Today I Learned...
- Follow these tips to get the most out of your suitcase!
- These tips are tried and true from frequent flyers
acking for a trip can be stressful. You have to make sure you fit everything you need into your suitcase and that it's not too heavy or bulky. You also want to make sure your clothes are wrinkle-free and arrive at your destination in the same condition they were when you packed them.
That being said, there are some tricks of the trade that can help you pack your suitcase like a pro!
1. Create a packing list.
When it comes to preparing for a trip, most of us are guilty of overpacking. It's easy to lose track of what exactly you need for a vacation when there are so many things to think about.
That's why it's important to create a list of everything that needs to be packed for your trip. Then, all you have to do is go down the list and check off each item as it goes into your suitcase! The best way to make such a list is by answering three important questions:
- What length is my trip?
- What weather conditions am I likely to encounter during my trip?
- What activities will I be doing while on vacation?
2. Choose clothes that can be worn in different combinations.
The most important rule of packing is to choose clothes that can be worn in different combinations.
Choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched is a great way to avoid overpacking. This doesn't mean you need to bring along an entire wardrobe—just think about the basic items you'd want with you on your trip and use those as the foundation for your packing list.
3. Roll, don’t fold, your clothing.
Roll, don’t fold. You can fit more in a suitcase if you roll your clothes instead of folding them. The same goes for any other items that need to be packed away—think towels, toiletries, and even shoes. Rolling is a great solution because it saves space and makes everything easier to find when it comes time to get dressed again.
Rolling saves so much space that I recommend doing it even if you have no intention of squeezing another article of clothing into your bag as an afterthought once you're ready to check out. It's just worth the effort!
4. Put a sign on your toiletry bag to help TSA screeners.
TSA screeners are human beings, and humans can't read minds. If you want them to not open your bag, tell them that's what you want! Putting a sign on your bag will let them know that something inside is fragile or sensitive enough that opening it would be against the rules. You'll have more privacy—and less hassle—when they don't have to rummage through everything in search of contraband or danger.
The most important thing is making sure the message is clear: "DO NOT OPEN" is probably sufficient if all you're trying to say is "don't take this out," but if there's any chance someone could accidentally open something by mistake (such as some denture tablets), then use "MEDICAL DEVICE" or "MEDICATION."
5. Put a zip-top bag in your carry-on, just in case.
Maybe you're the sort of person who's always prepared for everything. Maybe you're not. Either way, a zip-top bag can help you out of a jam if something goes wrong with your bag: it can contain whatever mess happens to be inside it at the time. If there's an emergency spill or leak (or other bad smell), all you need to do is put that item into its own zip-top bag and be done with it before any damage is done!
It sounds simple enough, but I have been caught off guard by this more than once myself—once my shampoo bottle leaked all over my clothes while I was traveling!
One last thing to remember about packing for a trip,
is that you will likely end up with some extra souvenirs, so make sure there is room in your bag when you leave.
If not, it's time to prepare for another adventure!