This one's dedicated to all of the over-packers out there. It is impossible for me to bring a carry-on for most trips—I'll even budget for those dreaded checked bag fees when I'm planning my vacations. I'm always looking for ways to cut back—but I also have one trick that maximizes space, without losing any of my stuff (hey, there are worse vices). It's these travel bags that I always have on hand for trips.
If you didn't read our House Tour editor Adrienne's post about how she uses the vacuum version of these to triple her storage space at home, let me explain how they work for the uninitiated. All you need to do is place your folded clothes in the bag, zip, and roll it up so the air is squeezed out. In a medium-sized suitcase, I can fit about five to seven bags, depending on the other things I've packed that can't go in the bags (shoes, toiletries, gifts if I'm visiting family, etc.). The other great thing about these bags is they can help keep your clothes clean, which is helpful when you don't have shoe bags, or in the event your toiletries spill in transit.
Not everything in life can be perfect, especially when it comes to travel (delayed flights, lost luggage, the list goes on...), so of course there are a few downsides to the bags that you must know. One, your clothes are going to be quite wrinkled when you take them out. So if you don't want to spend your vacation time ironing, or won't have access to an iron, maybe these aren't for you. Two, it does take a bit longer to pack everything with these bags since you also have to go through the process of putting clothes inside and rolling them up. Third, they won't save you from overweight bag charges, so keep that in mind.
Now for those of you who are packing wizards and have no problem stuffing a week's worth of clothes in a carry-on for a 14-day trip, first, congratulations and teach me your ways. Second, these bags are still useful for you too. They're great for packing bulky sweaters and outerwear, so maybe you can fit an extra pair of shoes in your luggage, or leave some extra room for souvenirs.