Best Ways to Pack a Suitcase

Best Ways to Pack a Suitcase: Basic tips for efficient travel backpacking

Best Ways to Pack a Suitcase: If there is anything more difficult than planning the trip itself, it has to be packing the suitcase without being irked into reopening it. We have all been there, even some of the seasoned travelers. Hence, if you too feel anxious or stressed even thinking about the whole process, hang in there! After having traveled for a few years, I still procrastinate, take several hours to figure out what to keep, and some more to actually find them. However, there are a few things that I have learned down the road. I have shared some of these quick packing hacks below that I have learned from my mistakes or my lovely travel companions. You will learn everything from scratch – from figuring out what to keep and what to avoid to mastering the perfect space-saving techniques. Get ready to become a holiday pro!

1. Choose Your Luggage Wisely

It’s fascinating how the road to knowing how to put stuff into the travel suitcase begins with finding the right suitcase itself. Choosing the right suitcase will depend on multiple factors such as – your trip schedule, what activities you will be doing, what additional items you may require during your journey, etc. Once you have understood your suitcase’s contents, ensure you do not overstuff or underpack it. It simply needs to be packed enough to still have some extra space for adjustments during the trip. If you often bring unnecessary items on the trip that you don’t even take out, choose hard shell luggage. This way, you will be able to avoid overstuffing.

Best Ways to Pack a Suitcase

2. Scrutinize Your Bag’s Contents – 5,4,3,2,1 Rule

Stuffing your bag with 4 kinds of flip-flops may seem important but trust me it is a huge mistake. In fact, most overpacking is a result of stuffing similar items in the backpack under the impression that they may be needed. On the contrary, generally, these items never even see the light of day. To make sure this does not happen, it’s suggested to follow the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule. What is it?

5: Pack not more than 5 sets of socks.
4: Don’t pack more than 4 tops.
3: Three bottoms max.
2: Not more than 2 pairs of shoes.
1: Just a single hat if needed

The above list is for a weeklong trip and you can adjust the numbers if you are planning to go on a longer trip. Also, you can add any additional items if you need them. For example, throw in a swimsuit if you are gonna swim. Whatever you pack, the rule remains the same – don’t double or triple down unnecessarily.

3. Pack Cleverly – Popular Strategies

If you have already ruthlessly pulled out everything with a sinking feeling but still can’t stuff the remains in the suitcase, you may want to reconsider your packing strategy. Packing your suitcase smartly can make a huge difference. Here are some common but useful strategies which can be of great help:

1. Roll Your clothes: Rolling up your clothes can help create a lot of extra space in your suitcase as compared to folding. In addition to the extra space, you can minimize wrinkles on your clothing. Clothes such as denim jackets or jeans can cause increased thickness when folded using conventional methods.

2. Use Compression Bags:
Another way that you can save a huge space in your backpack is by using compression bags. Compression bags help reduce the volume of clothing and other soft items. Simply roll or fold according to the type of clothing and seal the bag to create an airtight environment inside of the bag. Upon sealing the bag use the built-in valve to remove the extra air. You can manually roll the bag to remove the extra air or use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck the air out.

Compression bags must be used wisely. They may not be ideal for all types of travel. They may not be useful if your trip requires frequent access to your suitcase. Hence, consider your travel needs before using them.

4. Layering: Layering is a packing strategy that helps optimize weight distribution and pack efficiently. While layering, you keep the heavier items on the bottom of the suitcase and the lighter items on top. Think of a pyramid. The additional space that you get can be used to slide in belts, ties, or scarves and prevent them from getting tangled.

5. Fold like a Pro with the Konmari Method: The Konmari method can be easily called a boon for messy packers. The konmari method turns packing the backpack into a joyful and peaceful activity. By picking only the items that truly spark joy and folding them vertically in your suitcase you can get a much lighter bag to carry around. Due to packing vertically, you can also pack a few more clothes that you wish you could adjust in your suitcase. However, remember to not forget that the idea of the konmari method is to neatly pack what you love efficiently and not overpack.

Also Read: 10 Items To Never Pack For a Trip

4. Toiletries – On Top, In a Clear Bag

Toiletries are often required frequently. Items such as soap, facewash, deodorant, face mask, lip balm, etc. are required multiple times during a trip. If they are not kept readily accessible, you may get caught up in a mess. You don’t want to scour your suitcase just to find your toothbrush.

best ways to pack a suitcase

You must also ensure to keep the toiletries in a clear bag. This serves two major purposes – A) You can see the bag contents clearly & B) Saves time during security checks. The Transport Security Administration (TSA) requires travelers to pack liquids, gets, aerosols, and other toiletries in clear quart-sized, resealable bags. Clear bags make it easier for security personnel to inspect your toiletries. This helps avoid time-consuming packing and repacking.

5. Packing Shoes – Follow the Rule of Three

There is hardly anyone who does not mess this up. We’ve all been there – bags packed, just need to add shoes, but things keep shifting. We have already suggested this cliched tip but please don’t overpack. To avoid having multiple pairs of shoes in the suitcase but always showing up in flip-flops, pack just three.

The Rule of Three:
1. One pair of sandals/loafers
2. One pair of sneakers
3. One pair of evening shoes

Shoes take up a good deal of space in the suitcases. Hence, only the above three pairs must be packed. If you want you can change the item, but make sure to not forget the number. Shoes also can serve as an item to store other items. Thinking of socks? Think differently: If your shoes are neat, you can stuff socks, sunglasses, electronics chargers, etc into them to sprucely save some space in the suitcase.

Best Ways to Pack a Suitcase

Remember layering? Shoes are also one of the things that can be kept at the bottom of the suitcase. Just ensure to pack them nicely in reusable bags to avoid dirt/odor spreading to other clothes and belongings.

Prevent Wrinkles and Creases

Wrinkles and creases are probably the biggest turn-off upon unpacking. You don’t pack your suitcase with properly folded clothes just to iron them upon your arrival. No offense to people who do it.

In any case, you can prevent those annoying wrinkles by following the best ways to pack a suitcase:

👉 Tissue paper or garment bags: Keeping tissue papers between the layers of clothing can help greatly in avoiding wrinkles and creases as doing so reduces the friction in between. Clothes prone to wrinkles such as linens and satins should be kept separated from the others. You can use a garment bag to keep them wrinkle-free.

👉 Pack wrinkle-resistant fabrics: Conversely, it is also wise to simply pack wrinkle-free clothing. Fabrics such as knits, wool, and cotton don’t develop creases easily.

👉 Rolling clothes: As brought up earlier, rolling clothes is a super efficient hack. It not only aids in saving space in the suitcase, it also helps to avoid wrinkles. Tightly rolled fabrics remain in shape and hence, wrinkles and creases are not formed.

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