Whether you love it or loathe it, packing is an essential part of every travel experience. But how do you bring everything you need without packing your entire closet? Luckily, you can pack all the essentials, and still have room for a few souvenirs in your bag as you hop on those last minute flight deals back home. We’ve got the rundown on the best tips for making the most of the space in your luggage. Read on to find out how you can take our packing game to the next level.

Make a Packing List

Traveler getting ready for a trip, he is packing his bag and planning a journey online using a laptop

Before you start tossing things into your suitcase, write out a list of everything you intend to bring on the trip. Be realistic — are you really going to need 10 shirts for a 3-day trip? Once you’ve written everything out, you’ll have a better picture of everything you need to pack, and what you can leave at home.

Not sure what you need? Instead of panicking, you can download a packing guide for a little clarity on what you should bring depending on the length of your trip. There are all sorts of guides that you can find based on the type of trip you’re taking and whether it’s for business or pleasure, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you!

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Pick Multi-Purpose Looks

 View from back of traveling woman in red dress, stylish black hat and silver bag pack enjoying amazing view from Brooklyn bridge in New York.

Look for outfits that can be worn multiple times under different conditions to cut down on the amount of wardrobe you’ll have to bring along. Bring a little black dress that can change from day to night, or a pair of jeans that are comfortable enough for a day of sightseeing but sharp enough for a formal evening. And remember: if you’re going to be on a longer trip you can always do laundry, which is another great way to seriously cut down on the clothing you’ll have to bring.

Go Small

Legs of young businesswoman with baggage in airport

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to traveling light. If you have extra space, you tend to want to fill it up; and that adds up to heavy and cumbersome luggage that’s a real pain to haul around on your adventures. Go with the smallest size of luggage that will work for your trip, and consider a backpack if that’s a possibility. But remember to be realistic about what you’re bringing; you don’t want to spend time on your travels struggling to shut an over-stuffed bag.

For added space, you can also pack a small or medium-sized backpack in your larger luggage. This provides you with a quick and easy way to increase your luggage space and gives you the room you need for those cool souvenirs you’ve been eyeing.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: A Guide to Quick and Efficient Weekend Trip Packing

Fold It Up

Packing suitcase

It may be tempting to toss everything into your bag and sort it out later (especially if you’ve procrastinated until the last minute), but it’s for the best if you take the time to pack everything with care. It will help you stay organized in your travels, allowing you to know where everything is in your luggage. Try to put all your similar items together (i.e., shirts, pants, undergarments, etc.) so you can track how many of each item you’re packing.

And when you put your items away, remember to fold them as tightly as possible for maximum space. You can view tutorials online that will help you have plenty of room in your bag for all your items, and leave your clothes looking picture perfect once you arrive!

Now that you’re ready to pack like a pro, all you have to do is start looking for some last minute flight deals and be on your way!

Are there any other packing tips you use when you travel? Share them with us in the comments!

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