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When you leave things to the last minute, you often forget to pack essential items and over pack the items you don’t need. By looking at the upcoming weather and available activities at your destination, you can pack what you need to have a good trip. Planning your itinerary before packing can help you coordinate and pack your clothes accordingly. Making a well-organized packing list can help you prioritize and eliminate items, as well as it ensures you will not forget anything important.
A personal item must fit underneath the seat in front of you, so this bag is not ideal for longer trips. Examples of personal items are purses, laptop bags, briefcases, small backpacks and tote bags. The maximum size for your personal item is 41cmx15cmx13cm (16’x6’x13’).
A carry-on bag is a great size to use for a three to five-day trip. It allows a lot of room for the clothes and personal items you may need. Examples can include small suitcases and small duffle bags. The maximum size for a carry-on is 52cm x 23cm x 33cm (21”x9”x15”).
A checked bag allows for a lot more room when packing. This piece of luggage is recommended for a trip that is five days or longer. Some flights even offer better deals for checked bags vs. carry-on bags. Examples of checked bags are large suitcases or large duffle bags. The maximum size for a checked bags is 157 cm (62”) with a maximum weight of 23 kg (50lbs).
If you choose to go with a carry-on bag or personal item, make sure to follow the rules! It’s always a drag when you pack something, and it gets taken away at security. It is so important to understand what items you can and can not take through security. You are only allowed to pack 100 mL or less of liquids and gel's in your carry-on or personal bag. Keep this in mind the next time you travel.
For more information on what you can and cannot pack check out Swoops Baggage and Carry-On page http://channelgroup.org/swoop/.
Wearing your bulkiest items on the plane can save you a lot of room for other clothes in your personal item, carry-on or checked bag. Clothes such as sneakers, boots, jackets, hoodies and sweaters are some of the heaviest items and tend to take up a lot of room in your suitcase. By eliminating these items from your bag, it leaves you room for more of your favourite outfits. But don’t pull a Joey from Friends and wear all your clothes… That’s not a comfortable travel hack and in some cases, with other airlines, have even resulted in being denied boarding.
Many people debate the method of folding and rolling clothes. Do whatever works best for you, BUT rolling clothes really can save you space if done right. Rolling your clothes effectively involves rolling each individual item tightly. Rolling compresses your clothing making it easier to stack and pack into tight spaces. The added benefit of this method is it acts as a guard against wrinkles, creases, and it makes it easy to access all your clothes without making a big mess. You can even place your rolled clothes inside of zip-lock bags for extra compression.
Stuffing things like socks, underwear, belts, trinkets and smaller bulky items inside your shoes can save you a lot of space when packing. Not only does this method take up less space, but it also serves as a shell to protect smaller more-fragile items. Another added tip about packing shoes is to try and put them in the middle of your bag to ensure that the weight is distributed evenly throughout your bag. You can also use a shower cap on the bottom of your shoes to keep from getting your clothes dirty.
Instead of packing individual items of clothing and hoping that it all works out you should try planning the exact outfits that you want to wear. If properly planned, you can get more outfits out of fewer items. For every day that you plan on spending at your destination, you should have an outfit planned plus a few extra items. Packing multi-purpose items such as neutral coloured shirts, shorts, pants and jackets can help coordinate stylin’ outfits with fewer items.
Packing more delicate items in the middle of your bag will shield them with layers of clothing. An extra step you can take to protect breakables is to stuff them inside of your socks. Packing bulkier items such as bras, underwear and belts tend to take up a lot of space when placed on top of all your other items. Try to place these items in the cracks and crevasses in your bag to save space.
Instead of using full sized bottles, opt towards using travel-sized bottles. You can buy lotions, shampoos, conditioners and shaving creams at a fraction of the size and a fraction of the cost. But if you want to cut costs, you can always buy empty bottles and fill them with your own products from home. Not only do travel sized bottles take up less space and cut down the weight of your suitcase, but if you plan on bringing a personal or carry-on bag, then this is the best option to ensure your products don't get taken away at security. If you still find that you are struggling to find space in your suitcase, you can always rely on your hotel at your destination to provide complimentary shampoo and conditioner. If all else fails, you can always buy some when you are there!
Many hotels and hostels have laundry rooms that are available to all guests. If that is not an option in your hotel, you can always search for the closest laundromat in the area. In the long run, this saves tons of space, because you can reuse your clothes instead of packing more clothes that you might not end up wearing.
Written by Amy Schimpf