Do you love traveling but hate lugging around heavy luggage or a bunch of bags? Try packing more efficiently to help lighten your load. By focusing on essential items and getting a little creative when you pack, you can help make your next trip a bit less frustrating and more enjoyable. Here are 10 packing hacks from Rand McNally to keep in mind:
1. Don’t wait until the last minute. Packing takes attention to detail, especially if you’re trying to minimize. So, remember to take your time and plan ahead. Create a list, or start laying out clothes and other items.
2. Roll your clothes—rolling takes up significantly less space than folded clothes. It also helps to avoid creases in your wrinkle-prone pieces.
3. Wear your bulkier and heavier items while traveling. Layer up, and wear your sweatshirts, boots and other hard-to-pack items, as they’ll take up more space in your bag.
4. Pack items that are multi-functional. For example, a large scarf can double as a fashion item as well as something to wrap around you to keep warm.
5. Limit your shoes to three pairs. Shoes take up so much space in your suitcase, so try and bring only the necessities. Typically, you’ll only need sneakers, a pair of dress shoes and a pair of casual walking shoes/flats.
6. Utilize all available space. For example, tuck chargers, socks and other small items into your packed shoes as a space saver.
7. Stick a dryer sheet in your bag to keep things smelling fresh. Pack a plastic bag to hold your dirty clothes, and bring a small locking snack bag with dry detergent to wash those necessities that you need to wear more than once.
8. Plan to pack outfits that you can mix and match. Packing wardrobe staples means that you can re-wear pieces in different outfits. Solids in a predetermined color palette are always an easy choice because they can coordinate with many pieces. Don’t forget to pack a stain-remover pen to erase any mishaps along the way.
9. Really think about whether you need those “just in case” items—will your hotel have a blow-dryer? That’s most likely the case, so leave yours at home.
10. If you’re flying, don’t forget that you always get a personal item. Bring a backpack that can fit all your electronics and other things that need to be easily accessed during the trip.