Whether it's just over the river and through the woods or on a red eye to the east coast, we share our best advice for packing up your haul and heading out for the holidays.

Image via Flickr

1. Plan Ahead
Perhaps the origin of over-packing: leaving it until the last minute. To avoid piling your entire wardrobe in your bag in a preflight frenzy start thinking about what you'll pack at least three days in advance, allowing time for laundry and any last-minute dry cleaning runs. Bring clothing and shoe options that you can mix and match into multiple outfits—think neutral colors.  

2. Roll With It
Once you have your expertly chosen assortment of clothes, the most space-saving option for packing is to roll them up. Fold in the sleeves for shirts and pleat pant legs before tightly rolling the garment from the bottom up. For step-by-step visuals see any number of YouTube videos on the subject. 

3. Unwrapped
When bringing gifts in a checked bag leave the wrapping to your final destination. The TSA doesn't prohibit checking wrapped presents, but agents may have to break into a box for security reasons. Better to stay on the safe side and save yourself the hassle (and luggage space) by waiting. 

4. Booted
Wear heavy items like boots and coats on the plane to free up weight and space in your checked bag. And when it comes to travel-wear, aim for comfortable...but we don't mean your pajamas. Even better than your sweats, and just as comfortable: this season's loungewear as daywear trend with relaxed styles in chic fabrics and patterns. 

5. Carry On
While it's every traveler's dream (no, just mine?) to jet set with nothing but a carry on, you'll likely be checking a bag to tote all your holiday goods. As a safety net pack your most important items—one change of clothes, a spare cell phone charger, that gift for mom—in your carry-on luggage.

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