9 Best Suitcase Packing Tips to Travel Like a Pro
What’s the best way to get your trip off to a good start? Enjoying an easy trip because you packed your suitcase like a seasoned traveler. A suitcase that’s packed with care and efficiency may spare you major inconveniences and keep you from wasting time on what should be a relaxing vacation. Keep reading to learn some important suitcase packing tips and tricks to make getting ready for your next trip a piece of cake.
Rely on a Packing List
You may already have a general idea of what you want to bring with you, but it helps to consult a detailed packing list. Preparing a list or finding one from others who’ve gone on similar vacations makes it easier to pack the right number of clothes, remember your sunscreen or makeup kit, and make sure you don’t forget important credit cards, your passport, or medication.
To start making your own list, you can choose from a variety of free templates available online. For example, Travels’ Checklist generates a suggested list based on several factors for your upcoming vacation, including where you’re staying and the forecasted weather. This list lets you add your own items to a template to personalize it for your unique getaway. Once you know what to bring, you can make the most of the space in your luggage with crafty suitcase packing tips.
Keep Things Neat With Packing Cubes
Some of the most helpful packing tips tell you how to make the best use of the space in your suitcase. Even if you’re folding and stacking the clothes neatly, they may become jumbled after the suitcase gets tossed around during hours of travel. Or you may not be arranging your items in the most efficient layout, wasting precious space in your luggage.
One solution to staying neat and organized is to use packing cubes. Packing cubes come in a variety of sizes and can fit cleanly into your suitcases, ensuring you use all space to its maximum potential. You can use the cubes to sort different kinds of clothing, making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for once you arrive at your destination. The cubes will also help keep the clothes from getting tossed around, which is especially important for skirts, blouses, and other items that easily wrinkle.
Say Goodbye to Folding
While folding clothes is the conventional route, sometimes innovation is truly the way to the future. Rolling up at least some of your clothing can help you conserve space and prevent creasing. Plus, items that are rolled up can often fit neatly into extra spaces in your suitcase that would ordinarily go unused and wasted. From shirts and sweaters to socks and pants, you can easily roll nearly all your wardrobe for easier packing and wrinkle-free results.
Corral Loose Items
A suitcase, backpack, or purse can easily become a mess of small, loose objects. These include lip balm, car keys, hair brushes and other toiletries, headphones, and chargers for your electronic items. If they’re rolling around in your suitcase, you’re more likely to lose them or think you’ve lost them. You’ll waste time rooting around in search of them and dealing with any tangles, spills, or stains they might create.
An easy trick to keep track of all these items is to pack them into Ziploc bags, zippered pouches, or toiletry bags. You can also designate special pockets in your luggage for specific kinds of items so you’ll know exactly where to look for them when you need them.
Get Creative With Jewelry Packing Tips
You want to look a bit glamorous on your trip, but packing a bulky jewelry box isn’t practical. For one thing, it takes up too much space, but you also don’t want to worry about losing or damaging anything important to you. Fortunately, there are many creative, efficient ways to carry small amounts of jewelry.
Pick a few pieces that will go well with all your outfits and then pack them carefully to protect them. One trick people use to keep their necklaces untangled is to thread them through a straw. You can also keep bracelets secured around a rolled-up hand towel or piece of clothing and tuck them into a sealable bag. If you have a pill or contact holder that you aren’t using, you can use its compartments for different pieces of smaller jewelry like rings and earrings.
Bringing the Right Shoes
Your boots may be made for walking, but you should still think long and hard about which ones you’ll really need for your trip. Shoes can take up considerable space, but you don’t want to be in the middle of vacation wishing you had just one extra pair or something a little nicer than what you’re wearing.
Start picking shoes that go well with multiple outfits. Shoes should generally go at the bottom of your suitcase, though flats and light sandals may be able to slip neatly in an inside pocket. An easy way to make sure the soles of your shoes aren’t coming into contact with your clothes is by tucking them into a shower cap. For efficient packing, keep in mind that the inside of a shoe can be an excellent place to store smaller items, particularly socks.
What to Do With Dirty Laundry
One of the most useful suitcase packing tips is to think ahead for what you’ll do with dirty laundry. Some people use packing cubes or special sections built into their luggage. But if you don’t have either of those options, you can easily rely on sealable bags, which do a fine job keeping unpleasant odors from spreading through your suitcase. When you initially pack for your trip, your sealable bags will be empty, so they won’t take up much space. Once full, you can keep them in an outer suitcase pocket to find them with ease and keep your other items smelling fresh.
Review Airline Baggage Rules
The airline you pick doesn’t just determine if you’ll get snacks onboard, but the amount and type of luggage you can bring. Once you’ve saved all that space with these suitcase packing tips, you want to make sure your luggage isn’t over the weight limit. Be sure to check the size and weight restrictions your flight’s airline has placed on different kinds of luggage. How many carry-on items do they allow? What fees do they charge for extra items?
Information on baggage rules should be available on the website for each airline. When flying in the U.S., you should also familiarize yourself with the rules from the Transportation Security Administration on the liquids and gels you’re allowed to pack, particularly in carry-on items.
Protecting Important Documents
Suitcase packing tips don’t just apply to the large items you bring. During your travels, it’s very helpful to keep copies of your itinerary and other important documents in case you need them for verification or anything gets lost. To keep everything organized and protected from damage, you should use a dedicated folder for paper copies to make sure they don’t get crumpled or torn. You can simultaneously keep copies on your phone. This way, you’ll always have backups.
One thing to keep in mind, is that it’s not a good idea to store your passport in one of your suitcases. It should really be on you as much as possible. There are multiple options for safekeeping. You can use a travel pouch that’s tucked under your clothes. It can be at your waist or hanging from your neck. Another possibility is to wear a small travel bag that’s secured diagonally across your body; use an internal pocket in the bag for your passport. As a backup, you can also save an encrypted copy of your passport on Google Drive or another reputable platform.
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