You’ve bought your airplane tickets and have your passport ready to go. There isn’t much else you have to do besides packing your bags! While airlines have severely restricted the amount of luggage that you can take with you, here are some tips on packing clothes that will help you to maximize the space that you have, whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or a semester abroad.

1. Roll Your Clothes

Travel tips for packing clothes - roll your clothes

pinay traveller via Flickr

My aunt showed me this trick one year when I was packing, and I’ve used it ever since! Rolling your clothes not only saves space, but also helps your clothes to not get as wrinkled in your suitcase as it would otherwise. It’s really simple and doesn’t take a lot of time; fold your clothes in half lengthwise and roll it up like you would a sleeping bag. Then stack the rolls on top of each other in your suitcase. Not only does it save space, but you can see all the clothes that you’ve packed in one look!

2. Take Layers

Travel tips for packing clothes - take layers

Dov Harrington via Flickr

This is key, especially if your travels encompass several seasons. Wearing layers during your trip is a great way to stay warm without taking too many bulky pieces, such as sweaters. And if the weather warms up a bit? Just take a layer or two off. Tank tops, thin long sleeve shirts, leggings, and scarves are all great layers for you to pack.

3. Mix and Match Your Outfits

Travel tips for packing clothes - mix and match outfits

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While taking layers is great, the layers won’t be worth anything if you can only wear them with one outfit. Make sure that the pieces that you take are versatile enough to be worn on different occasions with a variety of other clothes that you are planning to take. Packing a variety of solid colored clothes that match each other, a few accessories that go with them, and a few dressy items gives you a wide assortment that you can mix and match to your heart’s content. (Side note: This tip goes for shoes as well.)

4. Stuff Your Shoes

Travel tips for packing clothes - stuff your shoes

Tony & Wayne via Flickr

Shoes are one of the bulkiest items to pack, so you want to limit the number of shoes that you pack. Since people tend to walk a lot when they are abroad, making sure that you have a durable pair of walking shoes is essential. You can wear a pair of shoes on the plane, but a great way to pack the others in your suitcase is to stuff them with other items that you’re planning to take. Be it socks, T-shirts, or anything else that you can think of, by stuffing your shoes, you leave that much more space open in your suitcase for other items you want to take.

5. Wear or Carry Your Bulkiest Clothes

Travel tips for packing clothes - wear your heaviest clothing

Renzelle Mae Abasolo via Flickr

More likely than not, you’ll be taking some type of jacket or large sweater with you. Do yourself (and your suitcase) a favor and carry that item with you on board the plane. You’ll use that space in your suitcase for other items, and additionally, sweaters are great on the plane if you get cold easily or want another pillow. Plus, you never know when a sweatshirt will come in handy.

One thing you always want to check with your airline before you pack your bag is its restrictions on weight and size for luggage. But follow these tips and you’ll be able to stay within any limits that they set! Trust me, I’ve done it. And once you get to your destination? Check out these travel guides for great ideas on sites to see, places to eat and more! Happy traveling!

Read Our Travel Guides
Read more about packing:
Some Basic Packing Tips For Your Trip to Europe
How to Pack When Backpacking
More Packing Tips

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About Hannah Kappler