How to hitchhike safely and effectively - practical tips. Everything you need to know before you go on a hitchhiking trip.
Clothes do not fit in a suitcase? Have you ever forgotten something? Previously folded clothes are creased after arrival? For many people, packing a suitcase or a backpack is one of the less pleasant elements of travel. Fortunately, there are many handy techniques that can improve the packaging process. In this article you will learn the best tips and tricks that will help you save time and space in your suitcase.
The tips you’ll learn here are so universal that you can easily apply them to all your travels. You will learn what to put on the bottom, what should be easily accessible on top, and how to ensure the stability of the suitcase and relieve your back.
Why are packing techniques worth learning?
- Lighter luggage - if we travel by plane, it may often turn out that our suitcase is already full, but the suitcase is very light - and we could easily add 3 or 5 kilograms. In addition, it may turn out that you can easily pack into a smaller suitcase or backpack
- Everything at hand - better-packed luggage means that the most needed items are always at hand - we don’t have to dig through clothes and towels to reach the phone charger or sunscreen
- Stress-free packaging - you will avoid a situation in which you have to change your plans at the last minute and give up the items you planned to pack
Proper packing order
Before you start packing, keep in mind the following rules:
- Prepare all your things before you start packing
- Avoid making pauses during packing, just get it over with!
Here you can read a complete guide which includes all the necessary steps in the right order. You can choose any step here to immediately proceed there.
Choosing the proper packing technique
We start by collecting all the clothes. Depending on the duration of the trip, on how big is your luggage and on what means of transport you have chosen - pick the right packing technique. You will save some space and avoid creasing clothes.
See the full guide with step by step tutorial and video explanation of each packing technique
Definitely the most popular technique. It works similar to the way how we fold our clothes into the closet right after washing them. It is common but not necessarily useful if we want to save space.This way, our baggage consists of clothes folded into small and bigger squares stacked on each other. See the full guide with video explanation
Best technique if we want to save some space. It is tight rolling your clothes and putting them in the suitcase in a form of rolls.
If you are to take a lot of clothes that are easy to create, then this method is for you. It is stacking all the clothes on each other and then wrapping them, one by one.
It is similar to folding, basically, you put your folded clothes vertically, not horizontally.
Step 1: Heavy items, like boots or shoes, should be put at the bottom of your suitcase. They will make a solid base for other things in your baggage, as well as they will balance it properly. Good thing is to wear the biggest or the heaviest clothes on you and the rest to pack in your luggage. Additionally, take an extra plastic bag for your shoes so the footing would not dirty the whole baggage.
Step 2: Put them inside the shoes - this way you will avoid possible footwear deformation during the travel and you will also save some space in your suitcase. You can also put there other small things you won’t need during the trip.
Step 3: While packing sweaters, which are mostly heavier parts of clothes, pack them right after the shoes, making the first layer of clothes.
Step 4: It is better to pack your underwear in a small bag and then put them into gaps between shoes and sweaters. You will save plenty of space and you will prevent shoes from moving during transport.
Step 5: We recommend packing a t-shirt for each day and the right amount of trousers, so you can change them every two-three days.
Step 6: All the remaining clothes such as dresses or shirts fold into cubes and place them on the rolled t-shirts and trousers.
Packing everyday items
Packing cosmetics can be problematic - I think each of us had to throw away too large a bottle of shampoo at the airport, forgetting the 100 ml limit, or opened luggage in which shower gel was spilled. Fortunately, the packing of everyday items can be smoother and more stress-free.
- Buy small packages - a great solution for frequently used cosmetics, such as conditioner, shower gel or shampoo. Thanks to this we will save a lot of space in the luggage.
- Use one-time purchase packages - a good, more profitable version of the previous advice is a one-time purchase of small glass packaging for cosmetics, which we will fill with the products we already have at home.
- Try multifunctional products - if you find a 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 product that you like then this is another way to save space in your suitcase! Note - cosmetics such as shampoo + conditioner can often weigh your hair down and it is usually better to take these cosmetics separately.
- Share - you can arrange with your travel companions option to share frequently used products such as soap and hand cream. Thanks to this, instead of five packages - you will pack one.
- Think in categories - it is a good idea to buy sachets in which we’ll pack the cosmetics by their category.
- Divide cosmetics into cosmetic bags - in one, these products that we must have at hand, and in the other, these that we will use during holidays.
This is one of the most space-consuming items.
- Rolling is believed to be the best way to pack your towels
- Towels can provide great cushioning for smaller and delicate items
- A special travel towel can be a good purchase - it is lighter, thinner and quick-drying
- You can wrap something damp in a towel if you urgently need to pack it before departure
- It's a good idea to wrap delicate items in towels or t-shirts
- If you are looking for a more professional solution - consider purchasing an aviation foam that protects the glass from damage, or a bubble wrap
There are many everyday items that we want to take on a trip - especially the longer one. These include, but are not limited, to brushes, hairbrushes, clothes roller, razors and more.
- You can protect the razor blade with a glue gun - you just take the protective layer off the razor before use
- Instead of shaving gel, you can apply a hair conditioner to the calves or thighs - it will also soften the hair and protect the skin
Packing the carry-on bag
Carry-on bag must be packed in a particularly thoughtful way so that it will be handy and comfortable at the same time, and also - provides good access to all necessary items.
Clothes for a carry-on bag
- Emergency clothes - for a carry-on bag, pack one set of clothes for the whole day, in case you spend the night at the airport or spill coffee on your clothes.
- Warm cover - let's also pack a sweatshirt and a raincoat - something warm in case of cool weather or staying outside after dark.
Cosmetics for a carry-on bag
Think about what will be useful for us when traveling and pack only the absolute minimum, but let's not forget about a few important details.
- Antibacterial gel - in case we won’t be able to wash our hands comfortably.
- Hand cream - air-conditioned areas of airports or hours on the bus can be a big challenge for our skin and make it very dry.
- Face mist - a great way to feel fresh even after hours on the road.
- Lip balm - a long journey, dehydration or conditioned air - all of this dries your lips.
- Wipes - a must-have for a travel bag!
- A lens box and lens solution - if you wear them, of course. There is nothing worse than not being able to safely remove your lenses after many hours!
One of the most delicate elements of our carry-on luggage.
- Consider whether you really need to take all the planned electronics with you. If your phone takes pictures as good as a camera, and you will only use your laptop to watch movies that you could watch on a tablet anyway - this way you can minimize the volume of your luggage.
- Flat power banks are more convenient and handy than wide and shapeless ones.
- Take universal cables and charger adapters with you, especially useful might be the USB splitter, which will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time.
- When packing chargers, cables or headphones - you can fasten them with an elastic band so that they do not get tangled
- Make the most of the potential of pockets and loops in your carry-on luggage to sort small items
- Do you want to be sure that you won’t forget about all the necessary accessories and gadgets? Check out this checklist!
- One of the most important pieces of luggage! The key is to secure them properly - for example, keeping them in a waterproof, plastic pocket. It is equally important to protect these items against theft. Keep them close to the body, in an accessible place for you
- Keep your documents in one place, but in your main baggage pack a spare passport photo, photos of tickets, documents or hotel booking confirmation
Other ways to improve your stay
We have prepared a comprehensive list of articles which will help you during your trip:
- Lower the costs of your trip - we’ve prepared 16 ways to both prevent you from spending too much money and allow you to enjoy your stay. See how to do this in this article.
- Use travelling gadgets - there are plenty of useful accessories which may ease and improve your packing process. You can find this article here.
- Remember about safety - despite your plans for vacations, check this article to prevent yourself from getting robbed.
- See how to travel during the pandemics - 9 verified methods on how to protect yourself from coronavirus while travelling. Check what can you do and what you should avoid.