1. Bring three pairs of shoes -- dressy ones, sneakers and the slip-ons you'll wear on the plane. Arrange them in the bottom of your suitcase, between the supports. Fill footwear with socks and any breakable presents or souvenirs.
2. Arrange small, loose items (chargers, batteries) in the zippered compartment.
3. Roll thin, non-delicate items, like T-shirts and cotton pajamas, and wedge them into open spaces around the edges of the suitcase and between stacks.
4. Stick with neutral basics like a pair of jeans, black pants, and a black dress or skirt. Then add twice the amount of shirts in the colors of your choice.
5. Zip and button up garments -- they'll wrinkle less -- and place them, neatly folded, on top of your shoes.
6. Opt for one purse that's soft and compressible. Or make do with the one you carry on the plane.
7. Flatten a duffel and layer it in with the clothes. You can fill the bag with purchases and check it on the way home.