Packing is often one of the biggest challenges involved in traveling. How do you know what to bring and what to leave behind?

Travel tips sometimes end up making the experience even more confusing and overwhelming. But this list is made up of things that will actually make your life easier when you’re packing for a trip.

1. Make a list before you pack

Making a list of the things you will or won’t take with you on your trip will help you to not leave packing to the last minute. Leaving the task to the last possible moment will only add stress and increase the chances of overpacking. Making a list in advance will also allow you time to purchase anything you may need to take with you, per USA Today.

2. The bigger the suitcase, the more you can fit

Bigger suitcases can be a positive thing if you have lots of stuff to bring with you, but you have to be careful not to go too big. If you are going on a road trip, a bigger suitcase is a good solution since all your needs will fit in one place. But traveling on an airline with a bigger suitcase may be a challenge. The bag may have to be checked and, if so, it may be heavy enough to cost you extra.

3. Do a clothing countdown

A good way to help you pack only the essentials is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule. It involves limiting the amount of things you pack to five sets of socks and underwear, “four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes and one hat,” per The New York Times.

4. Use all the space in your bag

When packing your bag, pretend like you are playing Tetris. Make the most out of all the space you have available. The New York Times offers the following description of this approach: “Footwear should be stuffed with socks. Then lay your shoes together heel to toe at the bottom of your suitcase in a plastic shopping bag to protect clothes from dirt.”

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5. Roll your clothes

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Travel experts generally agree that tightly rolled clothing saves space in your bag. Rolled clothes are also less likely to get wrinkled from creases, per USA Today.

6. Be smart about your personal item

Most airlines allow travelers to have one carry on and one personal item that can be taken on the plane for no extra fees. The specifications on personal items vary from company to company, but these items usually can be as small as a purse or as large as a backpack. When packing, make sure to take advantage of your personal item to give you extra space for things that may not fit into your carry-on suitcase.

7. Do your laundry on the road

If possible, do laundry on the road so that you can pack fewer clothes. You can call your hotel ahead of time to check on laundry availability and prices. You could even pack a travel size detergent and do laundry in the sink. Doing laundry while you are traveling helps to decrease the amount of clothes you need to bring, per USA Today.

8. Be mindful of what you pack in each bag

If you are traveling with more than one bag, be mindful of where you’re putting what you’re packing. Personal items like documents, phones and money should be packed on a bag you will have easy access to. You also want to be careful not to pack liquids over the TSA limits on your carry on when flying, or not to check valuable belongings in case of a misplaced bag.

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