Although some of us (ahem) aren’t willing to go that far ― or we left our backpacking days behind several decades ago ― those fees for checking luggage do add up fast. So we scoured the internet to assemble great packing tips for everybody from the one-bag community.
1. Use packing cubes, even if you think you’re already an organized packer.
They gently compress your clothes, keep your bag better organized and help hold everything in place. Wirecutter loves Eagle Creek’s structured original Pack-It cubes, which retain their shape when empty. I prefer the company’s Specter Tech line. These silkier cubes weigh half as much, are far less bulky and have extra-long, brightly colored zipper pulls that are easy to find. Ikea’s Forfina travel bags are $7.99 for a set of six, making them great for those who want to try packing cubes before committing to anything pricier.
2. Shrink your deodorant.
I’m not necessarily suggesting the lip balm method mentioned above, but at least buy a travel-sized stick. As blogger Snarky Nomad points out, deodorant is one of the biggest toiletry items and even brand-new, the container holds a lot of air.
3. Book at least one stop with laundry.
You can pack half as many basics for a long trip when you book an Airbnb accommodation with a washing machine in the middle of your journey. (If clothes dryers aren’t the norm where you’re traveling, you’ll need enough time for your things to air dry. Fabrics like merino wool and synthetic underwear are a help.) It may also be cheaper to pay for hotel laundering than to check a suitcase round-trip.