How to Pack the Perfect Suitcase

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

No matter how far you are traveling or how many people are traveling with you, a well-packed suitcase will certainly ensure that your trip is that much easier. How do you straddle the line between over-packing and completely sacrificing comfort for style? Read on for 10 tips to help you pack the perfect suitcase:

1. Before you pack, check the weather for your destination and think about the type of activities you are going to be doing on your trip.

2. Be intentional with your clothing selection. Rather than trying to pack your closet, with a completely different outfit for each day, aim to create an edited, multifunctional wardrobe.

3. Lay out all the clothes and accessories you think you will want to wear. Use the floor or your bed to spread everything out.

4. Select bottoms whose colors and styles are versatile enough to be worn with a variety of tops. Solids in neutral colors work best. Make sure tops can also be worn with more than one bottom. Also consider fabric. Denim and jersey will look better right out of the suitcase than will silk.

5. Create outfits from this selection. Select only accessories that will do double duty. Try-on outfits to make sure it all works together.

6. Pack shoes first, as they are heaviest. To save space, socks can be tucked into shoes.

7. Since toiletries can be bulky and heavy, pack only the essentials. If you find you have forgotten something, more likely than not you can purchase it at your destination. Put bottles that could leak in Ziploc bags.

8. If you are checking a bag and bringing a carry-on, make sure to put your essential toiletries, pajamas, jewelry, and 1-2 outfits that can be worn with the shoes you are wearing in the carry-on bag.

Put heavy items, like shoes, in the checked bag to lighten your load as you walk through the airport.

9. Consider the restrictions put into place with FAA’s 3-1-1 rule, whether you are traveling domestically or internationally. Don’t put any liquids in your carry on besides bottles of a three-ounce size or less. Put them in a see-through bag no bigger than a quart in size that is easily accessible so that you can take it out and run it through x-ray. Larger bottles of liquids will be confiscated by airport security. (Lotion, jam and other semi-solid liquids still count.)

Check the FAA website before you leave to determine exactly what other carry-on restrictions are in effect. You never know what seemingly nonviolent items, like nail scissors, are prohibited.

10. Don't forget to pack an extra bag for bringing home gifts or souvenirs. A full-size duffle bag that conveniently folds into itself to store as a small zippered pouch is ideal.