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    33 Packing Tips For Anyone Who Doesn't Want To Pay For Checked Luggage In 2023

    If your resolution is to travel more this year, bookmark this list.

    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!

    Amazon's guide to carry-ons, including airlines like air france, hawaiian airlines, delta airlines, jetblue, and more

    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.

    The blue packing list notepad broken down in to basics, miscellaneous, clothes, and hygiene

    3. And pack your purse, and choose your "personal item" carefully — aka the biggest one possible, like a spacious travel-friendly backpack that'll fit under the seat in front of you.

    The backpack in black unzipped to show internal pockets and capacity

    4. Check average weather in the area you're traveling to ahead of time, so you can decide what to pack. Will you need a light jacket? Just a heavy sweater? Is it usually rainy this time of year? Now you'll be in the know.

    5. 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.

    The two-tone grey jacket with the drawstring bag it packs into

    6. 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.

    7. 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!

    An infographic of different folding methods

    8. 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.

    A photo of the space between the metal bars in a rolling suitcase

    9. 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.

    A collared shirt with a belt rolled up to fit inside the neckhole

    10. 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.

    A ziploc bag with clothes folded inside marked "Tuesday"

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    Images of clothing being backed in and around a hat

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    A pair of sneakers in a shower cap, each stuffed with socks

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    A graphic of a suggested capsule wardrobe, including foundation pieces, outer layers, and accessories

    18. 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.

    The bottle which stands when full

    19. Select your most key pieces of jewelry and keep them safely stored in a truly mini (and gorge) jewelry case like this pretty velvet one. You'll feel fully accessorized without wasting space or weighing your bag down with heavy pieces.

    20. Every ounce of space is precious, which means you don't have room for a bulky neck pillow. But don't worry, that's what the Trtl pillow is for. It folds up thin and compact, and when you're ready to use, just wrap it around your neck — underneath the soft fleece is an internal support structure designed to keep your head in a comfy position for sleeping upright.

    A model in the wrap pillow showing the internal structure

    21. 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!

    The travel wallet in rose gold

    22. 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!

    The set of containers a reviewer filled with lotion, body wash, shampoo, face wash, face cream, and a face mask

    23. 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.

    A graphic of wrapping the plastic wrap under the cap of shampoo

    24. And btw, your favorite skincare brand probably makes a travel-friendly skincare set you can keep in your suitcase for trips and weekends away — then you'll NEVER forget it (or waste space).

    25. Swap your regular hot tool for a 2-in-1 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.

    The tool in black and rose gold

    26. The mini sizes don't stop there! Make sleeping in a different environment (whether that's your in-laws' house or a hotel) a little easier with a little helpful white noise. But instead of packing a giant fan or white noise machine, try a teeny-tiny one like this mini LectroFan.

    A hand showing the palm-sized speaker

    27. Put shoes by the wheels and lighter items toward the handle so that when your suitcase is upright & rolling, the shoes won't crush or wrinkle your clothes.

    A graphic explaining the tip

    28. 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.

    A reviewer wearing the chunky white sneakers with black and brown accents

    29. 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.

    A reviewer in the plaid scarf

    30. Big vacation reader? Leave the heavy, bulky books at home and bring HUNDREDS (or even THOUSANDS) of books with you in one little device — a Kindle!

    31. 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.

    32. 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.

    The bag

    33. If you're traveling with kids, switch to a super-compact stroller that weighs less than 12 pounds and can fit in an overhead bin or even under a seat, because every penny counts when it comes to family vacations.

    Because spoiler alert: This won't fit into the overhead compartment.