The art of packing a suitcase is a skill that continues to develop with experience. I'm always picking up new tips and tricks and I'm eager to learn more.
Packing for your next holiday doesn’t have to mean sitting on your suitcase trying to zip it shut. Clothing will take up the majority of your luggage’s space so it is vital to pack it correctly.
In addition to maximizing space, a bit of planning can also save you time from needing to make your clothing wearable again after having been jailed in a suitcase during a long flight.
The following tips will allow you to avoid the common mistakes made by many travellers and save your clothes from possible damage during transit.
Keep Heavy Bulky Items Out
Airlines seem to be getting more restrictive every year with baggage allowances, with many charging high prices for even your first checked bag. So maximize your allotted space and weight by wearing your heaviest clothing onto the plane (bulky jackets and your heaviest pair of shoes).
This won’t count against your baggage allowance and you can always remove it as you get seated. Planes tend to be colder anyway so it may be beneficial to have another layer handy to keep you warm.
You can save further space in your luggage by filling your coat pockets with accessories like gloves, beanies, scarves, etc.
Scented Dryer Sheets
You may have a suitcase full of freshly cleaned clothes, but it’s amazing how quickly your luggage can take away that fresh detergent smell.
To avoid having your clothes smell like a high school gym locker, place some scented dryer or fabric softener sheets in amongst your clothes to keep the entire contents of your bag smelling fresh. This will also come in handy as you get further into your travels and start mixing your clean with dirty clothes.
Keep Your Clothes Stain Free
Because you never know how well your luggage will be handled, it’s wise to plan for the worst. Toiletries can easily be forced open during transit especially when being subjected to air pressure changes on a plane. By individually wrapping toiletries and liquids in Ziplocs or other plastic bags, it could save you from cleaning up a huge mess that could easily damage your clothes.
Bring plastic bags or make use of your hotel’s laundry bags to place your shoes into before packing. This will prevent dirt and sand from getting on your clothes.
It’s also a good idea to turn your whites and favourite clothes inside out to safeguard them from stains or other damage.
Packing Cubes or Compression Packs
These are great for maximizing space in your suitcase. You would be amazed at how much air you transport with you on your travels. By compressing your clothes, you will be able to make more room and protect your clothing from damages that can occur from other items within your suitcase.
Minimize your Load
The old saying of grabbing all the clothes you think you will need on a trip and then put half of them back is really true. Travel is all about freedom and relaxation. Don’t let a heavy luggage load weigh you down.
You don’t need to skimp on undergarments that need daily changing, but things like jumpers and jeans can get multiple days of use before needing a clean. Don’t worry about wearing the same outfit multiple days in a row while travelling as you generally won’t encounter the same people on a daily basis as you might at work.
Roll Not Fold
Rolling clothes instead of folding them flat will maximize space, minimize creases and wrinkles depending on the fabric, and make grabbing individual items much easier. You should stick to rolling synthetic fabric clothing and fold your nicer dresses and sports coats.
The greatest benefit of rolling is the organization and being able to see what you have to choose from without disturbing your entire suitcase.
Pre Pick and Pack Outfits Separately
Because time is precious during your holiday, it isn’t a bad idea to arrange your suitcase into separate outfits. You can pack daily outfits into separate packing cubes with daily labels, perfect for the strong A-type personality. This is a sure-fire way to know you will literally be covered for your entire trip.
Save a Spot for Dirty Clothes
Many of us completely disregard the fact that what comes out of the suitcase must go back in, that is unless you plan on leaving behind your clothing during your travels.
It is very important to bring a laundry bag and allocate space for your dirty laundry to not only keep your entire suitcase from smelling foul but also to separate what you have worn from what is still fresh and available to throw on.
Regardless of what clothing you ultimately choose to bring, make sure it is protected by your travel insurance. This will cover you in the event your baggage is lost, stolen, or damaged. It will also come in handy should your bags be greatly delayed by an airline or transport company and you are forced to purchase new clothing to get you by.
Amy has travelled to 15 countries over 3 continents and is always looking for her next adventure.