Today I’m sharing 11 tips on how to pack your suitcase like a pro, without forgetting anything or having problems making everything fit! Also, don’t forget to download the free (!) e-book on how to travel in style!
The end of summer is approaching, and most of us are already back from their vacation. So why upload a blog post on packing suitcases now, you ask?! Well, in my defense, I recently bought two new suitcases that I want to show off. Plus, I didn’t go on a vacation this summer, so this is my way of enjoying vacation vibes anyway (makes so much sense, right?). And then there’s always this lucky group of people who get to leave for a sunny destination (or city trip!) after the vacation season, avoiding all the crowds, annoying tourists, crowded swimming pools and way-too-expensive hotel fees and plane tickets. I hereby dedicate this post to you, lucky september-travelers (or whenever you go – maybe next summer?)!
I would consider myself a pro at packing suitcases.. No, really!! It’s not like I’ve done it that many times – but I’m just really practical, if I do say so myself! I never forget anything (when packing, that is.. we’re not talking about forgetting other things, because I’m a chaotic mess) and I can make stuff fit in that tiny space! And yes – fit was meant to be in italic letters, because when I say fit, I really mean fit. Like a puzzle. I also use lists, which we all know are big life-savers. But seriously, you need to try this packing technique!
You would think that most people make a list of everything they need to bring, but you’ll be surprised! I think only the most organized people actually do it. Even though it’s so extremely helpful! I have my standard list that I have created, re-used and modified over the years. As long as I bring all of what’s on the list, I’m good!
2. Research your destination
Your destination can fool you, be sure to do your research and come prepared! For example, when I went to Tenerife I expected a warm and sunny time. I didn’t realize that temperatures can drop at night because of the chilly island winds, so my boyfriend and I were forced to buy a hoodie to keep us warm during night time. I could’ve seen that coming if I had looked it up!
3. Basics and neutrals
The best tip I can give you to save space, is to bring lots of basics and neutrals. Why? Because you can combine them! I used to bring tons of different outfits before I realized that if I bring certain pieces that can be worn in different combinations, it saves so much space (and laundry, when you get back home!). If you’re interested in an in-depth guide on this little technique of mine, do let me know!
This tip is also simplifying your life during your vacation. Because aside from fact that you have a good overview of what you have packed so far and you can easily check if you’ve forgotten something, it also saves you time and stress when changing your outfit in your hotel room! Need those cute ripped denim shorts? Just check your stack of shorts, instead of searching your whole suitcase, messing up all the folded goods.
This one may also seem very obvious to some people, but trust me – you’re a minority! Properly folding your stuff saves loads of space that can be filled with.. even more stuff! My boyfriend tends to quickly pack his bag the night before we leave (I know right?!) and I always catch him throwing in his clothes without folding. It’s a mess! Folding saves space, people.
6. Sort by weight
Weird tip? Not at all! I have this habit of sorting the stuff I wanna bring by weight by putting the heavy, sturdy stuff on the bottom, and the lightweight stuff on top. And I’m not talking about the bottom as in when the suitcase is lying down – I mean when it’s standing up on it’s wheels! So the heavy stuff (shoes, flat iron) goes closest to the wheels, the light stuff farther away. This technique makes sure your stuff doesn’t get squashed.
7. Make use of extra compartments
Honestly, who even uses all those small extra compartments? Well.. I do! I like to put my underwear and socks in there, so I can easily reach it. Same goes for accessories like belts, necklaces, bracelets and even my flipflops. On another note – I always bring a plastic bag that I can hang from the bathroom wall, to put all the dirty laundry in!
8. Cover your stuff
This is something that I’ve learned from my mother. I don’t know if this is a common thing, but we always tend to cover everything with our beach towel before closing the suitcase. Just fold it twice (or once, depending on the size of the towel), lay it over all your stuff and tuck it in at the sides. Secure it with the elastic snap closure bands that are usually found in a suitcase. I don’t even know why we do this, but it just feels safe for some reason.
9. Smuggling extra clothes
Are you dying to bring that one leather jacket and your cute coat but they don’t fit anymore? Wear it to the airport! It may sound silly, but this way you can smuggle extra clothes with you! Just layer everything! Another tip is to also wear really heavy stuff, like a heavy belt or necklace, to not exeed your suitcase’s weight limit.
10. Important stuff in hand luggage
Again, sounds obvious, but I’ve heard so many stories about people missing their wallets or travel papers when their suitcase ends up delayed or on the wrong flight. Always make sure to bring your papers, wallet, medications, toothbrush, an extra set of clothes and underwear in your carry on. I also bring most electronics and makeup palettes and other fragile stuff in my hand luggage – unfortunately I learned this the hard way. :(
11. (Ab)use your fellow travelers
And in the end if you really can’t fit anything anymore and you’re already wearing three coats on top of each other to the airport.. Just abuse – excuse me – just use your fellow travelers. Some of my stuff always ends up in my boyfriend’s bag, because my suitcase is full or too heavy. Why not, eh?!
What are your secrets to traveling like a pro?