Wouldn’t You Love Someone Else to Pack Your Suitcase for You?
Over the years many people have asked me how to pack a suitcase. I have taken some classes from “experts” and gotten good tips but trial and error is the way I learn most things. I cannot count the trips I have taken and still, every time I go someplace, I struggle with the “how to” question.
The airlines are dictating to us much of the packing limitations. Gone are the days when you could drag all the bags you wanted. Now you have size and weight limits. This translates to what goes into that bag. You can buy clothes made of light weight fabric that wad up easily. I wad as much as possible!!
There is a company called Eagle Creek that has made the packing issue much easier. Now, instead of everything scattered all over your suitcase, you can organize it into various size packages. I have a number of different size cubes. These can organize electronics, medical supplies, socks, medicines, and toiletries. Eagle Creek also has a folder that I use for my husband’s dress shirts. I have put as many as 8 shirts in these and they fit well into the lid of the suitcase.
Eagle Creek has compression sacks that I use a lot. I put my husband’s underwear in one, roll it up to squish out the air and it fits in the wheel well of the suitcase. Sweaters and sweatshirts go into these sacks. Another one gets my 1/2 down pillow in my carry on. Anything that can be rolled can fit in these sacks. You can also leave them flat, sit on them to squish out the air and lay them on top of your clothes. The bags come in different sizes.
I generally take 2-4 liter bottles of water packed in the wheel wells of my checked bag. Once I get where I am going I have water until I can find a source. There have been more than once that the “bottled” water I bought in a country was not sealed and I was thankful to have brought my own.
I lay out my clothes by day of my trip. A casual trip is wonderful because you can wear jeans for several days and just change the t-shirt. More dressy trips may require more changes of clothes. Get creative with accessories. I always say “I won’t see these people again” and it helps me relax and wear the same thing more than once.
You can lock your suitcases if you use the locks that TSA can open from the bottom. I suggest taking a small roll of duct tape in case the zipper on your bag gets broken or cut. I have seen it happen.
As much as possible I try to take clothes I can layer. Unless you are going to a warm weather place where all you need is a tooth brush and swim suit, you may need something for a dress up situation. Will you have time or desire to do laundry, either in a public laundromat or in the bathroom sink?
Beware of where you are going and ask your Certified Travel Agent for advise.
There are many other tips from my travels that you can read in another article called Never The Right Suitcase.