How to Pack a Suitcase to Maximize Space [Expert Packing Tips]
Luke Iles – Uploaded 16.07.2023
How to pack a suitcase and save money!
So, you are planning on heading off on holiday but still to pack a suitcase, containing your essential clothing and equipment needed on your travels. Packing a suitcase is one of the last things you need to do however is important that you include it in your holiday plan.
Packing can often be hard, as most people prefer to bring as much as they possibly can with them, even if they know they probably won’t end up using or wearing them!
This can be avoided easily by packing your suitcase efficiently with lots of different methods which we will explore throughout this blog so you can fit everything that you need to and learn how to pack a suitcase efficiently and effectively, minimising wasted space.
Tips to pack efficiently for your travels:
The ways you can learn how to pack a suitcase efficiently include:
- Utilising dead spaces
- Considering the weight limit rules at stake
- Keeping frequently used items near the top of your storage space
- Saving space for souvenirs
1. Utilise dead spaces
Believe it or not, you can do lots more to optimise the amount of luggage space that you are taking up by cramming smaller items like socks and boxers into the corners of the suitcase.
You can also go about saving space by cramming clothes into your shoes that you may have packed in.
When packing a suitcase ensuring that you utilise dead space is essential to help you pack everything you need for your next holiday. As a regular traveller that looks to save money by not paying for excess luggage, you can use these packing tips to ensure that you make the most of the space in your suitcase.
Firstly by rolling your clothes instead of folding them, you can help save a lot of space in your suitcase and fill the dead space in the luggage effectively. This is a packing tip that may not see the value until you try it and trust us when we say it is more than worthwhile! We recommend starting with bulkier items like jeans and jumpers and rolling them tightly. Finally, place them strategically into the suitcase, maximising space. Rolling clothes save space so make sure you utilise this simple and easy packing tip.
Secondly, you can use packing cubes or compression bags to help organise your belongings and compress them to save space within your suitcase. Packing cubes can be used to store smaller items such as socks, underwear and accessories and help to maximise the space in your suitcase. Packing cubes and compression bags are perfect for saving space and you can simply place them into areas where dead space in your suitcase would typically be thus helping you save space, time and money when it comes to packing your suitcase using packing cubes and compression bags.
Something that you may not think about is the amount of space and weight shoes can take up within your suitcase however with that there are some simple and easy solutions to reduce the cost of taking lots of shoes. Although they may compromise space and be heavier than your typical clothing items, to minimise this impact you can stuff socks, underwear or smaller items such as chargers into your shoes not only maximising space in your suitcase but also using a clever packing tip that will more than likely help you from spending additional funds for a larger suitcase if you can’t fit everything inside!
When it comes to packing, one of the best packing tips that I use as an experienced traveller is filling the gaps in the suitcase with larger items. If I find an area of dead space I will fill these areas with larger items that are more flexible, easy to fold or bend. This can be items such as jackets, belts, towels, jumpers, hats or scarves. These items are useful as they can be folded to fit the available space.
Furthermore, don’t forget the corners of your suitcase when packing as these typically are spaces which are hidden and go unused. Smaller items such as toiletries, rolled-up belts and tightly rolled underwear can fit into these small corners of your luggage.
By using these tips you can utilise dead space and ensure you are making the most out of the limited space your suitcase provides thus helping you to save money and time when packing.
2. Consider weight limit rules at stake
At every airport, each airline has a different weight limit when it comes to the amount of luggage that you can bring with you on your travels. For most airlines, they offer 20kg of luggage within your suitcase and a carry-on or cabin bag to take onto the plane with you.
This is the ultimate deciding factor when packing as if you do get caught over the allowed limit, you will be charged or asked to discard the weight over the allowed amount. This means you will have to bin your prized possessions or even worse, pay the excessive prices the airline will make you pay on the day.
You should also consider liquid, gel and prohibited items as these are highly regulated through customs so please ensure when you are packing that you do your research on these items as you won’t be allowed to take them onto the plane or via your luggage which may cause you unnecessary stress and issues at check-in at the airport.
The weight limit rules vary from airline to airline and the type of ticket you have purchased. It is vital that you double-check the amount of weight you are allowed to bring on and whether you have included a carry-on bag within your ticket too. Some airlines make you pay an additional cost for extra luggage or if you need to take more space. So when booking your plane tickets please keep this in mind if you need to take more, purchase the extra luggage requirements whilst booking as any time after will be more expensive especially if you exceed the amount whilst checking luggage in at the airport itself.
Airlines are sneaky and although they may offer cheap flights, these additional costs for luggage, extra weight limitations, carry-on bags and more can all lead to a costly ticket that you may have thought was going to be cheap initially. These extra and hidden charges are more custom to low-budget and cheap airlines who need to find a way to make up for the cost of the low tickets thus we recommend doing your research and ensuring that you have fully planned out and know what you have paid for and the weight of luggage that you are limited to.
Furthermore, you should invest in a cheap pair of luggage scales which will cost you around £5 – £10. This is a great way to ensure your baggage is under the limit that the airline has specified. For example, if your luggage limit is 20kg and one carry-on bag, you can be certain that your luggage is under 20kg and that there will be no shocks or surprises when it comes to check in your luggage at the airport as this is where most people get caught out and are not prepared.
In addition to this, a great travel tip that can help save you money is that if your luggage is slightly over the limit, you can take some of this weight and place it into your carry-on bag. A carry-on bag is limited to a certain size (usually a small duffel bag) but by utilising this space and moving it over to your carry-on bag you can save money on not having to spend extra on an additional weight of a suitcase.
3. Keep frequently used items near the top of your storage space
Keeping frequently used items near the top of your suitcase is essential particularly if you are staying in multiple places and travelling around locations when going on holiday with a suitcase. This also means if you are not going to be fully unloading and unpacking your suitcase during the trip, you will want to utilise these packing tips to the fullest.
Keeping essentials at the top of your suitcase makes it more convenient to access important things as items near the top or in easily accessible pockets allow you to quickly reach them without disorganising and rummaging throughout all your luggage making your clothes creased and not fully fit into your suitcase. Typically I store toiletries, a change of clothes, swimming trunks and travel documents at the top of my suitcase so I can easily access them if I land at a location and can’t check in to the accommodation later. This way I can easily explore the location with everything I need accessible to myself at the top of the suitcase.
When it comes to a carry-on bag, if you are taking and using one, I recommend adding all necessary items to this bag including your important travel documents such as travel visas and passports. This way anything you need quickly or whilst on the plane, you will have quick access to. Therefore, you will not have to delve in and look through your suitcase creasing your clothing items whilst looking for things you need. This is particularly useful when you arrive at the destination before you are allowed to check in to your accommodation. However, this option is only worthwhile if you have hand luggage plus the space available to do so. If not I recommend keeping frequently used items near the top of your storage space.
4. Save space for souvenirs
There is nothing better than going on holiday and taking a piece of it back with you whether that be for yourself as a memento or for a loved one so you can share a piece of a location you visited. However, if you have not planned to pack for additional souvenirs you could be left leaving them in a foreign airport and flying back empty-handed.
Thus it is vital that you make sure you have enough space within your luggage that it fits extra souvenirs and this is pivotal when you first pack your luggage before you even embark on your holiday. For example, I always leave half a KG clear of the weight allowance so that my luggage can easily pass the check-in at the airport even if I do plan to bring back mementos, gifts and souvenirs on the way back from my holiday. I recommend that you do the same to avoid a sour end to your holiday which results in you either having to pay for additional luggage weight at the airport or leaving your gifts at the airport and not being allowed to take them home.
Whenever travelling, you should consider the amount of weight you want to be carrying around with you. This depends completely on how long the trip is as a long trip, you will need more clothes and therefore will have to carry more with you, the opposite for shorter travel. By understanding how long you are planning to travel for and the type of holiday you want to have, it can allow you to decide on the amount of luggage you need to bring. This way you can decide whether you need to pay for an extra or larger suitcase when booking your flight or whether all you need is some carry-on luggage instead!
To ensure that you are saving as much money as possible when it comes to packing and flying, check out the most affordable UK airlines so that you are saving money on your flight as well as getting the best deals when it comes to luggage requirements too!
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