A well-made suitcase contains all manner of luggage pockets and packing spaces designed to make packing as easy as possible. While seasoned travellers know how to use a suitcase with compartments to their advantage, less experienced travellers often ignore these helpful pockets and zippered compartments or use them for the wrong items. Here’s a quick guide to your suitcase’s packing space, with suggestions for how best to use it.

Maximizing space with suitcase compartments

The packing compartments in suitcases have specific uses. Some are obvious, while others are so subtle you may not even be aware the packing case exists. Here are a few packing tips to use on your next trip:

Interior pockets

Suitcase or carry-on interior pockets offer different functions depending on the baggage model. Carry-ons such as the Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Expandable Carry-On Spinner include a lined pocket inside the lid for dress shirts and other garments you want to keep wrinkle-free. Fold it carefully and you can even pack a suit in such pockets.

Other luggage relies less on mesh pockets and more on packing cubes to organize clothing and keep items wrinkle-free. TheCrew™ VersaPack™ Max Carry-on Expandable Spinner, for instance, can be customized with zip-in packing cubes and a water-resistant laundry organizer, a wet pocket for storing damp or dirty garments.

Exterior pockets

Luggage such as the Travelpro Rollaboard typically has two exterior luggage pockets on the lid of the suitcase, with one larger than the other. The large luggage pocket is ideal for storing a light jacket when travelling to and from cold climates, as you’ll only need it for one leg of your trip. You can also use this pocket for handy access to a book or newspaper.

Laptops and tablets can be stored in a suitcase’s exterior pocket. If you choose to do so, it’s recommended you either use a protective laptop sleeve or choose luggage that includes padded laptop storage, such as Maxlite® 5Rolling Underseat Carry-On or the Crew™ Executive Choice™ 3Large Backpack.The smaller of the two luggage pockets is ideal for storing power cords and similar accessories. If the luggage is carry-on, you keep your boarding pass in this compartment for easy access.

Utilizing the Expansion Zipper

Many suitcases come with a zipper that runs around the outside of the main compartment. This is an expansion zipper. Unzip it for more packing space.

A word of caution here. Some people use the expansion zipper at the start of their trips, but it’s really intended to provide extra space for the trip home. Pack your suitcases with the zipper closed, and open the zipper to accommodate clothing, gifts, and souvenirs picked up during the trip. This way you always have the option of gaining extra space when you need it.

Opening up the expansion zipper does mean your expandable luggage may wind up exceeding weight limits for checked luggage. For carry-ons, using the zipper may make the bag too large for overhead compartments. Check to see if the expanded bag exceeds your airline’s carry-on restrictions. You can always use it as a carry-on heading out and check the expanded bag for the flight home.

Now that you know more about luggage storage space, how do you intend to use it? We’d love to hear your creative solutions in the comments, on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. And if the idea of being able to increase your suitcase size appeals, check out the packing space options in our collection of expandable luggage!

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