Packing your bags? 7 genius tips to create more space in your suitcase

At some point all travellers are looking for the best way to pack their suitcase. No one wants to be that person holding up the plane because their bag won’t fit into the overhead compartment. Whether it’s a permanent move overseas or an overnight trip interstate, packing a suitcase or bag is something that can easily go from a last-minute chore to a supreme example of ingenuity and creativity that can be source of confidence rather than frustration with a few simple pack hacks.

1. Make a list

Boring, obvious, yet also a sure-fire way to stay on top of the stress of travel is to have a standard packing list on your phone, in an email or a notebook. Make sure it’s one you can edit cleanly and have at a moment’s notice. Making a list keeps you focused on what you need, and will save you from the sort of unwise packing decisions only made by frantic last-minute packing. The iPhone’s inbuilt Reminders app and the Android Checklist app are perfect for this job.

2. Use the right luggage

Too often luggage is an afterthought and a source of trouble rather than the friend it should be. By framing out the corners of the suitcase with your shoes, and creating two neatly folded stacks with heavy clothes and jeans, you can insulate more delicate items from the rigours of airline travel. This also ensures you have as much room as possible for keeping essentials like dresses and t-shirts wrinkle-free as possible, and any last-minute purchases that might need protection.

3. Rolling not folding

It may seem counter-intuitive, but rolling rather than folding your clothes can save a lot of space – and reduce on creases. It also helps insulate valuables.

4. Pack the heaviest items on the bottom

To stop your bag keeling over or your backpack pulling your shoulders forward, pack your heaviest items at the bottom of your luggage. This will also help you compress it into the overhead bins or the undercarriage of a bus.

5. Wear your heaviest clothes

Not only will you save space in your luggage by wearing a heavy coat or jacket, you’re ensuring that you’re protecting yourself against the variable temperatures on board the plane. This also leaves more room in your suitcase for things you really like to wear.

6. Go digital

Guidebooks can be a lifesaver when you’re travelling to an unfamiliar destination, but they can also be a waste of valuable grams in your suitcase. Most guidebooks now exist in eBook or digital format – some will even let you purchase chapters. If you don’t want to trust a digital device, put the relevant parts into a word document and print it out duplex.

7. Dressing for what matters

No one looks their best when travelling, so don’t dress for the camera. Dress for making the airport as much of a breeze as possible. This means having a capsule wardrobe. Number one, you don’t need more than two pairs of shoes no matter how long you’re travelling for. Something functional, and something formal. If you’re heading to a beach, get some thongs when you arrive and never ever underestimate the power of a black pair of jeans for every occasion. ASOS, Uniqlo and Top Shop have interchangeable, cost-effective lightweight clothing options that you can replace if you need to. These are some of a traveller’s best friends when it comes to working out the best way to pack a suitcase.

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