Outside view of VIDA Building

Traveling? Pack the Right Way

Two people walking down the sidewalk pulling a small suitcase. Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio

October 2021


The holidays are approaching, so you may be planning some travel. If you’re flying, learning to travel light can save you countless airport hassles, as well as money on baggage fees. While packing may seem simple, it’s actually a science. Just follow a few time-tested rules and you’ll and you’ll learn to live with less and pack what you bring more efficiently.

Suitcase Size Matters

The bigger the suitcase, the more likely you’ll bring with you. The simplest way to avoid bringing more than you need is to go small. Use a hard-sided suitcase that’s no more than 22 inches tall so it can work as a carry-on.

Lay Out, Then Edit

Organize everything you think you’ll need on a large surface, like a bed or dining table. Then reconsider each item and avoid the “just in case I need it” approach. After all, if it turns out you do need it you can always buy it there.

Avoid Unused Space

As you pack your suitcase, look for unfilled spaces and fill them. Shoes should be stuffed with socks or underwear. Roll your clothes. For clothes, use airtight plastic storage bags, push out the air, and seal them.

Invest in Travel Sizes

Don’t bring a full-size bottle of shampoo – or any toiletries – for a short trip. Invest in travel size products or fill small storage bottles with just what you’ll need. If you really want to pack light, don’t bring any toiletries. Instead, purchase small sizes of what you’ll need at your destination.

Plan on Doing Laundry

Whether you stop at a laundromat, send your clothes out for laundering, or wash them in a sink, being willing to do a little laundry on your trip can have a big impact on your luggage needs.