1. Roll your clothes instead of folding
Retail stores have been using this trick for years in their stock rooms to fit more clothes. Simply roll up your clothes instead of folding them to fit more in your bag! It’s also a great way to keep your outfits together. Place your socks, underwear, and shirt on top of your pants. Then, roll them up to keep the outfit together and save space in your bag.
2. Pack your electronics on top
One quick way to speed up your time in the security line is to pack anything they might need to take a look at on top. That includes your laptop, toiletries, and any other electronics. Your fellow airport travelers will also appreciate the speediness as you move through the security line and security is less likely to rummage through your bag, messing up your clothes in the process.
3. Make a DIY single use toothpaste or lotion carrier
Why bring a whole tube of toothpaste or a bottle of lotion just to have it confiscated in the security line? It’s easy to make a single use toothpaste or lotion holder. All you’ll need is a straw, scissors, lighter, and pliers. First, cut the straw in half and fill it with enough toothpaste for one brush. Then pinch the end of the straw with your pliers. Finally, heat the end of the straw with your lighter to seal it.
4. Store your hairpins in a tic tac container
Tic tacs are only a few cents. Not only will your breath smell great but you will also have a neat little container to store your hairpins, earrings, and small accessories that could easily be lost in your luggage.
5. Plastic bags are your best friend
Clothes take up a lot of space in your bag because they are filled with air. By placing your clothes in a large ziploc bag and removing the air, you can really compress them and save some space. Don’t have a vacuum? Use a straw to suck the air out.
6. Buy some clothes at your final destination
When in Rome… dress as the Romans. Well, wearing a toga on your next vacation might be taking it too far. But if you purchase some of your clothes at your final destination instead of bringing them, you’ll save space and have some nice souvenirs for the trip home. Plus, you won’t look like a tourist if you dress like the locals.
7. Swap your bean bag neck pillow for an inflatable one
Neck pillows can help you leave the flight well-rested and eliminate the stress of travelling. But, they take up a lot of room in your bag. Try using an inflatable neck pillow to save space.
8. Get free stuff from the hotel front desk
Don’t bother packing deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, or disposable razor. But Dr, won’t I be a stinky mess? No! All of these things can be had for free if you ask the front desk of your hotel. Sometimes, you can even get a free iPhone charger from the lost and found – hundreds are forgotten in hotel rooms every day. Alternatively, you can buy most of these things when you get to your destination and throw them away before the return trip to save space.
9. Follow the 3:1:1 rule
The TSA has a special rule when it comes to carrying liquids. You are allowed to fit as many 3oz (3.4oz if you want to be technical) bottles of liquid in a 1 quart bag, with 1 bag allowed per passenger. This rule includes semi-liquids too, like lotions, toothpaste, and gels.
10. Layer your clothes
What you “carry on” doesn’t have to be limited to your carry-on. Wear a jacket in the airport to free up some space in your bag, tie a sweatshirt around your waist, and wear a hat in line. You will be asked to remove the jacket and accessories in the security line, which can slow things down, but at least you will save some space in your bag.
11. Save time in line with TSA Pre Check
TSA Pre Check is a new program that has been adopted at over 150 airports and by all of the major U.S. airlines. If you are approved for this program, there’s no need to remove laptops, liquids, jackets, belts, or other items from your bag. With this program you enter a special expedited security line and cut down your waiting time!
12. Weigh your bag on the bathroom scale
Make sure to check your bag’s weight on the bathroom scale before you get to the airport. If the bag weighs less than 50 lbs or is smaller than 62 inches in dimension, it’s considered normal size for bag check. This size could be free or a small fee depending on your airline. Anything over that is universally considered overweight and will incur additional charges.