Everyone is a traveler until it comes to packing! Packing is not everyone’s cup of tea as some people prefer coffee and others are allergic to tea. Well, coming to packing most people don’t like packing as it requires a lot of thinking and they prefer to think of other things – I’m talking about me here! There are many ways to pack a suitcase but packing it like a professional is not that current especially if you are traveling for the first time. So how to pack a suitcase like a pro, well here are some tips that will surely help you!
1. Make a list – There are many people who love making lists. Prepare a detailed packing list of the things that you will need during your trip. Plan ahead and sort out what you will be wearing for each day that you are gone, and remember the clothes you travel in are counted as one of the outfits. Choose pieces that can be mixed and matched. It is a smart idea. Be sure to add an extra pair of underwear or socks just in case. Once you have decided what you will wear, write it all down on a sheet of paper. As you pack each item, cross it off your list! Always have an extra set of clothes in your carry-on luggage as you never know if your luggage is misplaced and you don’t want to be stuck in your traveling clothes until the rest of it shows up. Also keep your personal medication along with a prescription letter from your doctor, if need be, in your carry-on as well as your toothbrush, passport, wallet, etc.
2. Bottoms first – Shoes and heavy items such as hairdryers and extra handbags should be placed at the bottom of your luggage. If you are carrying a piece, then the heaviest bits should be right next to the hinge that attached the lid and if you have a luggage piece that has wheels then the bulky bits should be right at the bottom above the wheels. Shoes, boots, and packed purses are ideal spots to carry smaller items within. You can tuck in jewelry, socks, gloves, belts, extra glasses, and more in order to maximize space. Once the heavy bits have been placed where you liked them, use the space between them for smaller items like socks, underwear, rolled-up swimsuits.
3. Fold them up – Yes you read that right! Fold your clothes when packing as items that are folded lay nice and flat as opposed to all those rolled clothes that take up more space. The first layer should be your shoes and beneath them should the thickest fabrics such as jeans, khakis, woolen skirts, jackets, sweaters. Leave a bit of space when packing for your toiletries, books, and hairbrush.
4. Personal care products – Always place fragile items and personal care products in a padded fabric case and it should be kept in the center of your luggage so they are protected by all your clothes. Small bottles of perfume or cologne should be kept in zip-able freezer bags just in case they leak: you don’t want to reek of your favorite scent the whole time you’re traveling. Remember that if you’re flying, any liquids or gels have to be packed into travel-sized containers and stored within a clear plastic bag in your checked luggage.
5. Practice the 1-2-3-4-5-6 Rule – Here’s one of the simplest and best suitcase-packing tips we’ve heard. For a week-long trip, pack:
- 1 hat
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 3 pairs of pants or skirts
- 4 shirts
- 5 pairs of socks
- 6 sets of underwear
This list can be modified to suit your needs and the nature of your trip. For example, a business trip requires a different wardrobe than a cruise. And maybe you’re a two-shirts-a-day person, just because. But it’s a good place to start if you’re not sure how much clothing to pack.
6. Replace the Material with the Digital – Books are bulky, but bytes don’t weigh a thing. If you’re bringing a phone or other mobile device, consider downloading maps, translation apps, travel guides and reading material for your trip. One exception is travel documents. While it’s a good idea to store digital copies of your passport and itinerary on your phone, you should pack a few printed versions as well.
7. What to do with dirty laundry – One of the most useful suitcases 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.
Be sure to take a copy of the list you made with you so that you can cross things off again on your return trip: you don’t want to leave anything behind in your hotel room.
Until then, happy travels!