7 tips for packing everything into a carry-on

I love going on vacations, but I truly hate packing for them. No matter how much I plan or what I do, I seem to be completely incapable of not throwing everything I own into a suitcase...even if I'm just going on a mini weekend getaway!

With several trips planned in the next few months--both short and long--I decided to look up some ways to pack more efficiently. Below, 7 tips to packing everything you need into a carry-on sized bag!


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  1. Plan ahead. If you wait until the last minute, you'll just end up throwing a bunch of unnecessary items into your bag. So take the time a few days before you go to think of what you really need.
  2. Roll up your clothes. The traditional way of folding takes up way too much space. Roll everything as tightly as you can and then pack items in layers with bulky items (like jeans) on the bottom and lighter items (like tanks and t-shirts) on top. Pack shoes around the edges.
  3. Separate things in Ziploc bags. Organizing all of your smaller items—like socks, underwear, chargers, medicines, etc--- into separate Ziploc or compressor bags will not only save space, but will also save you time when you're looking for stuff later on. You can do the same with larger items, if you want to stay really organized.
  4. Pack smartly.  If you have any items that can be used in multiple ways and will save you from bringing another similar item, bring them. For example—a sarong might double as a scarf or a headpiece or vice versa.   
  5. Bring classic piecesthat can be mixed and matched. You might be tempted to bring your trendiest items, but clothing that can be re-worn and paired with different things—like a black blazer-- will go further in the long run.
  6. Wear bulkiest items on the plane. Obviously, you don't want to be too uncomfortable so if your trip is really long and requires heavy duty rain boots or something, you might want to skip this step. But if you don't mind wearing your sweater on board or if your trip is relatively short anyway, it will definitely save space in your luggage.   
  7. Make use of your personal item. Most airlines allow you one carry on and one personal item (like a purse or laptop). If you're bringing a purse, bring a mid-sized, stretchy one that will allow you to store any electronics, books, or whatever you might want on board so those items don't take up room in your carry-on.  Don't go too big though or they'll make you check one of the bags!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: bags  clothing