Packing a suitcase may seem like a straightforward task—but do it wrong, and you could end up losing valuables, paying overweight baggage fees, or cleaning up messy spills. That’s why it’s vital to learn the best way to pack a suitcase. The tips below offer guidance on the most efficient way to pack a suitcase.
Start with the right suitcase
The “right” suitcase is different for everyone. If you need a large bag to check, you might prefer a hard side suitcase like the Samsonite F’Lite GT 31” Spinner Zipperless Suitcase from Buydig.com that’s durable enough to stand up to some rough handling. A soft side carry-on might be preferable if you don’t usually check bags and like having a couple of external pockets to stow things like an eyeglass case or your quart-size bag of toiletries.
Always start with a packing list
This is such a ‘mom’ tip, but there’s a reason why moms are always right. Especially in the stressful few days before a trip, it’s all too easy to forget items you need. That’s why you should always make a packing list to keep yourself organized when packing a suitcase.
And always end by reviewing your packing list
It’s silly how often people forget this step. There’s a reason you made that list! Make sure you go through all the items the night before you leave (or the morning of) to make sure you haven’t forgotten a single thing when packing a suitcase.
Know your airline’s baggage fee policy
Packing too much can cost you dearly in overweight baggage fees. So weighing your bag with a luggage scale before you leave home is always a good idea. If you’re right up against the weight limit, though, keep in mind that the scale at the airport may be calibrated a little differently; give yourself some margin for error.
Best way to pack a suitcase
Once you’ve laid out everything you need, start with the heaviest items first. You’ll want to put them toward the bottom of the suitcase when it’s standing so it won’t be too top-heavy. Distribute heavier items evenly between both sides of the suitcase so it won’t be pulled off-balance when it’s standing. When packing shoes, don’t let any space go to waste. Fill them with socks, undergarments, or other small items.
Most efficient way to pack
Some travelers swear by rolling clothes; others prefer to fold. But the best way to pack a suitcase is often a mix of the two. Wrinkle-prone items tend to come out in better shape if you fold them, but tightly rolled clothes are easier to work into the little nooks and crannies around your suitcase. A good strategy when packing a suitcase is to put your shoes in the bottom half of your suitcase, fill the top half with rolled clothing. Then fold bulky items like sweatshirts or rain jackets and lay them on top of everything else.
Packing a carry-on bag
Always pack your absolute essentials and one outfit change in your carry on. As much as we all like to think we’re invincible, even the best of us will have our luggage get lost. For airport security reasons, your liquids and gels must be in 3.4-ounce bottles or smaller, all stored within a single clear, quart-size plastic bag. Since you may have to pull this bag out at airport security, you should keep it in an easily accessible place. An exterior pocket on your American Tourister Fieldbrook softside carry-on from Buydig.com or near the top of your hardside carry-on are ideal spots.
Lastly, leave a little extra space
A list of suitcase packing tips wouldn’t be complete without this important gem of wisdom. You will inevitably buy something. The worst feeling is falling in love with an item abroad and having zero space in your suitcase to bring it home.
Keeping these tips in mind may save you from “panic packing’ the night before your trip.