Travel Tips

The Best Suitcase Packing Tips to Plan Your Next Trip

Going to different parts of the world, no matter how close or far, is an exciting time for anyone, no matter how frequently you travel. Whether it’s your first time traveling or your hundredth, having suitcase packing tips is essential to avoid paying additional baggage costs once you reach the airport.

Packing efficiently requires knowing the best ways to save extra space in your suitcase while still including everything you need and love. Below is a guide to packing practically for your next trip to avoid the stress of an overpacked suitcase.

The Best Ways to Pack

Let’s face it: packing your suitcase can be one of the most stressful and aggravating parts of preparing for your upcoming trip. Without suitcase packing tips, packing clothes, toiletries, medicine, and your favorite accessories is a pain that requires lots of sacrifices if you don’t know the best methods for packing efficiently.

Packing a carry-on suitcase doesn’t have to be a neverending process. When packing your bags for your upcoming vacation, start big, then edit, edit, edit. Lay out your favorite clothes, shoes, and accessories you are thinking of bringing. When you lay everything out before packing, you can prioritize what you really want and need instead of throwing things into your suitcase and running out of space for your favorite items. Whether you’re packing a carry-on or a suitcase, the best place to start packing is by looking at everything put together, then minimizing what you see.

How to Save Space in a Suitcase

Next up for our top suitcase-packing tips are ideas for saving space when you’re packing clothes. When you lay everything out before packing, you might reach the perfect weight for your suitcase or carry-on. However, when you start packing a carry-on or suitcase, you might realize that not everything fits as you hoped.

So, what’s the key to packing efficiently and saving space in your suitcase? As you start packing a carry-on suitcase or a full-sized suitcase, fold or roll each clothing item as tightly as you can. You want to use up every inch of space when packing clothes, so go all out–fold, roll, and squeeze smaller clothes into every crevice, or shove some rolled items into your shoes.

When navigating suitcase packing tips for saving space, remember to keep your rolled garments at the bottom, then place your folded garments as a middle layer. If you’re packing a carry-on suitcase, take your folded items and start laying down the long ones, such as a full-length skirt, pants, or dress. You can save space with your bottoms by laying them across your suitcase while alternating the waists, so the hems don’t bundle up and take up space.

Once you’ve got your longer items laid out, fold your shorter items on top and place your belts around the sides of your suitcase. If you’re still struggling to fit your clothes into your suitcase, then another helpful one of our suitcase-packing tips is to invest in some packing cubes to keep things organized and practical.


Packing Your Suitcase With Efficiency

Packing efficiently is essential for your trip, whether you are packing a carry-on or a large suitcase. Because of how important efficiency is, the next item up on our suitcase packing tips involves the many ways you can start packing clothes and necessities efficiently. Below are some suitcase-packing tips for ways you can guarantee efficient packing when you’re preparing for your next trip.
  • Keep your toiletries travel-sized
  • Wear the clothes and shoes taking up the most space at the airport
  • Keep things inside your shoes
  • Keep a checklist for packing a large or carry-on suitcase
  • Organize your accessories with a jewelry organizer
  • Use a scale to keep track of your suitcase’s weight
  • Don’t bring what you can easily buy at your destination
  • Choose multi-purpose items

How to Pack a Carry-On

Whether you’re packing a carry-on suitcase or a smaller carry-on bag, a list of the best suitcase packing tips wouldn’t be complete without helpful instructions for making the most out of each inch of space as you pack.

Keep the most essential items in your carry-on when preparing for your vacation. While you might consider packing clothes if something happens to your luggage, you should also keep in mind things that you can’t go without a day, such as medication, chargers, travel documents, and electronics.

When preparing to put your bag together, remember that packing a carry-on suitcase won’t necessarily provide more space and flexibility than a carry-on backpack. Keep things in smaller reusable plastic bags to group everything together, such as your medication or toiletries. One of our best suitcase packing tips for your carry-on is to follow the experts and pack about a week’s worth of items in your carry-on.

Also, consider different requirements and considerations when packing your carry-on bag. Below are some of the main things to consider when packing your carry-on to ensure that you have a smooth, safe journey and get the most out of these suitcase-packing tips.

  • Pay attention to the liquid rules. Many people make mistakes because they don’t know the general guidelines for packing liquid items in their carry-ons. While you can pack small, travel-sized liquid items like hand sanitizer, shampoo, and conditioners, you have to keep the containers at 3.4 oz or less. All liquid containers must fit into a single, quart-size bag to be allowed on the plane. Liquid items include water, food, and other drinks. If you bring these with you in your carry-on, you might be asked to throw them away.
  • Keep the prohibited items away. When you’re in doubt, check to see if an item is prohibited from being included in your carry-on. While prohibited items might vary depending on the airline, our suitcase packing tips and guidelines recommend always excluding anything that could be considered a dangerous weapon. While items like explosives, guns, and violent weapons are a given, you won’t be allowed to carry small pocket knives, tools, screwdrivers, or hammers in your carry-on. If you aren’t sure about an item and can’t find information on the airline’s website, leave it at home.
  • Use packing cubes in your carry-on. Packing cubes are helpful not only for preparing your suitcase but also for packing your carry-on bag. Packing cubes are some of the best carry-on and suitcase-packing tips because they save you space, organize your items, and eliminate the risk of losing them in the chaos. No matter what carry-on suitcase you use, packing cubes will help you out.
  • If you can keep it on your phone, then keep it on your phone. One adjacent suggestion for our suitcase packing tips is to keep whatever you can on your phone to avoid a mess at the airport. Modern technology means you can carry your itineraries, travel guides, and plane tickets on your handheld device. Getting around your new destination is easy when you use the map features on your phone instead of relying on paper maps. Unless your airline requires a paper copy of your tickets, go paperless as much as possible.
However, one crucial thing to consider is what you shouldn’t include when packing a carry-on. These items aren’t necessarily prohibited, but they will take up unnecessary space that could be used for other items. Below are some items that are better left at home or stored in a checked suitcase. Unnecessary makeup or skincare products
  • Dry clean only clothes
  • Bulky shoes
  • Heavy, oversized coats
  • Sharp objects
  • Full water bottle

Tips for Folding

Beyond the essential rolling and folding methods, you should consider some suitcase packing tips about folding and packing clothes to maximize space in your suitcase. When packing clothes, you should separate each item into clothing categories and fold them based on different factors. Below are some of our best suitcase-packing tips to fold your clothes by category and keep your suitcase organized.
  • Jackets: Fold your jackets by first folding them in the sleeves. Next, take the bottom of your jacket and fold it inside out, rolling it upwards and folding it three times. Roll each jacket tightly to maximize space.
  • Shirts: Take your t-shirts and fold the bottom of each shirt inside out. Roll the shirt upwards and fold it three times. Flip your shirt over and roll it as tightly as you can. Alternatively, you can stick to strictly folding for your suitcase packing tips. Button up each shirt if applicable, then fold in the sleeves. Fold both sides of your shirt, then fold the top and bottom halves. Finally, fold your shirt in half.
  • Pants: Start from the top of your pants and fold the waistband inside out. Fold each pant leg together, flip the pants over, and roll them tightly. If you don’t want to roll your pants, consider packing clothes by folding and laying each pant hem opposite the one below it to save space. If you want to fold your trousers and forget rolling, place the pant legs on top of one another, then fold the pants in half twice.


Always Remember Weight and Quantity Requirements

One of the worst feelings is finally fitting your clothes into your suitcase before putting it on the scale and realizing it’s past the weight limit. Luckily, our suitcase packing tips include tips to reduce the weight of your suitcase and carry-on bags to ensure that you get everything you need packed and don’t have to pay any extra at the airport.
  • Use a lightweight suitcase and carry-on bag
  • Plan outfits with your lightest clothing items
  • Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane
  • Spread out items with your travel companions
  • Take your tablet instead of your computer
  • Don’t bring heavy books
  • Buy bulk toiletries when you arrive and pack travel-sized toiletries on your journey
  • Keep your shoe lightweight
  • Keep checking the scale

Verify With Your Airline

Each airline will have unique weight limits or quantity limits for your toiletries. If you don’t prepare ahead of time for these limits, you’ll face unnecessary stress when you finally get to the airport. The best suitcase packing tips incorporate knowledge from individual airlines to ensure that you meet requirements before you get on the plane. Generally speaking, most airlines allow a bag weight of no more than 50 pounds, though you should double-check when you book your ticket.

Carry-ons tend to be a bit trickier to measure because there isn’t a general weight limit across all airlines. Below are some helpful suitcase-packing tips and guidelines for carry-on weight limits for the most popular airlines.
  • Frontier Airlines: 35 pounds
  • Virgin Airlines: 30 pounds
  • Aer Lingus: 22 pounds
  • Air France: 22 pounds
  • Hawaiian Airlines: 25 pounds
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines: 15 pounds
  • Korean Air: 26 pounds
It’s also important to note that many popular airlines servicing individuals in the United States do not have a set carry-on weight limit. These airlines include Delta, United, Alaska Air, American Airlines, Jetblue, Spirit, and Southwest Airlines. If you’re flying with one of these airlines, then you’re in the clear for your carry-on–but make sure your bag is carry-on sized, or you might not be allowed to take it on the plane with you.

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