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Suitcase Packing Tips

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Woman packing her suitcase

Though it might seem like a simple task, packing your suitcase can actually add a lot of stress to a trip. It can be hard to judge what you'll need when away, especially if it is your first time traveling.

Here are 4 tips for packing your suitcase that will hopefully lead to a smoother traveling experiencing!



The first and probably most important tip for packing your suitcase is knowing your airport's and airlines' rules for luggage.

Questions you should consider before packing are:

  • How much liquid you can pack?

  • What items are prohibited?

  • How big your suitcase can be?

  • How much it can weigh?

  • What type of luggage should you use? (duffel bag or hard shell suitcase)

If you pack more liquids than you're allowed, you will have to throw some away at the airport.

If you have prohibited items, they will be confiscated and you might face some repercussions for packing them.

If you suitcase is too heavy, you might have to pay an extra fee.

If you suitcase is too big, you may need to check it with special items, such as sporting equipment, for a fee.

Making sure you know the rules of your airport and airlines is a really important first step in packing.


clothes rolled up in a suitcase

Rolling your clothes can save a lot of space instead of just folding them up into your suitcase. It leaves more rooms for the other items you will be packing.

I recommend packing the bulkiest of your clothing, such as sweaters, first. The small articles of clothing, such a socks and roos (underwear) will roll up really small and can be shoved in any small space within your suitcase.

One of the best tips I got from a friend of mine is pack dresses. One article of clothing for an entire outfit saves so much space in your suitcase. Packing one piece outfits such as dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits can be a huge space saver.

Over Packing

Woman trying to close her suitcase

It's very easy to over pack for a trip. I definitely over packed on my first trip to Austin, Texas.

The more you travel however, the more you'll learn what you actually need when you're away from home (it's less than you think).

1. Write a List

I find writing a list of what you might need to be a helpful way to avoid over packing. For those of us who are more visual though, laying out everything before it goes in your suitcase can help you see what exactly your packing.

2. Check the Weather

Make sure you check the weather at your destination. Are you expecting endless sunshine, but the weather forecast actually calls for thunderstorms?

Being caught in a storm without an umbrella or heatwave with only sweaters can put quite the damper on a trip. Checking the weather will help you decide which items you'll actually need and which will only take up space.

3. What are your plans?

Knowing what your plans are while away can also help you avoid over packing. If you have concrete plans to swim while traveling, make packing your swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat, and so on, a priority.

For tips on what to pack in your suitcase, click here.


Suitcases being loaded onto a plane

Some individuals feel the need to put locks on their suitcases. There are a variety of reasons as to why someone might do this. They may worry about theft or may feel uncomfortable with others touching their belongings. However, locks don't do as much as you think.

When you check your suitcase or take your carry on through security, it goes through scanners and a variety of security protocols. If the airport staff believe they have found something suspicious in your suitcase, whether you packed something suspicious or not, they will need to open it and search it. That is a very normal part of traveling through an airport.

If they have difficulty getting into your suitcase through normal means, they may need to find other more invasive ways to open your suitcase. You may end up with a broken lock or having your suitcase cut open.

The airport staff do not do this for malicious reasons, but for the safety of all passengers. To keep your suitcase intact and the security line moving smoothly, not having a lock on your suitcase may be best.

That said however, this is just my opinion. If having a lock on your suitcase makes you feel safe, then by all means continue locking it.


For tips of what to pack in a carry on, click here.

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