Suitcase Packing Tips – How to Do it Just Right

A suitcase is an essential part of any trip and there is an art to packing a suitcase. Whether you're getting ready for a two-week dream trip or just a weekend getaway, a well packed suitcase of essential clothes, accessories, and toiletries can make your trip a little easier and more enjoyable. When it comes to packing for a trip, some people end up stuffing their suitcases with too many items that end up not being used during the trip. The image comes to mind of packing a suitcase really full, so you're sitting on that suitcase trying to squash it together so it will close. The question to be answered is how do you pack without taking too much? As long as you pack only the necessary stuff, you'll have more than enough room for everything that you will be bringing plus you'll have some space saved for souvenirs or items that you might pick up along your trip. The following tips are to help you without worrying about packing too much or not enough.


Do not wait until the last minute. Being in a rush forces you to make irrational decisions while you're in a frenzy throwing things into your suitcase. This is the perfect set up for over packing. Everything you bring should serve a purpose and must be used on the trip or leave it home.

Start planning about one week ahead.

Make a written list of what you'll need to pack based on your destination. Lay everything out on your bed and determine which is absolutely necessary.

Consider where you're going and pack accordingly.

The first step is to determine your priorities based on the kind of trip you are taking. Will you need any formal or semi-formal items? What will the weather be like? Will I blend in or look like a tourist? Are there any cultural considerations?

Basic wardrobe considerations.

Do not take anything that wrinkles. Nylon and cotton blends work best. You also need to limit the number of pairs of shoes you take. Do not take more than three pairs. They take up the most bulk in a suitcase. Take neutral colors that can match any clothing you bring. Also take clothing items that mix and match easily with each other so you can make multiple outfits out of a few major pieces.

Limit accessories.

Accessories will add the most bulk to your suitcase. If there are things that you absolutely have to take because they will not be available where you are going, then by all means take them. If you travel frequently, consider buying a travel size or the lightest and most compact version available. Hair dryers and irons are better off at home. Most hotels have them-call ahead and check.

Be conservative with jewelry choices.

Jewelry is an item that can attract thieves. Be careful so that your choices do not attract attention. Since jewelry is small and the fact that these items are usually taken off daily, the likelihood of misplacing or losing them alt profits. To avoid losing them, leave jewelry items on all the time. Pick items that can be worn with everything. If you do take additional jewelry with you, keep them on your person or with your carry-on bag.

Make the most of the space you have.

You can stuff shoes with any items that you do not need to worry about wrinkling (bras, underwear, socks, toiletries). It's always good to line the perimeter of your suitcase with the soles of your shoes pointing towards the outside and place the bulky items on the bottom and use this as the framework to pack around. You can also place belts opened and around the perimeter of the suitcase rather than coiled up to avoid more bulk. Remember that you can always pack light and shop for what you need at your destination.

Items that might come in handy:

A small poncho raincoat; Small sewing kit; Several plastic bags – handy for packing a wet swimsuit, lingerie that is not quite dry, or soiled items; En extra collapsible bag that can be checked for all the souvenirs you'll be bringing home, a few extra hangers, liquid soap for hand washing.

Being fully prepared for a trip does not always mean being fully loaded in your suitcase. Following a few simple tips can help you get to your destination with everything you need and nothing more-or less.