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This Amazingly Simple Packing Hack Will Free Up Lots of Space for Souvenirs

Updated: Feb 1

Someone in Morocco is wearing my underwear. A woman in England is wearing my wellies. Why? Always Pack Tissues illustrates a simple packing hack that will save you tons of baggage space at the end of your trip.


Stock photo of clothes on a clothesline with a blue sky backdrop.

Note: Always Pack Tissues represents many tried and tested travel sites as what is called an 'affiliate' partner. That means if you click on my ads I may get a commission from a resulting sale.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"

One brutally sun soaked day in Essaouira, Morocco, I was getting myself ready for shopping in the souks. Tossing yesterday’s barely there underwear in the garbage, I grabbed a fresh set and out the door I went.


Later that afternoon we went back to our riad to try and find some solace from the sun’s rays. With no air conditioning, we had all the windows open in our room, which faced the riad’s courtyard interior.


Across the way we could see in to the other rooms doing the same, and there I spotted it - my underwear, presumably having been plucked from my garbage and washed, was hanging on a line out the window to dry.


Baffled, I giggled inside - “why would anyone want to wear my used underwear?” …Especially underwear that had been discarded. I shrugged it off - a maid or maybe the young daughter of the household saw my black lacy nether-wear and found it appealing. Sure, we’ll go with it. But, it makes me wonder where the rest of my discarded items have ended up.


Over the many years and countless travels, I have learned to hone a very fine art of leaving things behind for one simple reason - to make space for souvenirs in my luggage. There’s a brilliance in this plan. You can’t donate old underwear and socks, and the weight alone of carrying chunky winter boots back to Florida’s winter is brainless. So, I pack the old, the haggard and the used and ditch it along the way. Here’s how:



The prep and pack:

  • First, only pack used, old, dying underwear and socks. Make sure they are at least comfortable though, because then you’ll have floss up your crack the whole trip and be really unhappy about your choices.

  • Bring sturdy shoes that have treated you well for a long time but that have seen their day in the sun. This pair is getting packed for their last hurrah. Make it a good one!

  • Bring an empty collapsible duffel bag. This packs as small as your hand and offers a lot of options later down the line.

  • Pack slinky, squishable stuff. Air-wicking products are best for this. Think Columbia, North Face and Eddie Bauer. These squish really well into your trusty packing cubes.

  • Don’t pack your heaviest sweaters. Pack layers!

  • Leave the bulky cosmetics at home. Swipe sample sizes from hotels as you go! They won’t reuse them after you’ve stayed anyway. Otherwise, buy travel sized or fill them yourself.

  • Leave the accessories at home, save for a few items that can be used across multiple outfits.

  • Clip hats to a carabiner on the outside of a backpack or rolling bag. Clip water bottles too!

  • If you are the type to bring your hair dryer everywhere - don't bother! I can't remember staying in a hotel without one, not that I ever use it or look for it. These pretty much come standard.


Once you are there

  • Ditch as you go. Every old pair of socks and underwear gets ditched daily. Do you really want to carry around your smelly socks anyway?

  • Toss boots and shoes the last day of the trip when you go to do your final re-pack. Just leave them next to the door or the garbage pail. Not sure what the policy is for the hotel, maybe they keep them in lost and found for a bit and then donate or discard. In any case, not your problem anymore! Maybe they will find a new home.


The Final Pack

  • Roll your clothes. This offers the most space.

  • Take note of your bag allowance on your flight. If you can consolidate, now is the time to use your packable duffel to add more space.

  • Roll glass souvenirs in your clothes.

  • Pack heavy items towards the top of your bag


That's it! By simply tossing old items as you go, you'll free up tons of space. Just try not to look like a slouch. Remember to always dress sharp and pack small!




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Hi, I'm Maria!

Globetrotting since 1995, I'm not a blogging nomad or a social influencer.

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