What You’ll Need When You’re Packing to Save Space

No matter where you’re traveling or for what purpose, packing up your things can be a daunting task when all you want to do is get to your destination. Whether you’re saving space to bring home souvenirs or are trying to avoid a checked bag fee, follow these hacks to ensure you’re ready for take-off. 


When you’re packing for a trip, some of the most versatile clothing you can pack are athleisure items. Clothes like this are comfortable, and keep you ready for anything. Leggings and sneakers are an ideal combination for travel days, adventurous vacations, or informative walking tours. They will allow you to be focused on the moment and not on any nagging wardrobe discomforts. When preparing for your trip it’s easy to come up with a list of useful clothing items you should buy. If you are planning to use your trip as an excuse to splurge on a couple new items or to finally get that rain jacket you’ve needed, we strongly encourage shopping used. Not only can you save your hard earned dollars for a few souvenirs or a nice meal while on your trip, but as Patagonia’s Worn Wear program states, “the best thing we can do for the planet is cut down on consumption . . .” Buying used is much better for the environment you’re out trying to explore.

There are a number of online sources for quality, slightly used gear and clothing. For those looking to stock up on more fashion forward brands, thredUP is an online thrift store carrying such brands as Lululemon, Fabletics, and REI. You can do your part in extending the lifespan of garments by purchasing reliable secondhand clothing. Patagonia’s WornWear program and North Face Renewed spruce up previously worn, returned, or defective gear/clothing and can be great places to look for technical outerwear, thermals, fleeces and pants. 

Travel-size Containers

A great way to save space when you’re packing is to make sure you have travel sized versions of your hygiene and cosmetic products. Not only can shampoos and conditioners be bulky but as liquids, you’re limited in how much you can bring with you in your carry on. Whether or not your goal is to avoid a checked bag, it’s a good idea to fit these items in a quart-sized bag. This is ideal for leaving room for your other items as well as protecting your clothing from possible leaks or spills. Since travel-size containers tend to not be very economical or all that great for the environment, consider finding a reusable travel container set that would fit your needs. 


It can be an easy lure to want to pack yourself many colorful options, thinking about all the potential vacation photo-op moments. In reality, those outfits are harder to coordinate when you don’t have your whole closet and shoe arsenal at your disposal. Bringing your reliable neutrals ensures that you’ll be able to mix and match the items you pack and give you the most outfit versatility. Packing jeans, black leggings, and solid colored tops are a sure fire way to know you can throw together stylish looks from a limited wardrobe selection. Making sure you pack neutrals becomes even more important if you need to have options to layer due to the weather. 

Luggage Strategy

When it’s time to finally pack the items you’ll be bringing with you for your big adventure there are some strategies to be aware of so you can make the most of your space. Since shoes can be one of the bulkiest items you have to pack, consider wearing your hiking boots on the plane to save all that space for everything else. If you still have another pair of shoes to pack, choosing shoes that are flexible are ideal. If they aren’t made of a material that will collapse, be sure not to waste the space inside your shoes. Small or condensable items like socks or t-shirts can be folded and will fit nicely in that otherwise overlooked space. Consider space saving ideas for when you need help on how to pack around your shoes to consult if you’re struggling with this endeavor.