This blog post was updated on May 5, 2022.

Booking cheap flights for your next trip is always an exciting moment. Packing your luggage? Not that much. No matter how much effort you put into it, there’s never seem to be enough space to fit everything you want to bring with you, and you always feel that all that mess of clothes and loose items could definitely be better handled. Because we’ve all been there, here’s a selection of efficient packing hacks to help you master your luggage skills like a pro!

Turn Your Outfits Into Hyper-Efficient Sock Sandwiches!

This hack is some seriously efficient packing. You can watch in the video below as YouTuber Dave Hax turns the essentials for the overnight trip — underwear, socks, and a t-shirt — into a handy little sandwich-sized roll. Granted, this is a decidedly low-maintenance hack that doesn’t factor in overnight items like toiletries or pajamas. But if you’re packing for a longer trip, why not roll each day’s outfit essentials into a nifty little sock sandwich to stay organized?

Use Dry Cleaner Bags to Protect Your Clothes

Anything can happen inside of your luggage when sudden changes in altitude are concerned. Toiletries can tip over or explode, batteries can leak, or a souvenir bottle of wine may crack on the bumpy ride back to the airport, spelling trouble for any surrounding clothing items. Garment bags may do a good job of protecting our clothes, but they’re bulky and expensive. A great hack to combat this is to use dry cleaner bags. They’re lightweight, cheap, and just as waterproof as a heavy-duty garment bag!

Roll Your Clothes & Use Packing Cubes

Rolling clothes into cylindrical shapes saves valuable space inside of a suitcase. When rolled carefully, clothes are also less likely to form wrinkles and creases from being folded and laid flat. For extra credit, roll your clothes, then use packing cubes to organize them by type.

Join The Clown Car Method!

To use the clown car method of packing, lay shirts and pants flat with the sleeves and legs hanging out. Once all the items are layered and stacked, fold the sleeves and legs in like the petals of a flower. This method has been proven to maximize space, packing your tiny suitcase like a clown car!

Put Plastic Wrap Under Your Toiletries’ Caps

Going the extra mile to take the extra time and effort to put plastic wrap under the caps of your toiletries may very well save your limited traveling wardrobe from unfortunate mishaps. Even the most tightly screwed-on caps run the risk of becoming loose from all the jostling that travel entails.

Stuff Your Shoes (and Cover Them with a Shower Cap)

Don’t waste any room in your suitcases by leaving shoes empty. The insides of shoes offer valuable negative space, perfect for storing pairs of socks or rolled up shirts. Once shoes are properly stuffed, cover them with a shower cap before packing them with any clean clothes.

You may also like: What Needs to Be on Every Packing List for a Family Vacation

Keep Loose Items in a Hard Glasses Case!

Glasses cases are the perfect place for keeping all our smaller items in one place. Things that come in sets, like earrings or ear buds, are the perfect size for glasses cases. Coil up charger cords and necklaces before tucking them inside to keep everything neat and tangle-free.

Keep Your Dirty Clothes Inside a Laundry or Tote Bag

An empty tote bag takes up very little space but offers a whole lot of value. Use them for “toting” souvenirs, sunglasses, hats, or stale clothes on laundry day. At the end of the trip, pack dirty clothes inside the tote bag, then pack the bag into your suitcase.

One Response

  1. Hillary Light

    Been doing this for years with all my clothing! You can actually double the amount of items packed or leave room to add new clothing or other purchased items on the return trip. Plus I pack everything in 1 or 2 clear plastic bags to prevent airplane smell and/or open luggage. (THE WORST!!!!!!)


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About The Author

Hannah Winsten is a freelance writer and marketing consultant living in New York City. A total travel junkie, Hannah came to CheapOair as a French translator and SEM associate after returning from a stint living abroad in Paris. She’s also working on her first book--you know you want to read it. Find her on Twitter at @HannahRWinsten.