Packing a suitcase can seem daunting, especially if you’re doing it last minute (like I did earlier this month). I was stressing out all week only to procrastinate, but I wanted to share the tips I’ve learned about how to pack a suitcase correctly.
Usually, I pack several times before leaving for the airport because I tend to overpack and change my mind about what I am bringing. However, with the help of my friends, here are some steps to pack like a pro!
This post includes affiliate links, and I will receive compensation (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase! Click here to read my affiliate disclosure.
Pack that suitcase early. It will save you from the last-minute stress of packing. It will give you time to make sure everything you’re supposed to take with you is there. And you’ll be able to organize your items neatly and efficiently.
I am speaking from experience on this one. On the last trip I went on, I had to repack several times less than 12 hours before my trip. I clearly overpacked and definitely learned my lesson.
Does the suitcase work?
Make sure that suitcase works. Are there any rips or tears in the materials? Does the handle work, and the wheels turn? Start by checking everything out before loading up the suitcase with all of your stuff. If you find that your suitcase isn’t in good condition, it’s fine! Going shopping last minute for a new suitcase is also an option!
Be mindful of the weight.
Before you even start packing, make a list of the things you cannot live without on your trip. Get realistic and make sure you ONLY carry what you will need. You probably don’t need three pairs of heels if you’re going on a vacation to the beach! Trust me on this one… I always bring more shoes than I need.
Not only will carrying more than you need mean that you’ll have a hard time managing and carrying your luggage, but it can also wind up costing you money as you might have to pay for excess weight. Make sure you have some space to carry any cute things and souvenirs you might want to bring home!
EXPERT TIP: Once your list is made, make a pile of items to pack and go through it. Have a pile for “absolutely coming” and another for “would like to have it.” Once you have your two piles separated, pack the “absolutely coming” pile and see how much space is left.
If it helps, think about this quote when you’re packing, “if you pack it, you carry it.” My friends always tell me this is their rule when they pack. They learned the hard way when they were on their 3-month trip to Europe.
And, of course, I learned that myself during my trip to Las Vegas to see BTS. *LOL* It was a struggle.
Guard your liquids
Any items that contain liquids should be stored in a zipped-up pouch to prevent them from leaking. If your trip is short, I recommend putting more oversized products like shampoo and body gels into smaller containers to make them easier to carry. Instead, you can always put them in a small quart-sized bag in your carry-on.
Place essential things at the top.
Medicines, toiletries, underwear, and things you’ll need daily should be super accessible to avoid scrambling through your bag and re-organizing going through security.
Carry fragile items separately.
Computers, cameras, and anything that can break should be carried in a separate bag (i.e., a day bag you carry with you at all times). If there’s something you must pack and cannot carry with you, wrap it up in bubble wrap to keep it from breaking. If you’re traveling by plane, you have no control over how it will be handled once you drop it off at check-in.
Add a protective layer of plastic.
Once you’ve double-checked everything in there, zip up the suitcase and wrap it up with a protective layer of plastic for extra protection!