With checked bag fees ever increasing, there’s no better time to learn how to maximize your luggage space.

As airline fees and surcharges rise, travelers are feeling the heat when trying to check bags. With fees as high as $35 for one checked bag and some airlines even charging for a carry-on, learning how to pack light and maximize space in your luggage is an integral skill to a happy travel experience. Here are LugLoc’s top five tips for making the most of the space you have in your baggage.


Fly light and stay organized with compartmentalized luggage. Buy a bag like those from The Grommet that come with specified pouches for toiletries, clothing, technology and more. As a bonus, these bags come with a compression pouch so you can squeeze out all the unwanted air that’s taking up space in your luggage. Some bags, like the SkyRoll Spinner, even come with an outer shell specifically designed to hold clothing that might get wrinkled in transit. Slip your clothes in the garment bag, wrap it around the outside of your luggage, and voila—one less bag to carry.

Roll It Up

Crumpled clothes take up the most space. Clothes that are folded flat take up less space, however clothing that is folded flat and then rolled is the ideal space preservation technigue. The smaller a shape you can force your belongings into, the less space they’ll take, freeing you to take one less bag—or at least a smaller one than you planned.

Prepare For Laundry

The biggest space-hog in anyone’s packing routine is clothes. But here’s a tip: you don’t need four different shirts for a four-day trip. Pack half of what you need and head to the laundromat at your destination when you run out of clothes. It only takes a couple hours out of your day but saves money on baggage fees. Plus, it keeps your luggage lighter and easier to carry. And if there’s no laundry where you’re headed, wash your garments in the sink with soapy water and line dry them over the shower curtain rod.

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Leave It Behind

Unless your final destination is in the middle of the jungle or desert, pretty much anywhere you can go nowadays has convenience stores selling what you need. Leave the toiletries at home and pick up some travel sizes when you arrive. You’ll likely run through them and won’t need to pack them to come back home, either. Another strategy is to lay out everything you want to pack before your trip, stuff your bag full, and then see what doesn’t make it in. You’re likely to pack the most important things first—anything else can stay home.

Wear It, Don’t Pack It

So your chosen airline has size, weight, and cost restrictions on the bags you check or carry on? Turn the tables. Invest in wearables with a lot of pockets and storage space—like any of the luggage jackets from Stuffa, Bagket, or Jaktogo. You may not be able to bring a ton of bags, but the airlines can’t stop you from wearing your packable items. To take it to an even higher level, layer your clothes so you don’t have to pack them. It’ll be hot, but oh so worth it.

by Jennifer Billock