I’ve read many a post on what to bring to Walt Disney World. In fact, I’ve even written about the topic here and here! However, I don’t often see posts on how to maximize the space in ones suitcase. So, today I bring you just that. Whether its a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, here are my space-saving tips!
Note: This article is targeting toward a more casual vacation. I’m hopeless when it comes to packing for business & formal events. Huge overpacker.
Make a packing list
For me, this is crucial. It is the ONLY way I won’t forget anything. As you place the item in the suitcase, cross it off your list. This may also prevent you from overpacking.
Extra tip: The night before, I like to make a list of all the last minute items I’ll need to add (i.e. phone charger, toothbrush) the morning I leave.
This one is hard and something I’m still figuring out. What I started doing is packing two more days of outfits than I actually need. That way, if my flight home gets cancelled or I get drenched (Thanks Splash Mountain), I have extras.
However, my one idea doesn’t really help you. So, I did some additional research to see how else we can all put an end to overpacking. Here’s what I learned:
- Research weather ahead of time so you know exactly what to dress for — I feel like this one is a no-brainer, but decided to include it anyway.
- Extra Tip: When I travel to Florida, I typically bring one pair of jeans and one sweatshirt/jacket with me in case of a cold day. I’ll often wear the sweatshirt on the plane as it’s bulky and I tend to get cold on the plane.
- Select a similar color palette: If all of your clothing colors go together, it will be easy to mix and match your outfits.
- Re-wear your bottoms: Pack 2-3 tops for every pair of bottoms.
Miniaturize your toiletries: Go to the Dollar Store and pick up those small travel bottles to fill with shampoo and conditioner. Better yet, use the shampoo and conditioner provided at your hotel. It’ll save you room (If you do choose to bring liquid toiletries, put them in a Ziploc bag to prevent any spills from leaking into your luggage).
Go for the travel toothpaste, shaving cream, etc: I justify this expense as I typical get two trips worth of use out of these items.
Put medicine in small sandwich baggies or a weekly pill box: Bring a few extra days worth in case your trip is extended.
The Actual Packing Process
Rolling clothes: This is a tried and true tip….especially when packing for kids. Not only does it reduce wrinkles (and save space), but it’s a great way to organize your clothing into outfits. I’ll layer my entire outfit on top of my shirt, (see photo) fold in half and roll into a bundle. It saves time in the morning (grab and go!) and I don’t have to worry about where to put socks and undergarments.
Air compression bags: I’ve actually used these successfully! When my daughter was a newborn, I had to pack twice as many outfits in case of a spit-up or blow-out issue. I used a space saver bag and just rolled all the air out…no vacuum required! Keep in mind that while this technique really does save space, it will also make your suitcase heavier as you’ll have more room to add extra items. Weigh your suitcase before traveling to ensure you don’t go over the 50 pound limit (or 40 if you’re flying Allegiant).
Shoes: Shoes can take up so much room! If at all possible, try to limit to two pairs. When I go to WDW, I wear my sneakers and pack flip flops/sandals in my suitcase. To keep from mixing dirty shoes with clean clothes, I put them in a plastic grocery bag and tie shut.
If you absolutely insist on packing several pairs of shoes, use the insides to pack smaller items such as chargers, socks and the like.
I hope my ideas help you in any future packing endeavors and before I go, here are two last minute tips. Good luck!
- Put heavier items in your carry-on luggage. Books, camera, shoes, jacket, etc.
- If you have to put heavier items in your larger suitcase, stuff them in the bottom to prevent your luggage from tipping over.
What tips do you have for me? Any you find particularly useful? Let me know!