How To Pack A Suitcase
Having a vacation is supposed to be a stress-free and enjoyable occasion but how many of you actually look forward to packing your suitcase? Come on, guys! Hands up! It can certainly take the fun factor out of the upcoming adventure and many of you probably just wish you could click your fingers and the packing fairies would come and do it all for you! Just the thought of laying everything out on your bed, organizing it into daytime and nighttime outfits and making sure that you have enough pants, socks and all your toiletries packed for the week ahead is bringing you out in hives!
Every year you promise to get yourself organized and invest in a set of packing cubes so that you can learn to pack like a Pro. Then 2 days before you’re due to fly off to the Tropics, you realize that you’ve absolutely nothing clean that’s suitable to take with you. It’s either a mad dash out to the local shopping mall to stock up on those hideous Hawaiian shirts and chino shorts you always insist on wearing, or the washing machine and tumble dryer goes into overdrive!
Isn’t it about time you learned the art of packing your suitcase properly?
Lucky for you then that we’re about to cover off 10 fail-proof steps that will revolutionize your packing technique! No more humiliating scenes on the baggage carousel when your dog, battered case comes around, your smalls spilling out of the burst seams! Oh no, you are indeed about to become a veritable packing pro! The king of the packing cube, the master of the matching luggage set! Whether you decide to roll it, fold it or stuff it, we’re about to reveal how you can take your packing technique to the next level with origami-like precision. So let’s rattle through our top ten steps for baggage handler proof packing.
1. Get yourself prepared
How long are you going to be away for? Where in the world are you going? What’s the purpose of your trip? Business or vacation? There’s absolutely no point packing your running shoes if you’re going on a boozy weekend away with the boys. Likewise, if you’re headed on a city break, do you really need your swimmers and flip flops? It might seem like a bit of a palaver, but it pays to plan ahead. Maybe even going so far as to match your itinerary to your wardrobe contents and ensuring that you have all bases covered.
2. Think about what suitcase you physically need to take with you
It’s one of those strange phenomena that nobody quite understands how it happens. Like putting two socks in the washing machine and just the one coming out! No matter what size case you take, you inevitably end up filling it to the rafters. Oh, go on then you say to yourself! Even though you’re going to the Caribbean and the weather for the next fortnight is forecast for stunningly glorious sunshine, you’ve plenty of space so might as well pop in a jumper and your favorite beanie hat just in case! Just because you have space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it! Pack appropriately and if you are only going for a few days, consider taking just a small carry-on case instead.
3. Next, it’s time to do the clothing CULL!
Time to get brutal. The best way of doing this is to lay out everything you plan on taking with you out on the bed. Now take a step back and behold the 20 white t-shirts, 4 pairs of khaki chinos and just the one pair of clean underpants you’ve taken out of your wardrobe. Does that look like the right amount and type of clothes for 3 days camping in the wilderness? Nah! We thought not.
4. What you to adopt is what’s known in the professional packing world as the 5,4,3,2,1 rule.
It’s time to get back to basics. There’s a general rule of thumb that says if you’re on a week-long break, you need to take with you:
- five sets of underwear (personally we’d go for seven, but we are sticklers for personal hygiene)
- four tops (t-shirts or shirts for example)
- three bottoms (trousers, chinos, jeans or shorts)
- two pairs of shoes (appropriate to the weather)
- one hat or pair of sunnies (again adapt to fit the purpose and climate of your trip)
5. You’ve selected your suitcase and refined your selection of clothing. Now it’s time to PACK!
This is where the FUN really starts as you become a master of Jenga, apply the code of Tetris or take up the Japanese skill of Origami. You thought you were packing correctly before, but we’re here to tell you how wrong you are! There are a few techniques, sure, that you can adapt and they all have their various merits so let’s just do a quick overview here/
- Rolling your clothes – maximizes space and minimizes wrinkles
- Using packing cubes – helps to keep your clothes nicely organized into garment types
- Bundling clothes together – a technique a bit like pass the parcel where you wrap your clothes, Mummy style, around each other!
6. Packing Your Shoes
Shoes are best laid out on the bottom of your case, heel to toe in pairs, stuffed with your socks to efficiently utilize the space or better still if you have them, in their dust bags.
7. Pay particular attention to your toiletries
Don’t forget that 100ml carry on luggage liquid allowance if you are planning on taking on board the plane a small holdall only and make sure your liquids are separately displayed in a clear plastic bag that you can easily access for when you go through security. Otherwise, pack all your toiletries into a securely zippered bag to avoid any spillages and tuck the toiletry bag into the side panel of your suitcase if you have one.
8. Go digital, where you can, to free up space
Download your travel and fitness apps onto your phone along with those novels you intend reading. While there’s nothing more satisfying than a good old page-turner, actual physical books do take up quite a lot of space and are heavy too so going digital will lighten the load.
9. Get smart with your hand luggage
As if packing your suitcase wasn’t tricky enough, pay attention to that hand luggage too! It’s by no means a regular occurrence these days, but it’s not unheard of for you to make your connecting flight while your suitcases are still stuck in transit, off on their own mini adventure! Sure, they might turn up a few hours later, a day later or maybe worst-case scenario a couple of days into your holiday. With that in mind, place a few essentials in your hand luggage just in case, that way it won’t be a huge disaster if you’re parted from your main family suitcase for some time.
10. Finally, check that your travel insurance is up to date before you leave home
Not strictly speaking a packing tip, but definitely something we recommend you check before you head off on that family adventure. Now you’ve packed like a Pro, it’s time to holiday like one too. So prepare to kick back, relax and enjoy that well-earned vacation. Just don’t forget your toothbrush!