The summer is the season of travel, because what better time to visit tropical destinations than when they’re at their hottest. Unsurprisingly, a lot of you are going places this year, especially by plane. This also means that a lot of luggage is keeping you company: even if you intend to stay at a nudist colony, most airlines frown on you flying naked. So what are the best summer luggage tips and tricks?

  1. Make a Checklist

Before you start packing, you need to know what you want to pack. Well, of course, you can always just grab whatever you have within reach, but that’s really not the optimal way to do it. Making a checklist – especially one that takes other packing tips in mind – is a great way to ensure that only the stuff you need gets to take up your precious luggage space. Even better – by having a checklist, you’ll be almost guaranteed to not forget anything important.

  1. Packing Cubes

Insert a “yo dawg” joke of choice here! While your luggage is already a roughly cubical vessel for the conveyance of pants, it can be separated into many more cubes. These tiny bags – more oblong than cubical, anyways – are easily available and they allow you to separate your stuff into neat parcels. This modular approach allows you to quickly sift through your belongings, keeps them separate and is great for unpacking at the hotel. You might even put labels on them to know what goes where.

  1. Roll Up Your Clothes

Now, if you’re not much into cubism or Inception-meme level luggage cube shenanigans, you will probably pack your stuff the traditional way. Well, maybe you shouldn’t – at least, you shouldn’t fold the clothing. Roll all of your fabrics instead! That way, they will take less space, be easier to organize, won’t intermingle that much… This will also make it easier to fill dead space in a luggage, since a rolled up t-shirt can be easily stuffed somewhere in there. A sub-hack of this genre is storing socks in shoes that you put in your luggage. The inside of the shoe is wasted space otherwise!

  1. Ziplock Your Toiletries

You really don’t want to arrive at your holiday destination to find that you clothing had been stained by an errant bottle of suntan lotion. That’s why it’s best to pack your toiletries and similar liquid-y stuff into a ziplock bag to prevent spilling. It will also provide a handy way of storing those things without them scattering all over the luggage. This of this as a very basic precursor to the cube-packing trick.

  1. Outfits, Not Pieces

If you’re going on your summer vacation, chances are you want to look good. That’s why you should consider what you wear before you pack. Assemble your clothing by the outfits you’re going to wear in this or that situation – and not just by functionality. I mean, sure, you can drop in a sweater “just in case,” but will you be happy to wear if it gets chilly outside? Think about that when you pack.

  1. Hard vs. Soft

The actual luggage type matters a lot, too. A soft one will be more flexible – and a lot willing to accommodate more stuff – and lighter than a hard-sided one. On the other one, a hard-sided luggage protects your precious stuff better, doesn’t really tear or bend, and usually have some wheels to aid you with movement. But whatever you do, try and get your checked-in luggage in a bright, unusual color – that way you’ll be able to spot it on the conveyor belt that much easier.

  1. Prepare for Loss

Connecting flights, long legs and the sheer amount of traffic are all conspiring to get your luggage to disappear. That’s why you should be prepared for the eventuality. If you’re a travelling couple with two check-in suitcases, make sure to have at least some of each other’s clothing in each case – that way, losing one won’t spell a clothing disaster. You should also make sure to take pictures of the stuff you packed – that will help if you need to claim compensation later. Meanwhile, having identification tags on and even inside the luggage will help it not get lost in the first case. And if it gets lost, get to the airline desk and fill out a form. There are various refunds that you might be entitled to!

Bonus tip: Chargers

Keep your chargers on you and in your carry-on bag. That way, if your flight gets delayed or cancelled, you will be able to charge your precious electronics. Having your phone, tablet and/or laptop working will save your sanity and maybe even let you rearrange your business. And while you’re at it, being delayed and all, you should check out Skycop, the flight compensation company – your trouble might be worth some cash!