People who travel a lot often figure out little tricks and hacks that help them pack faster and more efficiently, and fit more into a smaller space. This is especially important in this age of paying extra fees to check your luggage. If you can fit everything into a carry-on, you will save time and money!

Next time you travel, try some of these ideas:

1. Use the space in your shoes.

Shoes take up a lot of space in a bag, but they are hollow inside, so you can take advantage of that. Socks are an obvious item to pop into shoes, but you can also use shoes to hold tightly rolled underwear, bras, or small bags containing accessories or toiletries.

2. Fold clothes into tiny shapes.

Here’s a way to fold a t-shirt, pair of underpants, and a pair of socks into the space taken up by just the socks: Start with t-shirt spread out flat and place the pair of underwear on top of the t-shirt. Fold the sleeves and sides of the t-shirt in until you have a rectangle about four inches wide. Place your socks across the top of the rectangle about three inches from the top, so that the open ends are outside. Then roll the shirt tightly up. You should end up with something that looks like a wrapped hard candy with the sock ends sticking out. Now fold the tops of the socks down over the rolled shirt to hold it all together!

3. Throw in a few plastic bags.

Empty plastic bags take next to no space at all, so you can always stuff them into your suitcase somewhere. Pack a few in an outside pocket, both shopping bag size and some zip-lock plastic bags. They will come in handy to separate your dirty clothes from clean ones, hold a wet towel or bathing suit, or corral some smaller items when you pack to travel home.

4. Collect and protect your chargers and electronic accessories.

Charging cords, headphones and other items often end up haphazardly thrown into bags, but there’s nothing worse than needing to charge your phone and discovering that your charger got bent or broken in your bag! Use a small padded bag to get all your small electronic items in one place and keep them safe. There are purpose-made bags for electronics or just use a makeup bag.

5. Keep travel-friendly plastic bottles from leaking.

Those specially-sized bottles that you fill with shampoo, conditioner and such can sometimes leak. Take some plastic wrap and put it over the opening before you screw on the cap. This helps the cap fit more tightly and adds a layer of waterproof material to keep liquids inside. Then gather all your bottles with liquids into a sealed zip plastic bag.

6. Use pill cases to pack small items.

Seven-day pill cases are easy to find at the dollar store and are of course handy for carrying any prescription medications you take daily. But you can use them in other ways too. If you take over the counter medications regularly, you can use each compartment to pack a small handful of different medications, like ibuprofen, antacids, or anti-allergy pills. You can also use a pill keeper to hold small items like earrings and rings.

7. Use shower caps to cover your shoes.

Shoes can have a lot of gross stuff on their bottoms, and you don’t want that in contact with the other items in your bag. Don’t spend money on fancy special shoe bags. Grab some shower caps at the dollar store (or save the free ones in your hotel rooms) and stretch them around your shoe bottoms.

8. Put glass items inside socks or tights.

Sometimes you have to take a glass item with you, whether it’s a makeup jar, perfume bottle, or a gift for someone at your destination. Pack it inside a sock or pair of tights. This will help cushion the item, and keep the glass contained if it does break.

9. Pack heavy items near the wheels.

We tend to pack suitcases horizontally, with heavy items on the bottom and lighter ones on top. But most suitcases these days have wheels on one of the short ends. This means that as soon as you stand up your suitcase, those heavy items are going to try to slide downward, and if they don’t, they can make the suitcase hard to maneuver. So when you pack, visualize how everything will stack when the suitcase is vertical and place the heaviest items near the wheels. That way their weight will work with you to keep the bag stable.

10. Make your bag easy to find.

If you do check your luggage, do something to make it easy to spot your bag, especially if it is a common color like black or blue. Tie a small scarf tightly to the handle, get a funky tag holder, or put a brightly colored strap around the exterior. Next time you buy new luggage, choose an offbeat color or wild pattern.

With a little thought and extra effort, you can make packing quicker, easier, and more efficient. Happy travels!

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