Mild tips to consider. Try some or all of this to help pack more.
Harsh rules to Pack Less.
1. Go Full Dexter – wrap your clothes in plastic
One of the greatest space saving technologies in recent history was the vaccum bag. A plastic bag with a nozzle so you could use a vacuum to remove every last bit of air to compress it like crazy. It’s great for storing stuff long term or keeping a closet full of quilts, pillows, and evidence under control. It was never practical for travel because you need a vacuum…until now! Today, they sell travel “vacuum” bags that will compress your clothes that don’t need a vacuum. You just roll them up and the air compresses out. I use a Medium Size Bag and am able to fit 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, a pair of shorts, a bathing suit, a dress shirt, 4 pairs of underwear, and 4 pairs of socks.
2. Go Full Mule – fill every empty space
The first way I learned to pack more was to fill my rolla bolla tube with stuff. A common travel hack is to pack your shoes with socks and underwear. There are still more empty spaces to be found. Look at every container you pack and ask yourself if more can go inside. I’ve been traveling with an electric razor for years but only recently realized that there was a ton of extra space in the case I carry it in. Now my razor case is basically a Dopp Kit. I keep a small pair of scissors in there, nail clippers, a comb, band-aids, a small sewing kit, and a bunch of other small things. I also travel with a small lunch box but it took me forever to realize that I almost never travelled with food in it because you never know when customs is going to take it away from you. That meant I was traveling with an empty box. Now I fill it up. Of course, I also keep all my medication in a balloon that I swallow.
3. Go Full Dexter, Again – pack stuff in pieces
A lot of stuff comes apart and can be made to take up less space in pieces than as a whole: giraffe unicycles, diablos, people. Look for anything you have that can be taken apart. Juggling machetes are a great example. A lot of their handles are screw/bolted together. It’s easier and more space efficient to pack three flat “blades” and three handles than three whole juggling machetes. If you have something large that doesn’t break down but could…hire a prop builder to make you a version of the prop that comes apart.