The holiday season isn’t too far away. To prevent seasonal stress, utilize all the space you can in your luggage and do everything you can to avoid unnecessary fees. Below are some tips to help you pack smarter this season. Let us know some of your hacks in the comments.

Weigh It 

If you’re like me and you hate wasting money, this is probably the most important tip on the list. Invest in a luggage scale and always weigh your luggage (twice) to make sure you are under the limit. I like to bring my scale with me just in case the airport says my luggage weighs more than it does.

Stay Fresh 

Make sure to bring a laundry bag that folds up. You can use it to separate your dirty clothes during your trip. I’ve used a space bag for my dirty clothes as well. When I get back from my trip it’s pretty easy to know what’s dirty and what’s clean. Also throw a few dryer sheets into your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh throughout your trip.

Cube It

Organization is the best way to make sure you're utilizing all the space in your suitcase. With packing cubes, you can group things by type or even give each outfit its own cube. I like to use space bags along with my cubes to maximize my space even more.

Take Advantage of Your Carry-On

On a recent trip I managed to fit six days’ worth of clothes in my carry-on. If you are flexible with your outfits and roll your clothes you can pack a lot in a small suitcase. Additionally, make sure you take advantage of the maximum size possible for a carry-on bag. I used to bring only a duffle bag, but after I upgraded to the max size for a carry-on, the amount I can pack is dramatically different.

Get Personal

When choosing a personal item, go for something bigger than a small purse. If you choose to use a backpack, you can pack a whole outfit or two in there, utilizing more space. I usually pack the outfit I plan to change into when I arrive in my backpack. If I’m not bringing my computer, I’ll pack my backpack pretty full. Just make sure it’s not so full that it can’t fit under the seat in front of you.  Amazon has a nice basic backpack for under $20.

Use Plastic Wrap

Our friends at SmarterTravel recently wrote a great article on plastic wrap packing hacks. My favorite is for small jewelry. You can lay your jewelry down on a piece of plastic wrap, then simply wrap it up. They also have tips on how to use plastic wrap to make your toiletries spill-proof (don’t forget the 3-1-1 rule). Read the full article here

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