Life Escape Travel packing tips: 11 ideas to make the most of your luggage space

Travel packing tips: 11 ideas to make the most of your luggage space

To avoid stress, don't pack your suitcase at the last minute!
Here's another tip: Don't pack your suitcase at the last minute. Photo: Getty
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Packing for a holiday or business trip can be exhausting. Every traveller aspires to pack lightly for a trip but it is harder than it looks.

If you get it right, you will save time waiting at luggage carousels, eliminate baggage fees and travel on public transport with ease.

Just Travel Moments Instagram blogger Jean Maree said it was “so important” not to overpack.

“If you desperately need something, you can buy it at your destination,” she said.

The 51-year-old has travelled to 36 countries, including the US, New Zealand, China, the Cook Islands, Spain, Slovenia, Greece and Switzerland. Her experiences have helped her become an expert packer for different climates.

“It can be really hard to prioritise items, but packing only the essentials can make your journey less stressful,” Ms Maree said. “I have been in situations where I’ve had to run for trains, buses and even plane flights, so packing lightly is a must.”

The key to efficient travel packing is packing lightly.
Avoid the temptation to pack your entire wardrobe. Photo: Getty

Here are 11 packing tips to make the most of the room in your luggage:

  1.  Eliminate half

    Pack what you want … than eliminate half. Leave out “just in case items” and expect to re-wear outfits on your trip.

    Truth is, nobody is going to see you twice except the people you are travelling with.

    Bring staple items that can be worn multiple times with different tops or bottoms. With underwear, bring three sets and wash them in the shower every night.

  2. Keep footwear to a minimum

    Shoes take up more room than anything else. Take quality over quantity and aim for three pairs: runners, sandals and flat shoes that can go from day to night.

    Think about your travel schedule and what activities you will be doing. If heels are not necessary, don’t bring them. Wear your bulkiest shoe on your journey.

  3. Roll clothes for compression

    Rolling your clothes can save space in your suitcase and keep them from creasing.

    It also allows you to fit bathers, underwear, pyjamas and workout clothes in your suitcase’s nooks and crannies.

    Socks can go inside shoes.

  4. Bring old clothes you can throw away

    If you plan on buying new clothes or souvenirs, bring old garments that you can throw away after you have worn them.

    This includes underwear and shoes, as that will free up space in your luggage.

  5. Be smart with your electronics

    Buy an international adapter plug to save money and space in your suitcase. A power board will also come in handy if you have multiple items to charge or use.

    To avoid a messy bundle of electronics and chargers (and their cords), pack all your gadgets in a makeup bag.

  6. Use travel-sized cosmetic bottles

    Shampoo and conditioner can take up a lot of space in a cosmetic bag. They can also be quite heavy, which is a big disadvantage.

    Instead, put these liquids in smaller, plastic travel bottles. Better still, use the products provided by your accommodation.

  7. Invest in a portable travel clothes line

    This small device is ideal for travellers who need to wash and dry clothing on the move – and who doesn’t?

    It can be hung anywhere inside your room or outside on a balcony. Elasticised strands allow laundry to dry without pegs.

  8. Bring a small roll of duct tape

    Duct tape can just about fix anything. It will protect your feet from blisters, keep packaged foods fresh, remove lint from clothes and attach extra gear (such as a snorkel set or towel) to your luggage.

    As a bonus, a roll of duct tape is small and will fit easily in your luggage or carry-on.

  9. Carry a scarf or travel wrap

    Both are multifunctional. You can use them to protect yourself from the cold or as a blanket on a plane.

    They can also come in handy if you need to cover up while visiting religious sites.

  10. Invest in noise cancellation headphones

    Noise cancellation earphones are invaluable on long flights.

    They block out the aeroplane engine noise, crying children (unless they are your own!) and provide clear audio for enjoying entertainment on the plane.

    You can also use them as ear plugs for a restful sleep.

  11. Buy a travel wallet

    A purse is an unnecessary use of luggage room when travelling. Invest in a travel wallet instead; it will hold passports, boarding passes, credit cards and cash.

    You will also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing where all your belongings are.

    However, it is important to keep spare cash and a backup card in your luggage in case you lose your travel wallet.