Can your luggage ever be large enough? It seems that whatever weight allowance we’re given, it’s exceeded. And we’re sure you’re the same. Souvenirs are accrued, electronics and cosmetics hoarded, and jackets required only for the journey to the airport use up more real estate than they’re worth. Sadly, no suitcase is a Tardis and we can’t all have Mary Poppins’ bag. We can, however, follow a few nifty hacks to get the most of our luggage. These are those; our 7 IDEAL space saving tips for packing your suitcase.

ROLL WITH IT

Are you a roller or a folder? Perhaps you swing both ways. Well, we think it’s a little more nuanced. In general, rolling lighter clothes like t-shirts, skirts and underwear works a treat, and you can stuff them into the nooks and crannies of a suitcase which a folded item just couldn’t reach. But with bulkier stuff, folding is the better space saver, as keeping those padded items as flat as possible amounts to less space filled. A little from column A, a little from column B, we think. 

THE LUGGAGE LAYER CAKE

The order of items packed into your suitcase bears much more relevance to the amount you can fit in than you might expect. Think of it as layering. It’s prudent to start with the heaviest, most cumbersome stuff first, most likely your shoes (wrapped in clingfilm if they’ve been worn). Fit them around each other, tetris style, and in the small gaps and grooves left over on that original layer, stuff smaller items like your socks and knickers. Do so until every tiny space is accounted for. Next, some larger pieces of clothing, and on the top layer, place the lighter stuff, which will give and bend more flexibly when you shut and zip the case. 

WEAR IT

Obvious and a no-brainer; those really bulky items like coats and jumpers should never be stuffed in your suitcase when they can be worn on the plane. Yes, you may end up looking like the michelin man when you board, but you’ll leave more space in your luggage for additional ensembles to be worn at your destination. Simples. 

BUY MULTIPURPOSE ITEMS

It’s all about multi purpose, multi functional items if you want to maximise your luggage space and the versatility of its contents. Think interchangeable items that can create a number of different outfit combinations. As a general rule of thumb you should pack more tops than bottoms; shorts and a skirt which are smart enough to be dressy when paired with the right top, trousers made from a breathable material suitable for any occasion, classic styles which are adaptable…you get the picture.

On the flipside, items to avoid at all costs (or if you can best avoid them) are the one-wear-wonders we all have in our collection. Ask yourself if you really need your couple of hours wearing that item, and if a more versatile replacement would do a similar job. As well as streamlining your holiday wardrobe, for maximum space saving, streamline your beauty regime too; multi-purpose, all-in-one skincare and hair products are key here.

CHOOSE YOUR LUGGAGE WISELY

This goes beyond choosing a lightweight suitcase, which of course is crucial if you’re to make the most of your weight allowance. But it’s also important to be selective about your carry on bag as this can hold a surprising amount of stuff otherwise destined for the hold. Moreover, when it comes to choosing your hand-luggage it’s important to consider the versatility of the bag: can it take you from day to night? Is it suitable, comfortable and safe enough to take with you on a day of exploring?  Luckily, you don’t have to compromise style over safety, functionality or size, though. Innovators like Radley blend both qualities in a range of designs. Practicality has never looked so good, we think. 

ORGANISE & REFRESH CLOTHES

You know what it’s like when you’re on the road, living out of a suitcase. Dirty clothes get mixed up with clean items and everything starts smelling a little bit funky and looking a tad tired. This one is remedied with ease; get your hands on some dryer sheets and slip some into your suitcase to keep things fresh. Moreover, some dryer sheets have insect repelling properties, specifically the Bounce brand dryer sheet. A double whammy of feeling fresh and being bite free, we think, which is all you can ask for in a holiday, right?

Another way to breathe new life into your holiday ensembles is with dry wash spray for clothes. It works in a similar way to dry shampoo, but instead of restoring your locks, it revives clothes from just-worn to looking, feeling and smelling just-washed. And if you’re looking for next level organisation, then ziplock bags are a handy way to separate all of your items in a tightly packed case, allowing for easy unpacking and locating stuff quickly.

NO LAST MINUTES

If you’re like us, and you like to take your packing right down to the wire (sometimes still finessing it on the way to the airport), then you’ll know that this last minute approach does you no favours in terms of space saving. Better in the long term, we think, to pack methodically and with time to spare, allowing plenty of time to squeeze in those vital, extras and sieve out the unecessaries. Determine what’s essential and what’s superfluous by considering the ratios (and what’s more likely to get dirtier, quicker). So, pack more tops than bottoms, more casuals than smarts and more dressed downs than dressed up. And with that, we hope you have a great holiday.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.