With airlines raising fees and clamping down on carry-on size, it’s time to perfect your packing prowess. Whether you’re flying or traveling by car, bus, or train, here are 10 tips to help you pack smarter.

Check the Forecast.

Will it be cold at night? Is rain expected during your stay? Find out what amenities are offered at your destination and what you’ll need to bring to be prepared for the weather.

Make a List.

Put ‘must-haves’ in one column and ‘like to have but not essential’ in another. Delete duplicate items that have the same function as something else you are bringing.

Use Packing Cubes or Luggage with Multiple Pockets.

Packing cubes are the latest trend to organize your belongings for flying. Trunk organizers are ideal for car trips. In both cases, separate compartments help you pack efficiently and protect your possessions during travel.

Roll and Fold.

Place the larger pieces at the bottom and add layers, making as few folds as possible. Use plastic bags around items that wrinkle. Fill in the sides with rolled clothes, socks, and toiletries.

Stuff Empty Spaces.

Shoes and hats are great receptacles for jewelry, cosmetics, sunscreen, and bug spray.

Pack 3 Pairs of Shoes, Max.

The most important feature for all three is comfort.

Wear Layers and Bulky Items on Flights.

Those heavy rain boots you’ll need and chunky sweaters? They are best transported on your body, not in your bag.

Carry a Water Bottle.

This is a nice reminder for you to stay hydrated during your travels.

Limit Your Devices.

Thanks to technology, your phone is your camera and computer. No need to lug all your devices on your trip. Turn on your vacation responder and try not to look at emails!

Take Snacks and Something to Read.

Make the journey part of the fun. Waiting at the terminal gate or long car rides are more enjoyable with a leisurely read and your favorite food.

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