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11 Suitcase packing hacks

BY Richard Mellor

1st Jan 2015 Travel

11 Suitcase packing hacks
Follow our suitcase packing top tips, and you’ll be able to fit more into your suitcase than ever before. Here are almost a dozen ways to pack like a pro.

1. Be clever

Garments fulfilling two roles are twice as clever. A smart waterproof hiking jacket that could also suffice as evening wear? Yes please. A pullover which makes an excellent travel pillow? Ideal.

2. Use your hand luggage carefully

While you don’t want to lug around too much, your hand luggage allowance offers precious volume.
Bear it in mind for a particularly cumbersome jumper or a chunky pair of hiking boots and generate some room in your main case.

3. Go light

There are two reasons to choose an extra-light suitcase:
  1. You gain a few pounds’ wriggle room with the airline’s baggage weight limitation.
  2. Heavy does not equal happy. Antler’s Size Zero range and Aerolite are two good options that will prevent tired arms before you even board the plane.

4. Utilise yourself

You can be a suitcase, too. Wear your toughest-to-pack shoes, plus your coat if possible—after all, whatever’s on your body doesn’t need to be in your bag. 

5. Work in layers

This tip helps you to know what is where and stops carefully-folded delicates from rubbing against your more sturdy gear.
Separate the layers with dry-cleaning bags. Because they slide easily, these also allow folded clothes some motion, and diminish the potential of creasing—it's a sort of Botox for clothes, basically.
Plastic bags can also do a similar job

6. Heavies at the bottom

Unless you’re going to need them immediately, get your heaviest and bulkiest items in first. They’re the hardest to wedge in, and otherwise they’ll just push down on delicate fabrics. 

7. Roll soft fabrics

rolled up shirts
Other than shirts, blazers and starched or stiffer fabrics like dress pants and coats, it’s best to roll up clothes.
This is rule one from the backpacker manual. You’ll get heaps more space for your efforts, plus less deep wrinkles from creases as a bonus.
Rule two is that knits and cotton best resist wrinkles. Fit all rolled items in and around your shoes and sweaters.

8. Use every inch

The insides of shoes make for valuable compartments: fill them with jewellery, torches, sun lotion (inside clingfilm or a vacuum bag in case of spillage), chargers, adaptors or underwear.
Wedge the rest of your undies around them to try and create an evenly-layered base.

9. Shirts, suits, trousers

folded shirts
Next up are the foldables. Follow folding tutorial videos and carefully add in shirts, suit jackets—using some more underwear to plump out the shoulder pads—and dress trousers, which should be draped across longways then turned over the top of everything else.
Again, aim for the layer to be flat, alternating waists with hems for that purpose.

10. Top of the pile

Put your first outfit change, or anything you’ll want right away, like sun lotion or shorts, at the top of your case. This might also include money for the taxi, or a fresh t-shirt for the fresh air.

11. Cheat

vacuum pack clothes
Well, sort of. Compression sacks can be used to vacuum-pack your linen into an airless, tight bundle that takes up the minimum amount of room.
They’re especially handy for separating smelly laundry on the way home. 
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