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1.Figure out what carry-on suitcase size works for the airline you're going on, because of COURSE there's no standard measurement across them all. Luckily for us, Amazon has an easy guide to make shopping for your suitcase a lot easier — just select by airline!
2.Create a packing list even before you take a single item out. Whether it's on a handy prefilled notepad or just on the Notes app of your phone, spend some time really thinking about everything you need so you don't panic and try to shove in 25 pairs of extra undies and three sweatshirts at the last minute.
3.Download a weather app like Dark Sky that lets you look ~into the future~ to see what the weather will be like in the city you're visiting. Will you need a light jacket? Just a heavy sweater? Now you'll be in the know.
4.If rain is on the meteorological menu, squeeze in a packable raincoat so you can stay securely dry without having to leave your favorite, more fashionable pieces at home. This packs down into a teensy drawstring bag. You can even keep it in your purse while actually on the trip if it might stay dry.
5.Listen to your parents and roll your clothes to save space. It's a tried-and-true method that actually works AND also makes it easier to find individual items — without messing up the whole rest of the suitcase.
6.Or try one of these techniques — depending on what you're packing, you might want to switch it up. The "clown car" style helps with reducing wrinkles!
7.Fill otherwise-hard-to-utilize space (looking at you, space between the metal bars!) with rolled up undies, bathing suits, or other small pieces of clothing to maximize capacity.
8.Things can get a bit...crushed...in a small carry-on easily, so maintain the collar shape of dress shirts by looping your belt just inside. Your next work trip is officially saved from creased collars.
9.Maximize your vacation hours (and suitcase space) by packing your outfits PER DAY! No more rummaging around your suitcase, messing everything up. And if you want to wear something more than once, just keep it separate for now.
10.Make your clothes more *compact* bit by bit in a set of packing cubes — organize them by day (like pictured above), clothing type, ~segment of your trip~ (like city/beach/weather), etc.! Harness your inner Virgo and get packing.
11.Or if you're less worried about organization and more worried about having enough space, compress everything into a set of space-saver bags specifically designed for travel. Over-packers? These are for you. No vacuum required; just pop in your stuff and roll to release the pesky extra air through the valves.
12.Stuff small, foldable items inside your hat, then place items carefully around the brim inside your suitcase to keep it from getting crushed or bent. Because carrying a sun hat on the plane is just annoying.
13.Or try a *genius* Toptote hat clip that hooks right around your bag strap, luggage tag, zipper loop, wherever to easily let your sun hat dangle from the side of your bag as you stroll your way through the airport. Your hands are full ENOUGH, thankyouverymuch.
14.Stop wasting a single inch of space — fill your shoes with teensy packables like socks and undies. Off to somewhere chilly? Pack leggings, or even your straightener/curling iron in boots to save space and help maintain your boots' shape.
15.Fold one bra cup inside out into the other, then stuff the straps and band inside *that* cup for a compact packing method that won't ruin your favorite bras.
16.Create a mini capsule wardrobe when packing; stick to just one palette, plus a few accent colors, so you can make the most from mixing and matching juuuust a few key pieces.
17.Roll up a compact and collapsible water bottle, because it's incredibly easy to get dehydrated on a long-haul flight, and airport water is expensive! You can keep it handy in an outer pocket of your carry-on bag or backpack so you can fill it with ease, without losing on precious space.
18.Select your most key pieces of jewelry and keep them safely stored in a truly mini (and adorable) case like this pretty velvet one. You'll feel fully accessorized without wasting space or weighing your bag down with heavy pieces.
19.Traveling with a carry-on and a (cough cough giant backpack) personal item (and a jacket) can get unwieldy, especially at security. Store your cash, boarding pass, passport, credit cards, etc. in a travel wallet that makes it super easy to see everything at a glance. And then just toss it in your carry-on when you're through security!
20.Opt for a perfectly sized set of TSA-friendly travel bottles and jars you can fill (and refill) with your favorite products when they don't make travel size. Can't skip your fave skin and hair products when you're away, even when packing light!
21.And add an easy, leakproof layer to your toiletries to avoid any big-time oopsies at your destination; just wrap a small square of cling wrap over the opening and pop the cap on top.
22.Swap your regular hot tool for a two-in-one straightener and curling iron so you only have to bring *one* tool, no matter how you want to wear your hair. It has dual voltage for international trips, too.
23.Put shoes by the wheels and lighter items towards the handle so that when your suitcase is upright & rolling, the shoes won't crush or wrinkle your clothes.
24.Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane, whether that's a pair of chunky sneakers, booties, etc. — you'll save suitcase space, but stay comfy on the long flight — especially if you wear some nice compression socks.
25.Rather than packing a giant sweatshirt you might not wear again, if you run cold, keep a blanket scarf easily accessible in your carry-on. It'll be lightweight enough to pack up small, but keep you significantly warmer on the freezing desert that is the internal airplane climate.
26.Include a fold-up duffel on trips when you KNOW you'll be bringing back more than you came with. Just pack your purse on the way back and count this as your "personal item" — I won't tell.
27.Remember all the dirty laundry you're going to accumulate *in advance* so all of your careful rolling isn't for nought. Separate your stinky socks into a space-saving laundry bag designed to help you *compress* those dirty clothes into a compact bag so they're out of sight, out of mind until you're home...and fiiiiiinally unpack.
Because spoiler alert: This won't fit into the overhead compartment.
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