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Heading Home for the Holidays

by Amille Bottom

photography courtesy of Pexels

With midterms in the rear-view mirror and finals approaching, a sense of excitement has filled the air as students prepare to make the journey home for winter break. While some members of the BU community have the luxury of living in the New England area, many are forced to brave the arduous and costly act of flying home. With commercial airline flight prices skyrocketing during the busiest time of year, it can be expensive to check baggage before hopping on the plane.

In order to counteract these costs, I have compiled a list of packing tips and tricks that will help make the most of one’s suitcase space!

Create a Packing Checklist

As simple as it sounds, writing down each item one intends to bring on a trip is essential to lightweight packing. By creating a checklist, it becomes easier to determine what one truly needs and what’s just an “extra.” Try dividing the categories by outfits or by clothing needs, such as needing more daytime outfits than nighttime.

Roll and Bundle Clothing to Save Space

Just like with final exams, cramming is the worst method when packing for a trip. Instead, try rolling your pants, shirts, and dresses. This packing tip is a fantastic way to have items take up less space in your luggage. Rolling your clothing also has the added benefit of preventing wrinkles in fabric—this makes it perfect for the holiday season, when the goal is to dress to impress!

If rolling isn’t your favorite method, Cosmopolitan provides a detailed explanation on how to bundle clothing. This packing technique, which involves stacking and wrapping clothing items around each other, is also great when trying to prevent wrinkles.

Stack Jeans Before Folding Them

Jeans are, without a doubt, the one clothing item that takes up the most space. Rolling makes their bulk worse, so Seventeen magazine recommends stacking them to save space. It’s a simple trick -- simply place multiple pairs of jeans on top of each other, and then fold! Not only will you be making the most of the room in your suitcase, but it will make unpacking easier at the end of the day.

Pack Items Inside or Around Others

One of the most reliable packing hacks is to double down on space. A great example of this method is stuffing socks inside of shoes, which not only saves space, but also helps shoes keep their form throughout the hustle and bustle of travel. This method can also be used to stuff hats or to keep holiday gifts from breaking. Bringing home a coffee mug? Fill it and wrap it with clothing to keep it safe! Wrapping presents in clothing not only allows for a multi-use of the space in luggage—it also helps keep clothes from wrinkling and gifts from breaking.

Take Travel-Sized Toiletries

According to the Transportation Security Administration, liquids packed in a carry-on bag must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or smaller. All containers must fit in one quart-sized plastic bag, to be removed at the security checkpoint. While it can be hard to travel with smaller toiletries, this rule makes the packing process much easier, because bulky bottles take up too much space in a suitcase. Try purchasing travel-sized items of toiletries, or buy reusable travel-sized bottles and fill them as needed. Have an extra contact lens case? Fill it with lotions, makeup, and other toiletries.

When in Doubt, Pack Light!

While this may seem like an obvious step, the most important action one can take when trying to travel lightly is to pack less. Try to pick out clothing items that you can mix-and-match multiple ways. By doing this, you can make more space in your luggage and get out of your style comfort zone. Another item to bring less of is shoes. Instead of packing a wide variety, pack a couple of pairs that go with everything.

Happy holidays and safe travels, Terriers!

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