Going on vacation? The last thing you want is to stress out about your suitcase. You have tons of clothes, electronics, and shoes to pack. And that’s in addition to all the souvenirs you’ll return with.
Instead of hastily stuffing your suitcase, slow down your process. These travel packing tips will help you save room and perfect your packing game.
1. Make a List
It might sound old-fashioned, but it’s always helpful to make a list. Write down absolutely everything you need, no matter how small or obvious.
As you pack, check off items as you go along. Having a list will reassure you that you have everything you need. That way, you won’t have to dig through your suitcase last minute just to make sure that you didn’t forget something important.
2. Don’t Pack Your Whole Wardrobe
This goes without saying: you don’t need to pack every variation of shirts and pants that you own. It’s difficult to narrow down clothing, but you just have to think about what you’ll truly need.
If you’re going to an area that involves a lot of walking, don’t pack dressy or uncomfortable clothes. The opposite is also true—you’ll want to have fancier clothes if you’re going on a formal business trip.
Make sure to check the weather forecast for the area you’re headed to. You don’t want to travel to your destination, only to find that you’re under or overdressed for the weather.
3. Army Roll Your Clothes
Forget folding—rolling your clothes saves way more space. There’s a technique to rolling all types of clothes, as shown in the helpful video above. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll notice how much more space you have in your suitcase. This practical method also helps prevent wrinkles.
4. Store Liquids in Plastic Bags
You’ll still want to store any liquids (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup) in plastic baggies even if you’re checking your bag. When your suitcase rolls around during its journey on the airplane, you don’t know what will happen to those bottles.
The liquids could explode or leak, and instantly ruin your clothes. A plastic baggie won’t protect your bottles from bursting, but they’ll definitely prevent them from leaking onto your clothes and electronics.
5. Keep Your Clothes Fresh With Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets serve a purpose outside of softening fabric and preventing static electricity—they can also keep your clothes fresh in your suitcase. Stuff a few dryer sheets in between your clothes to avoid a musty smell.
6. Try Packing Cubes
Packing cubes, like this one from Amazon Basics, can make your suitcase a whole lot more organized. You can use these cubes to separate your clothes, toiletries, and other personal items. Better yet, when you get to your hotel, you can easily transport the cubes from your suitcase to your hotel room’s dresser.
7. Don’t Pack Bulky Footwear
If you absolutely need boots or bulky sneakers for your vacation, wear them on the plane. Stuffing them into your suitcase will take up way too much room. Otherwise, ditch the high heels and work boots if they’re optional for the trip.
8. Take Advantage of Your Personal Item
Many travelers forget that airlines allow a carry-on and a personal item on the plane. Don’t bring a tiny purse as your personal item when you can bring something much bigger (as long as it fits under the seat in front of you).
A large tote bag or backpack is the perfect personal item. You can use this much-needed extra space to carry electronics, makeup, medicines, and other smaller personal items.
9. Separate Dirty Laundry
Having to haul your dirty laundry back home is always a hassle. Instead of repacking your dirty laundry or stuffing it inside of a small suitcase compartment, try putting them into packing cubes. This will help you keep your dirty and clean clothes separate—plus most packing cubes come with a lining that controls odor.
If you don’t get your hands on packing cubes, check your hotel for drawstring laundry bags. Placing your dirty laundry inside of a bag isn’t the most ideal, but it works in a pinch.
10. Weigh Your Suitcase
Once you’re done packing, don’t forget to weigh your suitcase. You don’t want to get slammed with an oversized luggage fee just because you’re a couple of pounds over the limit. Use a handy luggage scale that straps onto your bag’s handle to check your bag’s weight.
Packing Lighter Is Packing Smarter
Having an organized suitcase makes your vacation much less chaotic. When everything’s in its place, you won’t have to scramble to find all of your things. Packing lighter and more logically can help you avoid checking your bag altogether!
Now that you know how to organize your suitcase, learn how to organize your wardrobe and maximize space.