Your how to pack a suitcase guide

Travel packing tips: How to pack light and still stay in style I’ll admit it, when it comes to packing I’ll empty my entire closet out and try and stuff it all in one large suitcase. Most of it comes back unworn and wrinkled. After years of travel, I’ve come to appreciate the fine art of packing and I am slowly learning how to pack a suitcase and how to pack lightly. Here are a few travel packing tips to assist in the task of packing.

Picking the right suitcase The first step to great packing is to purchase a great bag. Sure, you can stop by K-mart and buy a $30 suitcase, but it’s not going to last. Luggage is something worth investing in. A good suitcase can last years, if not decades. Plus, cheap suitcases don’t protect the contents as well as an expensive one will. Last, a bag with wheels is much easier on your shoulder and much easier to transport than a duffel bag.

To carry on or not to carry on? I won’t lie, I get a small pleasure from exiting the plane and walking right out the door, while everyone else has to wait and shoulder there way to their bags on the conveyor belt. I always recommend carrying your luggage on. It saves time and you don’t have to wait for your bags or worry about losing them. It also requires you to pack less. It’s important to keep in mind airline restrictions on carry-on items though. There are size limits, usually no more than 40 pounds and it has to fit in the overhead compartments or under your seat. If you are traveling with children or carrying on your luggage is not an option, make sure to label your luggage correctly and take off any unnecessary tags to ensure that your luggage gets to you safely. Also, if I have to check my luggage I always pack my toothbrush and a clean pair of underwear in my carry-on just in case my luggage gets delayed.

Pick, choose and lose I’m sure that new summer dress is very thinning, but you’re going to be hiking in the mountains. The first packing tip is to bring only what you need. I always go through my closet and pull out everything I want to bring and then place the items in stacks. Then I put at least half of it back into the closet, picking out only the items I need. Keep the weather, what kind of activities you will be partaking in and the location in mind. I recommend packing solid colors and basic clothing items that can be easily pieced together and will match the other clothing items you pack. Instead of packing a sweater, try packing a light jacket. It will look nicer and probably will match more items. Remember to pack at least one dressy outfit as well. Women, don’t feel obligated to pack items like skirts if you don’t plan on wearing them. A nice pair of slacks will suffice. Shoes are items that take up a lot of space when packing. Wear one pair of comfortable shoes on the plane that match all your outfits, and then pack one pair of sandals and one pair of dressy shoes in your luggage.

The other stuff Clothes are not the only things that are packed. Toiletries can easily start to add up and take up lots of space. Nowadays everything can be bought in travel size and they take up a lot less space then a jumbo bottle of shampoo. Items like blow-dryers are not necessary considering most hotels come with one. Keep the toiletries minimal and only bring what’s necessary, plus if something comes up, you can always purchase things once you’ve reached your destination.

How to pack a suitcase and make it all fit One common packing mishap is wrinkly clothes. Hopefully, by lightening your load and only packing the necessities, you will have room in your suitcase for everything to fit and it won’t get wrinkled. Plus, the fun part of vacationing is buying things and by packing lightly you’ll have extra room in your suitcase for the things you pick up along the way. Second, rolling your clothing like pants and t-shirts saves lots of room and they can easily be stacked. Other items like sweaters or button-up shirts need to be folded neatly in a square and the wrinkles should be smoothed out. Placing items like socks inside your shoes conserves space and is a great packing tip.

I had a friend travel to Spain and once she arrived she found her bottle of perfume had broken and leaked over all her clothes. Needless to say she smelled good the entire trip. Toiletries, especially items like perfume and shampoo, should be placed in sealed plastic bags and away from your clothes, so in case they leak they will not get over everything else.

The most important packing tip for vacations is to plan ahead. Check the weather forecast before packing so you will be prepared clothing wise. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to pack, because you will definitely end up over packing. Just follow these few, simple travel packing tips and you’ll learn how to pack a suitcase lightly. So, here’s to a wrinkle-free, fun-filled vacation.