5 secret summer-travel packing hacks to maximize carry-on space and minimize stress

With the unofficial start of the summer season upon us, trips to the beach, mountains, abroad or elsewhere are on the calendars of millions of Americans — with packing lists well underway. 

Bag fees for summer travel can add up, though — and experts say there’s a better way. 

Some baggage fees for major airlines are threatening even the most reasonable of travel budgets, so managing director of 1st Move International Mike Harvey, based in the U.K., shared some tips for how to pack for a summer vacation with nothing but a carry-on.

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“Travelers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of packing a minimal travel bag, which means reduced stress, faster airport navigation and long-term cost savings on baggage fees,” he told Fox News Digital. 

He added, “A minimal travel bag aids in navigating different transportation and terrains easily.”

Harvey said his No. 1 tip for learning how to maximize space in a carry-on bag is to try the Marie Kondo folding technique. 

Here are more details and five tips. 

Clothes should be folded in compact rectangles that can then be propped upright in your bag. 

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Harvey said this expert tip is a “game-changer.”

“It not only saves space but also makes it easier to see and access each item without messing up the rest of the arrangement,” he said in a media statement. 

Harvey recommended putting various items inside your shoes within your carry-on bag to take advantage of that empty space. 

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Items such as socks, underwear and electronics can be stuffed inside shoes, Harvey said. 

“This has the added benefit of helping your shoes maintain their shape during travel,” he said.

“Place heavier items like shoes and toiletry bags at the bottom, followed by nearly folded clothes arranged vertically,” he said in a statement. 

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Harvey said by placing your items in a Tetris form, you’ll help distribute weight and prevent clothes from wrinkling during travel. 

He also recommended filling the gaps with smaller items to hold in the formation. 

The moving specialist also said not to sleep on vacuum-sealed bags to compress bigger, bulky items in your carry-on. 

“Social media users love vacuum-sealed bags for compressing bigger items like jackets and jumpers into flat packages,” he said.

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Although often used for storage, a vacuum-sealed bag within a carry-on could allow you to take along more items for this year’s summer vacation.

Keeping necklaces and bracelets tangle-free during travel can be quite a feat for some — and packing electronics can be challenging, too. 

Purchase jewelry and electronic organizers, said Harvey, to put in a carry-on to ensure chains and wires don’t get crossed. 

“Jewelry and electronic organizers help by keeping your accessories and wires tangle-free and within close reach of each other,” he said. “So don’t have to rummage through your suitcase to locate one small item,” he said.

Even as many folks get ready to head out for summer vacation this year, a recent Fox poll found that more than half of Americans are staying home this summer or tweaking their travel plans to be more affordable — starting with Memorial Day weekend.

High prices have affected summer plans “some or a great deal” for the 72% who responded to the Fox poll.

“All of it kinda snowballs together, so it’s not just one thing that affects it, it’s like everything comes together — you have to think of it like one sort of package,” said Tiana Armstrong, who had planned on visiting Italy with her partner, to FOX Business. 

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The Armstrongs are changing their flight plans to save money, they said — while others are changing their travel option from flying to driving. 

Olivianna Calmes of Fox News contributed reporting. 

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