9+ Tips for Packing a Suitcase

by Courtney Christensen

Everyone loves taking vacations, even if they're far and few between. What's not so fun is trying to get all of your family's clothes into a limited number of suitcases and bags. Cut down on the number of bags you need to take with you in the car or on the plane by following these tips.

  1. Make your packing list. When planning for your trip, don't forget to create yourself a packing list. Start this list a week or two prior to traveling so you can be sure that you get everything you and your family needs written down. You may even notice that you've written too many things down, too. Use your list as a way to remember the important things and to nix the unimportant ones. 
  2. Decide on the outfits you’re taking. When picking out the clothes you're taking, remember: Mix, match, and layer. With double (or triple) the amount of tops compared to bottoms, you will have plenty of outfits for your trip. 
  3. Invest in packing cubes. These nifty pouches can be found on Amazon and are relatively inexpensive. By using cubes, you can color code for your family members. Each kid gets their own color, and unpacking becomes super easy. They also help save space in you suitcase by keeping your items packed tight. 
  4. Put the heaviest items at the bottom. Keep your suitcase balanced by putting your heaviest things at the bottom. Shoes, toiletries, and other heavy items will keep your suitcase from being top heavy.
  5. Roll your clothes. You can prevent wrinkles and give yourself more space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. You can also give the Konmari method a try. You'll be surprised at how much more you'll be able to fit into your suitcase. 
  6. Use space wisely. In a suitcase, every inch is prime real estate. Use all the space you can by filling empty spots created by your shoes and bras. Pack underwear inside bras, socks inside shoes. Another space saving tip? Snake belts around the perimeter of the suitcase. This will keep it from creasing, too. 
  7. Make a go-bag of medicine and toiletries. Reduce the bulk in your toiletry bag by cutting part of the packaging to place into snack-size baggies with the meds. This works great for over the counter medications like Tylenol, Tums, and cold medicine. Purchase travel sized versions of other products: toothpaste, antibiotic ointment, or eye drops. Keep this bag around for the next time you travel. 
  8. Buy bulky items later, if you can. Necessities like diapers, baby formula, and groceries can fill up your duffels or car quickly. If possible, purchase these items when you get to your destination.
  9. Pack an extra suitcase for souvenirs. If you know that you'll be buying loads of souvenirs, pack another suitcase. You can pack up a smaller suitcase with clothing and put it inside of a larger suitcase to save space. 

Quick Tricks

  • Pack light colored clothes inside out to prevent staining from dirty shoes.
  • Wear your bulkiest clothing during the travel so that you don't have to pack them.
  • Plan for dirty laundry. Bring a wet bag or trash bag. 
  • Shoes go foot to toe, heels together in the suitcase. Put them in a bag to keep the bottoms from touching your clothes.
  • If you're bringing books with you on your trip, take your E-reader vs physical books. You could also download audio books. 
  • Keep your razor from ripping clothes or bags. Put a binder clip over the razor head. 
  • Put chargers and cables in a glasses case to keep them neat, tidy, and easy to find.

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