Tips For Lightening Your Summer Suitcase

Because everyone has baggage.
Published July 28, 2016

Summer is the perfect time to get away from it all. Whether you’re planning a three-week European vacation or a weekend trip to the beach, you’ll need to pack a bag, and you’ll want to pack it the most efficient way possible.

Whether you're traveling by plane, train or automobile, here are some clever ways to keep your cosmetics spill-proof, your valuables safe, and clothes wrinkle-free.

Suitcase packing 101

  • Roll, don’t fold. By rolling your clothes, you’ll maximize space in your luggage ten-fold (no pun intended).
  • For even more space, place socks inside your shoes. Place shoes in shower caps to protect dirty soles from marking up your clothes.
  • To prevent wrinkling, fold delicate clothing in tissue paper and place in a dry cleaning plastic bag. 
  • Ziploc bags are your travel BFFs. These nifty plastic bags are handy for a variety of uses, including everything from preventing liquids from spilling onto clothing to holding damp clothes or bathing suits to keeping travel snacks at the ready.
  • Stack bras together, fold them in half, and tuck your underwear inside. By placing your underwear inside, you’re not only saving space, but you’re also keeping the shape of your bras. Then place them in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Bring bubble wrap. If you’re a big souvenir buyer, you’ll want to tuck a panel of bubble wrap into your luggage to ensure your travel tokens return safely home with you. P.S. Pool floaties work, too!
  • Place a dryer sheet in your luggage. It will keep your clothing static-free and smelling fresh.
  • Waterproof your luggage by placing your raincoat at the bottom of your suitcase and lining the sides with your Ziploc bags and rain boots (if you’re bringing them).
  • Pack the heaviest stuff closest to the wheels of your rolling suitcase so the weight is distributed at the bottom and makes it easier for you to roll it around.

Make-up and beauty

  • Headed for a weekend getaway? Because you won’t need a lot of product, place your lotions and sunscreen inside either unused eye contacts containers, or funnel them inside of plastic straws and cover the bottoms with tape.
  • Save on tons of space in your makeup bag by coating the ends of cotton swabs with your favourite eye shadows and placing them inside of a Ziploc bag.
  • Drugstore pill containers are perfect for storing jewellery, like rings and small earrings.
  • Prevent your powdered makeup from breaking by sticking cotton balls inside your compact before placing them in your makeup bag.
  • Packing breakable items like perfume? Put them inside your socks for extra protection.
  • Use an old medicine bottle to store cotton swabs and cotton balls or any other disposable makeup applicators.
  • Put small hairpins and clips inside a Tic Tac case.
  • Place saran wrap on top of bottles of shampoo and conditioner before putting the caps back on.
  • Stick your curling iron or hairdryer into a potholder. It not only protects it, but you can pack it even when it’s still warm.

For him

  • Place belts inside of collared shirts. Not only does it save space, but it also keeps the collars stiff.
  • Fold his blazers inside out to prevent wrinkles.
  • Take a shoehorn with you. It will help him put his shoes back on (which you know he’ll take off during the flight) since cabin pressure generally makes your feet bloat a bit.
  • Get his fancy shirts folded and boxed by your dry cleaners rather than put on hangers, so that way they are already folded and ready to be packed.
  • Don’t have a safety case for his razor? Stick a binder clip on it.

Tech stuff

  • Place cords and chargers in unused sunglasses cases for efficient storage.
  • Take control of unruly cords, like headphones, and wrap them around a binder clip to avoid them tangling.
  • Put a pen spring around your phone charger’s cord to prevent it from bending and breaking.
  • Remember, if you forget your wall plug, you can charge devices through the USB slot on the TV in your hotel room.
  • Bring a power strip with you so you won’t be desperate for a power outlet (and you’ll be a hero to your fellow travelers).