Make the most of suitcase space

Saige Heyer

Here are some helpful tips for packing and planning for a summer trip by car or airplane. 

• Make a list of what you’ll need. Check the weather forecast for where you are going and plan accordingly, but remember to bring an extra outfit for warmer/cooler weather just in case.

• Roll up wrinkle-resistant clothes. You can layer these on the bottom of your suitcase. If you fold them in half before you roll them, you can fit more in.

• Carefully fold shirts and pants that are easily wrinkled and layer them on top of your rolled up clothes.

• Fold longer pieces like pants or skirts and lay them over the top of your other clothes. If they are folded or rolled, they will take up more space.

• Put smaller items such as socks and underwear between your other clothes and around the edges to use up any extra space you may have.

• Wrap belts around the inside edges of the suitcase.

• If multiple friends or family members are going on a road trip together, try to put two or three people’s things in one large suitcase rather than multiple smaller ones.

• Choose shoes that can be worn with different outfits, for different occasions and that aren’t too bulky. This will reduce the amount of footwear you have to pack and save space for other things.

• Keep the amount of valuable items you take with you to a minimum so you don’t have to worry about these things getting lost or stolen.

• Pack inexpensive jewelry in small containers such as film canisters or pillboxes. Do not, however, pack fine jewelry. Instead, wear it so you know where it is at all times.

• Buy extra sets of toiletries and personal care items and leave the things you use on a daily basis at home. This way, if you lose or forget something, you don’t have to worry about replacing it when you get back.

• Pack shampoo and body wash in 3.4-ounce containers inside a clear, quart-size Ziploc bag, especially if traveling by air.

• Try to pack your toiletries in a different compartment from your clothing, just in case they end up leaking.

• Keep your essential items in your purse or backpack, not in your suitcase. They will be easily accessible on a road trip and you’ll still have them even if your luggage gets lost at the airport.

• Always have a few pillows and blankets in the car. Some passengers may like the A/C set to cooler temperatures than others. Also, if you get stranded, the pillows and blankets may come in handy.