- Plan ahead so you know what to pack -- ideally, a couple of days before you go. If you wait until the last minute, you'll just throw everything you think of into your bag.
- Make what you pack do double duty. A large scarf can be used as a casual sarong or a dressy wrap; a microfiber shirt can also be worn as a light jacket.
- Don't pack air! Compression bags don't require a vacuum to use (you roll the air out of your clothes) and your clothes will take up less room in your suitcase.
- Take tiny things. You don't need a giant bottle of anything while you're traveling. Buy three-ounce reusable bottles and fill them with your favorites, or pick up travel size toiletries.
- Buy what you need once you're there. Unless you're going to a developing country, chances are you'll be able to pick up anything you need at your destination.
- Keep everything organized. Group all of your socks or stockings together in a single zip-top bag and pack complete outfits together.
- Make sure your clothing can mix and match. A classic black pant, a chic patterned skirt, a black blazer, and several brightly colored blouses can create many different outfits without you having to bring your entire wardrobe.
- Wear your bulkiest clothes and your clunkiest shoes on the plane. If you have to bring a coat, wear it onboard rather than packing it in your bag. Doing a lot of walking? Wear those shoes and tuck the ballet flats into your suitcase -- they take up less room.
- Pack easily wrinkled clothing in plastic dry-cleaning bags. The plastic helps reduce friction, which is what causes wrinkling.
- Tuck your most essential essentials -- medication, important papers, eyeglasses, etc. -- into a smaller bag within your carry-on bag, so if the flight attendant has to put your bag below at the last minute, you can pull out the important things quickly and keep them with you.
Traveling for business? Trying to avoid those extra checked-baggage fees? Here are some tips for packing everything you need for a short trip into a single carry-on bag.
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