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When a flight is part of you travel plan, these packing tips are going to save you tons of space and frustration. There are so many reasons to fly that save money and time, but it can be frustrating if you are going for an extended stay or traveling with kids. Paying extra to check your bags is a frustration, but you may also prefer to take no chances at losing luggage. Our packing tips will make it a lot easier to save space when you pack for a flight.
25 Packing Tips To Save Space When Flying
- Pack a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe usually consists of 5-10 basic pieces that mix and match to create multiple looks. You will usually find a pant, skirt, short, or Capri pant in this wardrobe of a classic solid color like khaki, navy, or black. Add a solid colored cardigan and 2-3 unique tops to mix and match building a simple wardrobe that is versatile for many occasions while limited enough to easily fit into your luggage.
- Utilize the personal carry-on bag for electronics and toiletries. Almost every airline allows one carry-on bag and one “personal” bag. Most people use the personal bag as their backpack, laptop bag, or purse. When trying to avoid checking baggage, it is easy to have a traditional pilot bag carry-on and a backpack for your personal bag. Pack your electronics as well as your toiletries into your personal bag. This gives you more room for clothing in your main carry-on while making it super easy to make it through security checkpoints since you only have one bag to open. Swiss Gear has a great backpack that has multiple padded compartments making it easy to keep your laptop and tablet safe while using the other pocket to house your toiletries or even a few articles of clothing.
- Leave books at home and download instead. Skip packing books or magazines and simple download to your smartphone or tablet. This gives you a lot more flexibility and less space used. A great tablet can give you tons of games, movies, magazines, and books to enjoy on your flight or during downtime at your destination.
- Limit shoes. It’s hard for some people to skip taking a shoe for every outfit they pack, but for the sake of using our space saving packing tips it is a must. Instead, wear your tennis shoes or comfortable walking shoe on your flight and pack a pair of sandals or dress shoes. If you can manage to just get by wearing only the pair on your feet it is even better. If you are headed to a colder climate or ski trip where boots will be needed, this may be something you want to buy once you arrive instead of packing. Weigh the odds and check out the finances involved when deciding what is best for you overall.
- Use space saver vacuum bags. Vacuum space saver bags are truly an amazing tool for packing. If you choose this, you will want to consider how you will use them for your return trip without your home vacuum. Many have a small battery operated pump for removing air while you are on the road.
- Roll clothing instead of folding. One of the most popular packing tips for saving space is to roll your clothing instead of folding them. This helps you fit more into your bag while using less space. It works best with items like t-shirts, shorts, leggings, and undergarments.
- Use destination hotel toiletries. Skip bringing the shampoo and conditioner and instead use the provided toiletries at your destination. Almost every hotel will offer at the minimum shampoo, conditioner, and soap. This keeps you out of that frustration at security as well as saves space and money.
- Leave the hair tools at home. Even if you prefer to straighten or curl your hair daily, vacation isn’t the time to do this. Utilize the hair dryer provided by the hotel or resort, and decide on simple hair styles in advance that won’t require those hair care tools. What better time to rock a ponytail than on vacation?
- Wear your jacket onto your flight. No matter your destination, a jacket is a must. Don’t pack this. Wear it onto your flight. You can remove it and fold up to use as a pillow, or a blanket during the flight. If it is warm at our destination, just wrap around your waist or toss into your backpack until you arrive at your room.
- Invest in reversible items. There are tons of jackets, shorts, shirts, skirts, and even bags that are reversible making them great for different outfits or different weather. Pants that have zip off bottoms making them shorts are perfect for limiting your wardrobe. Jackets that reverse to become rain gear save tons of space.
- Leave the camera at home. Unless you are traveling as a professional photographer, leave your fancy camera and camcorder at home. Instead, use the built-in camera on your smartphone. Most smartphones have a quality camera that is ideal for use on vacations.
- Plan to do laundry at your destination. Instead of packing an outfit for every day you will be at your destination, check into paid laundry facilities on site and simply plan to do your own laundry at least once during your trip.
- Combine kids bags. Instead of packing a separate suitcase for each child, combine their belongings into one bag. Most kids don’t need must other than their clothing. For younger children especially, it is easy to combine their items into one bag instead of separate. This may give you room to use that other carry-on bag allowance to pack more for yourself, or even pack things like snacks, pillows, or blankets from home.
- Invest in dual purpose items. If you insist on taking your own toiletries or hair care tools, invest in things like a 2-in-1 shampoo or a hair straightener and blow dryer combination.
- Skip the makeup. Sure, you wear makeup to work every day, but do you really need it for a week on the beach? The answer is most likely no. Leave your makeup at home. Your skin could probably use the break anyway.
- Buy swimsuits that can be worn outside the water. A great tank style swimsuit can also double as a camisole or top for walking around the shops near the beach. Board shorts that are longer are ideal for wearing at a water park as well as for any activity when worn with a favorite t-shirt.
- Rent strollers and car seats at your destination. If you have young children flying with you, it may be tempting to bring along their car seat or stroller. Instead, check out the prices of renting during your vacation. You’ll likely find it much easier to baby wear than haul a stroller. Rental car agencies almost always also have reputable car seat rentals you can arrange.
- Fold clothing around each other. One new packing tips idea I saw recently was to lay out each garment and fold them over each other. This creates a bundle that fits perfectly into your bag and takes up less space than folding individually. While it may not work with everything, it is worth a try.
- Pack kids bags in “kits”. Instead of randomly packing your kids bags, create Ziploc bag kits for each day. Add a top, bottom, sock, and underwear to each bag. Remove air and seal. Add their toiletries to another bag. This makes it easy for them to simply grab a “kit” each day while you are on the road. It saves time, space, and mostly frustration.
- Leave your purse at home. Most women feel like they have to carry their purse everywhere. On vacation, invest in a collapsible bag that can fit into your carry-on. Pack just your wallet. You can add your emergency toiletries bag, wallet, and even things like sunscreen into that collapsible bag at your destination and carry instead of a purse.
- Skip the accessories. Instead of packing jewelry and scarves for every outfit, pick 2-3 main pieces that can be worn with everything. Even better is to leave it all at home and stick with just your wedding ring on vacation.
- Pack lightweight items to layer. Avoid heavy sweaters and jeans. Instead, pack lightweight thin fabrics that can easily be layered if needed for cooler temperatures. Linen, knit fabric, jersey fabric, cotton, and even polyester are easier to pack and take up far less space than denim, sweatshirts, or sweaters.
- Ship items to your destination. If you will be staying for an extended period of time and need a few extra items, it may be cheaper for you to ship those items in a flat rate box through the USPS than to check an extra bag at the airport.
- Leave your computer at home. This one is tough for those who work for themselves, but it really can be a great way to get the most out of your vacation time. If you do not literally need your laptop for work while away from home, leave it at home and access things like social media and email from your smartphone instead.
- Stuff your shoes. If you are packing shoes in your carry-on bag, make sure you stuff things inside them to use up any available space. Socks, accessories, belts, and even underwear can be rolled and tucked inside of shoes.
These packing tips are great ways to save space in our carry-on bags when flying. No matter where your destination, these tips will be ideal for keeping you organized.