How to pack a suitcase
- Think about everything you would like to bring on your trip, check the weather forecast, and lay out your clothes, shoes and accessories before beginning to pack. Use your common sense to develop a short-term wardrobe of comfortable clothes and shoes that are appropriate for the climate.
Pack shoes on the bottom
- Lay shoes neatly across the bottom layer of your suitcase or around the perimeter. You may also tuck small items, like socks or small accessories, into your shoes to save space.
Roll your clothes
- For garments that do not wrinkle easily, the best way to save space during packing is to roll them. Lay the item flat and fold in half lengthwise. Then, carefully roll it into a tight spiral. This not only compresses your clothes into the smallest possible shape, it also limits wrinkles. Lay these items on top of your shoes.
Place folded items on top
- For items that are prone to wrinkles, these can be folded and lay on top of the rolled items.
Add smaller items to open spaces
- Fill in the gaps with small items, such as socks, underwear or accessories.
Lay your toiletry bag on top
- Place your toiletry bag on top of your folded clothing.
Store travel items in exterior pockets
- If your carry-on has any exterior pockets, keep travel items, like books or snacks, easily accessible in the exterior pockets.
Pack less than you think you'll need
- Unless there's some great misfortune, you can generally wear your clothes several times on one trip. Choose a wardrobe that matches completely, so you can mix-and-match for a new look every day.
Pack liquids in plastic bags
- This will prevent leaks and keep your clothes clean.
Are two bags better than one?
- Great, you fit all your belongings into one enormous bag. We're guessing it might be a little heavy. Try packing into two smaller bags — they're lighter, easier to carry and might actually provide more space than one large bag.
The 411 on 3-1-1
- Your carry-on bag can only contain a limited amount of liquid and gel. All liquids and gels must be in a 3-oz. or smaller container. Secure all containers in a 1-qt. clear plastic, zip-top bag. When passing through airport security, this bag must be removed from your carry-on and placed in a security bin. You can pack larger liquids in your checked baggage, but all luggage on the airplane must follow these guidelines. To learn more about prohibited items, visit http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm. Keep an extra change of clothes in your carry-on. In the event that your luggage is lost in transit, then you'll have one extra outfit to tide you over. It's also wise to keep a small travel toothbrush and any medication in your carry-on as well.
- The more trips, the more bag fatigue. You'll need an extra durable fabric, such as ballistic nylon or polyester. But whatever the material, make sure it's at least 1200 denier.