I have become quite an expert at packing a suitcase after moving myself, my 3 children, and all of our homeschool books around Great Britain for 3 months. We started that journey with 3 large suitcases and 4 backpacks. We ended the trip with just 1 suitcase plus a rolling grocery cart and our backpacks.
This was our only suitcase as we prepared to leave Scotland.
Packing a suitcase for travel can be instrumental in the success of your trip. If you are overpacked, you will despise lugging your “luggage” around from place to place. Taking steps to protect your luggage will save you inevitable stress and confusion at a time when you should be relaxing and enjoying life.
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Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Use a Packing List
Put it on paper before you exert any energy gathering things. Your packing list will guide you in the process and prevent you from forgetting anything important – think passport or cell phone. (Check off your items when you use one of our Packing Lists.)
- Choose Items Wisely
Look closely at Weather.com before packing. Be realistic about what you will likely wear. Will you have access to a washer and dryer? If so, don’t be afraid to do a load or two of laundry.
- Find a Good Method
If you are looking to pack efficiently with less wrinkling, then simply laying folded clothing into your suitcase will not work. Here are 2 common methods used by heavy travelers.
• Rolling Method – I packed for 4 people in one suitcase. Rolling conserves space, and things come out pretty wrinkle-free. See photo above.
• Bundle Wrapping – My Mom and husband believe that this is the best method. You can find out more here.
- Toiletries and Shoes
These can be difficult items to pack. They are both potentially bulky and threaten to damage your clothing, if not packed correctly. Wear the bulkiest of your shoes on the plane.
• Shoes – Wear the bulkiest of your shoes on the plane. I have a shoe bag that I can pack my shoes in. Then I always pack it at the bottom of my suitcase (the bottom if the suitcase is zipped and sitting up).
• Toiletries – I also pack my toiletries in a separate bag, both to keep them together and to prevent leakage. I use L.L. Bean’s Family Organizer for all of our toiletries. It is lined so that it will not leak. I just hang it in the bathroom when we arrive at our accommodation. I pack this at the top of my suitcase (the top if the suitcase is zipped and sitting up).
- Personalize your Luggage
• Most people put a tag on their luggage with their name, address, and telephone number on it. This is vital. However, with so many pieces of solid-colored luggage nowadays, one way to spy your luggage immediately as it comes down the belt at the airport is to tie a brightly-colored ribbon or scrap of fabric onto your handle. When you see that fabric, you’ll have no doubt that that is your luggage.
• A less-obvious way to personalize your luggage and to ensure that your bag finds its way to you in the slim chance that it gets lost is to write down all important information and place it on the top of your packed stuff inside before you zip it up. Include your name(s), your home address/phone number, and the address/phone number(s) of your travel destination.
What are your packing tips? What packing tools/resources have helped you become an expert packer?