Packing a bag takes skill. And to many, it can be a work of art. Utilizing space and being spot-on about what items to include can take years to perfect. Below are a few tricks of the trade to help you become a Master Packer.

Consider the weather and what kinds of activities you’ll be doing. Visit weather-related sites to check out how the weather will be at your destination. Ski trip? Pack thermal underwear, wool socks, ski clothes and ski goggles. Beach-bound? Pack a swimsuit, sandals, hat and sunglasses.

Buy travel-size containers for your toiletries. You can always drop into a local shop to restock if you run out. Seal up containers in airtight plastic bags to prevent contents from leaking into your suitcase.

Coordinate your wardrobe with pieces that mix and match. Choose 2-3 color schemes (neutrals are always a safe bet) so each item can work with more than one outfit. Dress in layers so you can adapt to changing temperature.

Call the hotel prior to leaving home to inquire about items that come with the room (hair dryer, iron, robe, etc.). Otherwise, pack travel-sized items. If you’re heading overseas, don’t forget to bring the right plug adapter.

Pack clothing using the “roll” technique. Lay two or three items on top of one another, smooth out and then roll them up like you would a sleeping bag. This saves space and helps prevent wrinkles. Always zip zippers and button buttons.

Organize your suitcase. Place your garments in the order in which you plan to wear the items. Wrap breakable items, like jewelry or glass, in socks and tuck inside the shoes in your luggage. Fill corners and edges with shoes and other cumbersome items. Top off with lighter items.

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