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This TikToker's Odd 'Folding In' Packing Hack May Be The Secret To An Easy Carry-On Only

With never-ending airline baggage fees making flying more expensive than ever, it makes sense that people are trying to avoid checking their suitcases. That means the issue of fitting everything you need for, say, a seven-day vacation in one carry-on comes up a lot when packing. Travelers have lots of tricks for us, from packing cubes to rolling everything up before placing it in your suitcase, which can leave things pretty wrinkled. However, one TikToker, @fusetravels, posted a video with a packing technique you may not have seen before. This method is called "folding in," and it's actually a great hack to keep your clothes in good shape. 


We'll go into details, but the way it works is that you're folding your clothing the way you might after doing laundry, but you're doing it directly into the suitcase. Instead of making little "snack packs" of your jeans and shirts, they're laid out gently. While it may look like it's filling up quickly, you're actually getting more in there than you think. Here's how the folding-in hack works, as well as some other ideas to help you avoid checking a bag. 

How the 'folding in' packing hack works

It's a pretty simple technique, as you can see in the TikTok below. You just lay out your clothing and fold it right into the bag so each item covers the entire bottom of the suitcase or as much as the item can cover. That said, we recommend folding larger pieces like pants in half lengthwise before folding them in. The same goes for long skirts or dresses. You can sort of fold the two sides into the center before doing the actual folding-in technique. That can help reduce wrinkles. You can tuck socks and smaller items along the sides. 


After watching my friend @alinelowry do this weird packing hack i had to see it for myself! This checked bag was challenging because I have to pack for my work trip to Spain where its colder and wet then for Sicily which is like summer weather! Here is me testing out this packing havk and you can see the Italy outfits and Spain outfits. #italytraveloutfits #italyoutfitideas #packinghacks #packinghacksfortravel #packinghack #weirdpackinghacks #uniquepacking #whattopackforitaly #whattopackforspain

♬ Che La Luna – Louis Prima

Does it work better than other ways of packing? We've tried most of them, and while mass is mass, and you can only fit so much into a certain space, we've found that the folding-in method can actually keep your clothing in better shape. Contrary to the rolling packing technique, it allows you to reach your destination with fewer wrinkles and creases. There is also something pretty mentally satisfying about folding clothing right into a bag and then adding yet another item on top without filling the case. You're laying them in lightly so there's more air to compress as you add pieces. If you're someone who likes to pack toiletries in the carry-on (as opposed to your personal item like a purse or a backpack), it can add bulk, but we have a way around that as well. 


Other ways to save space in your carry-on

A toiletry bag can take up a lot of space on its own before you even fill it. There is a way around that, however. There are efficient reasons why you should always pack Ziploc bags in your carry-on; they're the perfect way to tote things like face wash, makeup, and more. You can lay the items flat in the Ziploc rather than bunched up in a case and place the baggies on top of the folded-in clothing so you don't get a large bump at the top. In the same vein, it's worth saving a few plastic bags from the grocery store so you can put shoes in them and lay them on top as well. Another bag can hold dirty laundry for the trip back or be a barrier between clean and dirty clothing if you're folding in again. 


A few other packing tips can help as well. You can save even more space by bringing some detergent sheets (Arm & Hammer sells 50 for around $15 on Amazon) and doing a bit of laundry in the sink at your hotel or rental. Bringing only one pair of shoes is great, but if you must bring a second, wear the bulkier ones while flying.