting smaller?!

No one wants to be the person holding up the plane because they can’t get their luggage to fit. To help keep you from airplane humiliation, here are my ten best tricks to maximize the space in your luggage.

Packing Hacks

 

#1 Pack the inside of your shoes

Your shoes are the perfect place to hold the little items that don’t fit in your toiletry bag. They are also the perfect place to stuff your socks. If you’re traveling with kids (Monica – this one’s for you), their shoes fit nicely inside your shoes.

 

#2 Rolling vs. Folding

We’re not sure why but rolling your clothes saves so much space compared to folding. It’s definitely worth the extra effort!

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#3 Wear your bulkiest items

Have you ever packed a jacket or sweater and it took up half of your luggage? If you find yourself in this predicament think about wearing it on the plane or reevaluate whether you have something that packs smaller to bring instead.

 

#4 Heaviest items on the bottom

If you pack your heaviest items on the bottom and work your way up to the lighter items, your bag will have an easier time compressing into the overhead bins.

 

#5 Undergarments

Fold your bras in half and tuck your underwear inside the cups. Not only will this save you space, but it will help your bras maintain their shape as well.

 

#6 Glasses case

Whether you’re bringing reading glasses or sunglasses, there is usually a little extra space to fit your earbuds and/or a charger into the case. It will also save you from digging through your bag trying to find them.

 

#7 Shoe Location

It’s best to pack your shoes on the bottom of your suitcase and close to the wheels. This will keep the weight distributed in a location that won’t make your bag topple over.

 

#8 Contact case

If you’re going on a quick trip, a contact case is the perfect place for your liquid makeup or moisturizer so you can save space on bulky packaging.

 

#9 Belt

This one is for our male readers! Wrap your belt inside the collar of your shirt to save space and keep the collar stiff. Wrapping the belt around the perimeter of the bag is another good location that won’t take up much space.

business-man-packing

#10 Dryer Sheets

If you’re packing for a humid climate dryer sheets will help your clothes stay fresh. They also repel insects, so if you don’t have room for bug spray you can wipe your clothes with the dryer sheet to keep those pesky insects away.

 

#11 Avoid little pouches and purses

If you really want to keep your bag as small as possible, avoid using little bags like toiletry bags and make-up bags. Yes, they keep all of your belongings neat and secure but they take up lots of space and little products like make-up can be squeezed into the nooks and crannies of your bag.

 

#12 Use cling film/ plastic wrap

If you’ve got bottles of shampoo loose in your case then you do risk spillages onto your clothes. To combat this, wrap your bottles in cling film to stop lids coming loose and prevent any spills. It’s also a good idea to do this with powder make-ups like foundations and bronzers.

How about you? What are your best space saving tricks? We’d love to hear!

If you need some more ideas to help you pack light, check out these posts:

12 travel hacks to travel light (Monica’s version)

Dressing up for evenings out without overpacking

10 unnecessary items every traveller thinks they need but I NEVER used

What shoes should I take travelling?

My secret to packing light

11 Comments
  1. Great tips! I’m constantly guilty of overpacking and finding myself abroad with more outfits than I can wear — but I’m trying to get better!

    xo, endlesspostcards.com

    • Jenny Dolphin 5 years ago
      Reply

      Thanks, Deepti! I hear ya! It’s helpful for me to write out these tips too as a reminder to myself! It’s always so tempting to pack my whole closet!:)

  2. Mollie Bylett 5 years ago
    Reply

    great tips!!!! 🙂

  3. Justin 5 years ago
    Reply

    Whilst most of these tips are good, I draw to your attention tip numbers 11 and 12. Specifically if you are going carry on only you need to remember that you have to have your carry on liquids in a clear bag.

    To combat this thanks to a little internet scouring I have come across Lush (https://www.lush.co.uk) who make things such as shampoo into soap like bars helping combat this issue for those of us who try to travel carry-on only

  4. bud 4 years ago
    Reply

    @#9 Apparently women don’t wear belts or button up shirts with collars. Thanks for contributing to minor sexism.

    • TheTravelHack 4 years ago
      Reply

      Sorry – my bad. I’m not sure why this is sexist but I’m sure more men wear formal shirts when they’re on holiday more often than women do.

  5. Nataliia 4 years ago
    Reply

    Cool tips, Jenny! Especially about toiletry and make-up bags. That’s true! They always took so much space 🙁

  6. Nataliia 4 years ago
    Reply

    But, for example, rolling method of packing not so effective. I use sandwich style 🙂

    Nataliia

  7. Lauren 4 years ago
    Reply

    Thanks for the tips! I always take up so much room in my case when packing and i am 100% using the rolling method this time around haha x -http://girlversusmakeup.com/

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