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Ultimate pack hack to get a week’s outfits into one carry-on

Airline bag fees are completely out of hand, and out of lots of travelers’ budgets these days. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose between turning your undies inside out or financing a lovely vacay for your Tumi.

Instead, make things simple by sandwiching a week’s worth of outfits into one teeny, tiny carry-on. It’s actually much easier than you think.

Start with your jacket or outerwear and continue layering clothes on a flat surface at 180 degrees. Next, place an undergarment bag or your cosmetics case in the center of the pile, and start folding everything else around it. The idea is to eliminate any air or space between the clothes so that you’re actually just packing one big block of clothes.

And we don’t mean to select a skimpy travel wardrobe for a week, by any means. Depending on its size, your little carry-on can probably hold a long coat, two sweaters, three T-shirts, a dress, a skirt, two pairs of jeans, and a dressy and casual pair of shoes in addition to plenty of underwear. You could go just about anywhere with all of that in your that bag.

If this technique is a little bit hard to picture, check out this genius video from Travel Noire that shows exactly how it’s done.

Packing light

TV travel guru Rick Steves is a firm believer in packing light, and has these tips to make sure you’re not lugging around too much extra stuff on your next trip. Not only is it more convenient, but Steves warns that when you’re saddled with heavy luggage, you’re a prime target for criminals looking to take advantage of hapless tourists.

  1. When you’re packing, it’s best to think about what you can do without, rather than everything you might possibly need on a trip. “Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario,” Steves says. “Pack for the best-case scenario and simply buy yourself out of any jams.”
  2. Layers are better — and lighter — than a heavy coat.
  3. As you’re packing, Steves recommends spreading everything out on the floor and asking yourself honestly if you’ll use that item enough to justify hauling it across a long distance.
  4. Whether you’re packing for a weeklong trip or one that will last for several weeks, pack the same amount of stuff and just find a spot to wash your clothes while you’re on the road.
  5. Finally, once your bags are packed, Steves recommends heading out in your hometown with your bags to make sure you can lug them comfortably.

Anyone else getting the urge for a quickie getaway?

This post was brought to you by Lance Sandwich Crackers.

More packing tips and tricks

The secret to packing one suitcase for you and him
How to pack carry-on luggage
The well-dressed woman’s guide to packing a suitcase

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