by Staff Writer
For excellent travel luggage, invest in duffel bags. Their size and lack of rigidity allow them to be stuffed to the gills. With more and more baggage fees for flyers, duffel bags can help you cut down on luggage without cutting down on the things you need for your trips. Learning how to pack a duffel bag is easy with the following tips.
Fold down the edges. When you begin packing your duffel bag, fold down the upper edges to allow easy access to the bottom of the bag. You'll fold them back up as you fill the luggage.
Start with low-priority items. Fill the bottom of your bag with items you won't need in a hurry. If you're packing non-clothing items, make sure to only put the most durable items in the bottom of the duffel. If you're packing clothing, items like pajamas and spare pairs of pants work well in the bottom.
Roll clothes. Clothing should be rolled into a cylindrical shape whenever possible and placed in a row. This minimizes wrinkling and allows you to pack more clothing into your luggage than folding does.
Continue packing. Continue along your priority list from the bottom up, folding the edges of the bag up to keep things in place. As you near the top, small clothing items, like socks and underwear, can generally be stuffed into any extra spaces. Reserve items like medication and toiletries for the top or the outer pockets and compartments of your baggage.
Shake it up. When you're nearing the top, jostle the bag. This will help clothing settle, creating more space for packing.
Secure the bag. After you have everything packed, make sure to secure the bag with a small lock. If you're flying, use a TSA lock. Designed by the Transportation Security Administration, these special locks protect your baggage from potential theft while allowing airport security officials to open the bag if they need to manually check the contents. If they need to open the bag and you have secured it with a non-TSA lock, they will break the lock to get in, leaving your belongings more susceptible to theft, whereas a TSA lock allows them to use a universal key to open and re-lock the duffel.