We asked our readers to send in their best packing tips. Here are the winners
Here's a tip for packing kids' clothes for a trip: Assemble complete outfits (shirt, pants, underwear, socks), place the largest piece on the bottom and stack the rest on top of that, and then roll up into one bundle. This eliminates having to rummage through the suitcase each morning, as you just pull out a complete outfit, ready to wear. --Meg Rice, Hillsboro, Ore.
To avoid arriving at your destination without your possessions because the airline has misplaced or lost your bag, pack half of your items in your spouse's or partner's bag. Ditto for them. That way, you still have a few items to change into until your bags arrive. --Elaine Poole, Goshen, Ind.
We place a collapsible soft-sided cooler bag in luggage when we fly. Not only does the cooler serve as a picnic refrigerator while on vacation, it also hauls souvenirs back home as checked-on luggage. --Ray Anderson
I travel often, but I can pack in minutes, because I keep a pre-packed bag in my closet. It's carry-on size with wheels, and it contains: a Dopp kit with toiletries, a manicure kit, a makeup bag, a nightgown, a robe, a hairdryer, a cell-phone charger, a mug, a "coil" to heat water, tea bags, a mending kit, granola bars, bandages, antibiotic ointment, medicine, a change of underwear and socks, and a good book. --Kathleen Webster
Many travel articles say to pack as little as you can bear taking, and then take half of that. I've never been able to travel quite that light, but I've still found plenty of ways to keep my load manageable. 1. Bring black, and never underestimate the power of accessories. 2. Pack a reversible bathing suit and a sarong. You can use it as a towel, a skirt, or a beach blanket. 3. Use a chamois cloth instead of a full-sized towel. The chamois rolls down to washcloth size, dries quickly, and can be wrung out instead of hung to dry. You can buy it in the car supply area of any home store, or at a swimming/diving specialty shop. 4. Bring only the beauty essentials, and look for products that have dual functions. For example, take a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen--it's like having foundation, lotion, and sunscreen all in one. --Amy Zimmer