Suitcase Packing Tips and Tricks

Packing efficiently in our head means prioritising essentials before anything else. But, it’s also packing well enough to avoid too much washing when you get home. Packing well helps to avoid suitcase related issues when you get to your destination of choice. For instance stains on clothes from shoes, or a spillages caused by a shampoo explosion for example. Maximising space is important, bearing in mind luggage allowances on short haul and long haul flights. If you’re looking to address any of these issues, or think you can’t pack, look no further. Let’s get into it, our Suitcase Packing Tips and Tricks!

Prioritise what you need! We cannot stress this enough – Before you even think about packing clothes and toiletries, have you carried out your pre-suitcase activities?

So we thought it would be useful to go over our most useful packing rules.

Packing Tip 1: Make a List

Forget an essential item e.g toiletries or medication or clothing item and you’re left irritated to find the nearest store in your destination. Pack too much and you end up disorganised, burdened with heavy bags, and having to pay additional baggage fees.

This is our list to help you to avoid such issues

  1. Are your passports in date? Make sure all appropriate documentation is printed .Travel insurance documents should printed. If you’re renting a car – make sure you have your car insurance documents, reservation documents and a credit card you wish to put the car deposit on.
  2. Checking in – Download the app & check in (in bound and out bound if possible), but also print out your tickets if possible, you never know if you’re going to run out of battery.
  3. Get a passport holder is a great way of keep your passport and documents safe. We keep our printed boarding passes in our passports and our papers in the order we need them.
  4. Write a list of all remaining items to pack in your suitcase, most important first; Quick list check ideas:
  1. Toiletries
  2. Medication,
  3. Chargers & Adaptors  (Keep these together  if you can in either an unused sunglasses case or if you have quite a lot of electrical cables try the Defway Organiser Cable Bag.
  4. Sunglasses,
  5. Swimwear,
  6. Hair brushes, make-up & shoes
  7. Clothes

Tick off as you go along to make sure you don’t forget any thing.

  1. Pick your clothes decisively. Make piles of clothes separating what activities they will be used for. Then cut out  what you don’t think you’ll need before you pack.  Think pragmatically as well, for instance trousers/skirts/shorts have more wears than t-shirts, so you don;t need as many shorts/skirts/trousers.
  2. Once you’ve packed, review your list to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Don’t pack everything if some items are still required before you go on you’re break – Just keep a space for them and make sure that space is accessible before you head off on your break.

And now what you’ve been waiting for…well it’s not that exciting let’s be honest, but hopefully you’ll find some of these tips to be a handy resource.

We all pack in our own way but hopefully these tips will give you a few ideas. Saving space in a suitcase and being organised are both essential to keeping your packing efficient and minimise the stress of unpacking when you get back home.

Packing Tip 2: Rolling clothes works

Rolling clothes, not folding them, honestly saves a ton of space and helps to prevent creasing. Rolling up t-shirts tightly, putting into plastic bags, as well as trousers, skirts from the waist down, can help save space and prevent wrinkles. We liked this video illustration of rolling clothes (hopefully you do too!)

Magic compression bags are also great for soft clothes to give you a little extra room, and you can roll these too.

Packing Tip 3: Folding clothes

Folding clothes well is important as you may not want to roll everything.

For structured clothes, like buttoned shirts, suit trousers, possibly jeans, you may want to fold them. It’s a less efficient use of space for sure, but you obviously don’t want to ruin your clothes either.

If you stack your folded clothes one on top of the other, it can be difficult to get out that shirt you want buried in the middle. You can avoid this by folding and stacking front to back or side to side, which is a great little hack.

Packing Tip 4: Put jewellery, belts and socks in shoes

If you are packing a few pairs of shoes, it’s worth stuffing your socks, soft belts and jewellery in your shoes. Why? Well its keeps the shoe in better shape, and it’s good use of space that would otherwise be wasted.

Separate toiletry bags into multiple plastic bags. If you’re short on space it’s best to do this so that you can make use of the pockets of space else where in your suitcase.

Packing Tip 5:Try packing cubes

Packing cubes are pretty useful in separating clothes items, especially on a long haul flight. Rather than saving space, they’re more useful for organisation.

The biggest plus for buying these cubes is that they can prevent you from undoing all of your hard work before you fly back.

You know when you spend time efficiently packing before you go on holiday, just to resort to stuffing a mound of clothes in the suitcase on the way back.

Ultimately to find that you have to wash everything. It happen’s to all of us, it’s okay.

Packing Tip 6:Take a weighing scale with you

Gone are the days, where you stand nervously at the luggage check in desk to see if you are over or under on your luggage allowance (well they should be). Using a portable weighing scale is really useful to check if you are over or under your baggage allowance.

The best thing is they are super light weight so you it won’t take up much room either.

Packing Tip 7:Pack light!

This is essential. The other day we we’re helping our parents pack their suitcase only to find that the suitcase weighed an absolute ton.

This was even before there were any clothes in it. Having a weighty suitcase is pointless, it’s time to get rid. A lighter suitcase is an easy win, with no real effort.

You can buy some lighter t-shirts, waterproof jackets that are easier to fold and roll if you want to as well. Individually these changes are not going to make much of an impact but together with our other tips you’re packing will vastly improve.

Packing Tip 8:Take a washing bag

To be honest on a long haul international flight, such as our trip to Sri Lanka, we end up washing everything that we take with us when we get home. Even so, it’s good to have that distinction whist you’re on holiday, of what’s used and what’s clean. It’s also useful if you’re thinking of using your hotel’s laundry service.

Pack your own way

When all is said and done the best way to save space and weight is to take less your way. Only you know what you really need but our advice is to take a decisive approach to your packing. Try and eliminate the might wear items. This includes shoes as well.

Ultimatly the goals when we’re pack are:

1. Maximising space, and avoiding packing unnessary items, to leave room for any items we want to bring back and to avoid being over our luggage allowance.

2. Accessability when you unpack on holiday, without having to mess up all of your hardwork.

3. Avoid lots of washing when you get home.

Other tips?

  • When we pack our bag we tend to put heavier items like shoes towards the wheels of a suitcase or at the bottom of your bag. This just helps to avoid anything breaking in the suitcase as it getting moved around in the plane.
  • Don’t think that you need to fill your suitcase just because you have room.  You should in fact aim for more room, as this gives you more space and luggage weight to play with on your return leg. Not just that, if you take less there’s less to deal with and wash helping you out that little bit more.
  • Wear layers – if you’re travelling to a cold desinaion, wear a couple of jumpers on the flight, it’s definitely a space saver.

Weird packing tips

Okay, a few weird tips if you really want to minimise your packing/luggage responsibilities abroad (n.b we haven’t done this, but can see how they would be effective.

1. Post your luggage to your destination. Pack your bags and ship them off to your hotel a few days before you depart. This technique won’t seem so crazy once you weigh the airlines’ bag fees against shipping costs.

This option may be useful if you’re nervous about your airline losing your luggage. We once went to a destination wedding, where the bride’s luggage didn’t arrive a few days after her wedding! Thankfully, her dress was in her hand luggae but still.

2. Ditching clothes once you’ve worn them on holiday. If you’ve got some old clothes that you were going to throw away anyway. Why not get one final wear out of them, and throw them away once you’re done. This will 100% save you washing.

3. Buying clothes from second hand clothing stores in countries you travel to is also a good option, and when you’re done- sell them back. If you go to countries like India or Vietnam, to honest you could buy brand new clothing relatively cheaply and give it to charity before you fly back too. It’s unconventional but totally works.

4. You could buy a big jacket with multiple pockets, to stuff in t-shirts, socks. May be useful on a long haul trip for sure.

Packing light is a mind set

Be confident on your journey people, you don’t need as much as you think. We challenge ourselves to stick to hand luggage restrictions when travelling on short haul flights (under five hours).

Not only do we save money, washing and time packing but we actually find that we’re happier, stress free as we’ve got less to worry about.

We’ll leave you with a proverb and quotes to get you in the packing mood:

 “On a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy” – Spanish Proverb

“Let your memory be your travel bag” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“Packing light is packing right” – Binge Travelling 🙂

On that note, we’ll leave you all to get packing on you’re next big adventure, If you’ve enjoyed this article be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Want more information?

We really hope that we’ve given you some useful information, but if you’re looking for some more specific help, please feel to reach out to us in the comments below. Alternatively we’ve left some links of some articles we found useful on suitcase packing.

13 Packing Hacks That Will Change Your Life– This article, written by Marie Claire, is definetly tailored more towards women rather than men. Nevertheless this article has some really useful tips on how to choose ratios of trousers to tops for instance. Not to mention packing hacks, such as using shower caps for your shoes for example.

17 Best Suitcase Packing Tips for Travel –  This article , written by, we feel has a similar sentiment to our article, but also has some really useful tips for work travel for example as well as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) liquid restrictions for example.

What are your favorite packing tips? Join the conversation and share your best packing tips with us on social media, or leave us a comment, below.

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4 thoughts on “Suitcase Packing Tips and Tricks

  1. Hi, fellow travelers,

    I loved your article! There are so many tips I could use for future trips.

    As much as I love traveling, the one thing I dread and hate is packing up. I take too long to pick what I’m going to take, pack up, weigh the suitcase, etc. I remember my trip to Miami last year. It was 2 a.m. and I had to catch a flight early that day. I hadn’t finished yet. I was so sleepy and frustrated lol.

    I need to work on my packing skills. I started rolling my clothes not too long ago. Casual clothes like T-shirts, jeans or shorts are easy to handle, the problem comes with button-downs, trousers and blazers. Not to mention traveling during cold weather. Packing summer clothes is so much easier, we all can agree.

    I’ve never tried packing cubes. I might give them a try.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Enrique – Packing cubes are definitely helpful in terms of dividing your clothes, essentially giving you and amount of space per cube which is really useful to prevent over packing. Glad you found the article useful!

  2. What an incredible article! So so so helpful, thank you so much. I will be using this a lot I hope! Thank you so much for such a fantastic and helpful post.

    All the very best,


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