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VACATION CORNER

Ten Tips for a Perfectly Packed Suitcase

Who doesn’t love to go on a trip – whether it’s to see friends and family or explore a new destination? We can probably all agree that packing our suitcase is the least exciting part of the journey. It’s a straightforward task but you can easily end up losing valuables, paying overweight baggage fees, or cleaning up messy spills. But fear not, we’re here to help with our top 10 simple tricks for a perfectly packed suitcase.

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic

Pick Your Bag Wisely
Make sure your suitcase is right for you. Think realistically about the length of your trip, the types of clothing and other items you’ll need to bring, and go with the smallest bag you can get by with—you don’t want to lug around a half-empty suitcase, or worse, pack a bunch of stuff you don’t need just because there’s room. Also, keep in mind airline size and weight limits when choosing a suitcase. Remember, airlines include the wheels, not just the actual packing space, when measuring carry-on height—and many bags that are marketed as carry-ons are technically too tall to fit into some airlines’ bag sizers. For checked luggage, every pound counts; you might want to seek out ultralight luggage that won’t eat into your weight allowance.

Pack Heavy at the Bottom
A rule of thumb should always be to pack your heaviest items at the bottom of your suitcase. Placing the majority of weight—i.e. shoes, jeans, hoodies—closer to the wheels will leave your luggage rolling much easier. However, be sure to put the heavy items on both sides of your suitcase so it won’t be off-balance when it’s standing.

Roll vs Fold
It’s the eternal debate – should you roll your clothes or fold them? There are definitely benefits to doing both. Consider rolling thinner, more wrinkle-prone items like blouses, while folding bulkier items like jeans and sweaters.

Maximize Your Space
Try to make sure you fill every inch of space in your suitcase (without overfilling, of course). Pack underwear, socks or even electronic chargers into shoes.

Cut Down on Bulk
Reduce the size of your bulkier items like sweaters by using compression cubes. But if you’re really tight on space, consider wearing them on your journey along with your heaviest pair of shoes.

Finally Use Those Hotel Shower Caps
Hotel shower caps allow you to pack your shoes with clean clothes without the worry of getting them dirty.

Keep Things Fresh
If you’re traveling for more than a couple of days, stuffing dirty outfits into a compact space can leave clothes less than laundry-fresh. Prevent that happening by throwing a couple of dryer sheets in your suitcase.

Protect Your Makeup
Powder foundation, blush and pressed cosmetic compacts can easily break in your bag. Protect them by placing a few cotton balls or pads in your makeup case.

Organize Your Jewelry
Use a seven-day pill box for inexpensive jewelry. For your more precious items, it is advisable to wear them during your journey to reduce loss or theft.

Pack a Sunglasses Case
If you are taking a few electrical items, try packing their cords and chargers in a sunglasses case. It will help keep them easily accessible and all in one place.