Ever wondered what the best way to pack a suitcase is? Packing a suitcase may be simple, but do it wrong, and you could end up learning lessons the hard way over thousands of miles on the road. Missing or skipping a few steps could end in you paying unnecessary baggage fees, or losing valuables. Whether you want more space in your case, prefer to travel light, or optimize your load – follow the ultimate hacks below and be a smarter and more efficient packer! With these tips, you’ll learn how to pack a suitcase efficiently in no time!
1. Start With a Packing List
Men don’t really like to have a list. But like it or not, it’s too easy to forget things you need especially in the stressful days before your trip. The idea of making a list may not sound fun, but this is a basic tip on how to do it right from the start. This hack is especially worth it if you’re going on long trips. If making a list makes you feel lazy, at least have a list of the most important items that you can’t afford to not have. Imagine forgetting your laptop on your business trip? It could mean a disaster.
2. . . . End By Reviewing Your Packing List
Yes, having a packing list can be a critical step, but many travelers skip out on reviewing their list after they packed. Starting a list doesn’t ensure that you won’t forget a thing. You have to review your list and go through all the items before you leave. You’ll be surprised to possibly find out that you haven’t packed one or two important items for your trip.
3. Choose The Right Size
You don’t want to bring a huge suitcase for an overnight trip. Choose the appropriate suitcase size for your trip. One of the most common mistakes, when packing a suitcase, is bringing excess and unnecessary items. Choosing the right suitcase with the right size will ensure that you bring only the most important items for your trip.
4. Think Tetris
Think about Tetris and apply it to how you pack a suitcase. Fill every ounce of space to maximize it. You may want to use some popular strategies such as using packing cubes to keep your clothes compact. Other methods include rolling your clothes to minimize wrinkles and maximize space. The idea here is to use every available space in your case. Organize your stuff according to your personal preference and carefully fit your things like a Tetris game.
5. Check Your Airlines Baggage Policy
Baggage policies between airlines may vary. Check your airline baggage policy to avoid unideal surprises at the airport. In most cases, their baggage policies should be reflected somewhere on your itinerary. If you can’t find it in your itinerary, you can check their policy on google or on their website. It’s worth the extra effort to check before packing. You don’t want to pay extra fees or unload some of your stuff to get onboard.
6. Use Packing Cubes or Small Bags
Using packing cubes or other smaller bags does not only aid you in fitting stuff in your case. This can also help you in segregating items and be more strategic in packing. For example, you can put all your personal hygiene and grooming staff in the same packing cube rather than just putting it together with your clothes and shoes. This tip is a game-changer and can make your trip more convenient and efficient.
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7. Pack Your Absolute Essentials In Your Carry On
When you travel, it’s always wise to have one carry-on bag. Your carry-on needs to be comfortably light and useful. You can use this to store your absolute essentials. Most airlines won’t allow checking in your suitcase if there are valuable items in it such as laptops and wallets. Put these absolute essentials in your carry-on.
Items such as car keys, prescriptions, jewelry, and cameras should also be placed in your carry-on bag, not your checked bag. Your absolute essentials should also include one outfit change. Like it or not, some very unfortunate scenarios can happen during your trip – your luggage may get lost, and maybe even left at departure. Having a carry-on with your essentials and one outfit change will keep you prepared for the worst and will bring you peace of mind while on the trip. Lastly, make sure your carry-on complies with airline carry-on rules.
8. Place Heavy Items At The Base
Once you have laid out every item you need, begin packing the weightiest things first like books and shoes. Keep them at the base of your suitcase. This is an essential tip on how to pack a suitcase to help prevent other items from getting smushed. Organizing your suitcase this way will also ensure that your bag remains stable when upright. Always distribute heavy items evenly between both sides of your bag to maintain good balance when standing.
9. Inspect Your Suitcase
How to pack a suitcase the smart way can’t be done without using the appropriate and functional suitcase. It’s a good practice to inspect your suitcase before deciding to use it for your trip. This is a simple pro-tip that will keep you away from the hassle of dealing with frayed edges or broken zippers while on the move. Perhaps it’s time to retire your old suitcase with frayed edges, broken locks, and dysfunctional rollers. If your budget won’t allow buying a new one, then fix those things before packing your things.
10. Choose Clothes With Travel-Friendly Fabrics
One of the most important things you’ll ever need to know is how to pack clothes to save space. The fabrics you choose can make a great difference in terms of both your luggage size and comfort. Depending on your destination, you may want to choose clothing that will keep you cool for warmer countries or fabrics that will keep you warm in colder parts of the world. There are also fabrics that are durable and can hold up well in the long run. These fabrics are great choices so you don’t have to keep buying new clothes in between and during trips.
When it comes to optimizing your luggage space, there are also certain fabrics that are better options than others. Fabrics like wool, spandex, polyester, knit, and cashmere is ideal for travel. These fabrics are lightweight and comfortable. They also won’t take up a lot of space in your suitcase. Woven fabrics like cotton or linen are also comfortable and space-friendly, but these fabrics are more prone to wrinkling.
11. Avoid Stains
Avoid the problem of finding a stain on your things when you arrive. Simply check your clothes and other items before packing them inside your suitcase. Occasionally, even when you chose clean clothes from your closet, other items such as your shoes can stain them. Proper segregation through packing cubes or segregation plastics can solve this problem.
12. Stay Fresh
This tip is one of the most important tips that you should always consider when packing a suitcase. Keep your clothes smelling fresh throughout your trip. Avoid packing clothes that are not completely dried up. Wet or damp clothes can attract bacteria and viruses that will cause a bad stinking odor to linger on your clothes and suitcase.
If you’re on a long trip and you need to pack dirty clothes, you should separate them from the clean ones. This may seem obvious, but many people struggle to do this while they are on a trip. Others just feel so lazy to pack it separately, but this tip is one of the most effective ways to keep your items smelling fresh while traveling.
13. Make The Best Of Your Shoes
Becoming an efficient packer means understanding how to pack a suitcase to maximize space. Shoes can take up much of your suitcase, but you can maximize the space by making the best of your shoes. Fill your shoes with socks, ties, or underwear. Take advantage of the space inside it and don’t waste an inch. You’ll be surprised how much space you can save up by doing this.
14. Pack More Tops Than Bottoms
If you are saving up your load, you can give up a few of your bottoms. Pack more tops instead. Your appearance will look entirely new when you change your top even with the same bottoms. Also, tops get stinkier faster than bottoms. Of course, you have to choose plain and standard colored bottoms for this to work. Jeans are ideal bottoms for your travel.
15. Go Digital
If you can, avoid bringing books. It might be tempting to bring books when you travel, but it may not be a good compromise for your suitcase space. Go digital instead. Download ebooks and other materials before your flight.
16. Take Extra Care With Your Breakable Items
Sometimes, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid bringing fragile items. If you have to bring such items with you, then cushion them with bubble wrap or clothing. Put distance between your fragile and hefty items within your suitcase. Additionally, some airlines will require you to declare if there’s something breakable in your suitcase. Check your airlines’ guidelines and comply with them.
17. Weigh Your Bag With A Luggage Scale
Weighing your suitcase before you leave home is always a wise idea. This is one of the most basic yet important pro-tips on how to pack a suitcase. Overweight baggage fees are expensive and not necessary. If a weighing scale is not available, it’s good to manually estimate its weight. However, not all travelers are good at this. This might also put you at risk of paying excess baggage fees if you underestimated the weight. Find something with a standard weight and compare its weight with your luggage to somehow get a more accurate estimate. Also, give yourself an ample margin of error.
18. Use A Suitcase Tag
There’s gonna be somebody with a suitcase that is almost similar to yours. Switching suitcases are not unusual (true story). Use a suitcase tag to label your bag. Put your name, phone number, and email address on it so the airline can contact you in case of loss. Limit the information to at least those three. You don’t want to include your home address on it for safety reasons.
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19. Tie A Colorful Ribbon
Even if you already put a tag on your suitcase, someone else may still mistake your suitcase for theirs. This is especially possible if you have a black suitcase that looks like everyone else’s. Suitcase tags are small and sometimes unnoticeable. So it is wise to put something that will make your suitcase look noticeably unique. One of the easiest hacks is to tie a colorful ribbon around the handle of your luggage.
20. Take Your Suitcase For A Test Drive
After packing all your things in your suitcase. Test it out for a while. Try to carry by the handle and roll it around for a bit. Do this while also handling your carry-on. This will allow you to somehow know what it feels like when you actually go on a trip with your full suitcase. This will also help you determine if you need to update or lighten up your load.