How to pack a suitcase and take only the essentials on vacation?

Photo: Arnel Hasanovic/Unsplash

Before going on vacation, it's a good idea to read how to pack your suitcase so you don't drag unnecessary things with you. Most people prepare their luggage the day or night before they travel, and things can get complicated quickly. The most common mistake you make is packing too many things that you don't even need in the end.

So the questions arise, how to pack a suitcase, how to maximize the space in the suitcase, how to prevent the goods from creasing, how many things to take with you. In this article, we reveal tricks for effective packing suitcases.

You think big, then scale back

Gather all the clothes you think you will need and put them in a pile. Then put half back in the cupboard. Choose clothes in the same color family, pack more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, use rule 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: five sets of socks and underwear, four tops, three underpants, two pairs of shoes and one accessory (hat, cap).

Place the clothes you will need first on top

This can be anything from a dress to a swimsuit or pajamas, depending on where you're going, what time you arrive, and what the plan is when you get there.

Put smaller items in the corners to make the most of the space

Look for corners that you can fill with smaller items like bras and socks. The cups of the bra can be filled with rolled socks to maintain its shape.

Uncertainty figuring out what to pack can put a bit of a damper on the pre-trip fun. Whether you're someone who starts packing a week in advance or waits until the last minute, these tricks will do the trick, so that your favorite dress will not get wrinkled and you will have enough space for souvenirs.

The uncertainty of figuring out what to pack (and how to fit it all) can put a bit of a damper on the pre-trip fun.
Photo: Marissa Grootes/Unsplash

What to roll and what to fold

This packing technique is the most efficient way to pack things into your suitcase so that everything fits and doesn't crumple. Roll softer clothes and fold harder ones. Underwear, t-shirts, jeans, cotton pants and knitwear will not wrinkle when tightly rolled into a cylinder. Heavier fabrics such as cotton shirts, blazers, dress pants and skirts should be folded carefully.

Choose travel-friendly fabrics

If you can, choose knits that are wrinkle resistant and versatile. Choose clothes that can serve in different situations. Also, when the fabrics are wrinkled, hang them immediately, as the wrinkles will straighten out. Fabrics (such as linen, viscose or cotton twill) are more prone to creasing.

Arrange your clothes carefully

First, put the softer things in the suitcase, and the rolled-up things at the bottom. Next, let clothing such as skirts and pants follow. Stack the clothes on top of each other, alternating the position of the folded ends. Place them along the inside of the suitcase. Then lay the shorter pieces of clothing, being careful not to crease the collars.

Cover each layer with a clean plastic bag

Due to the slippery surface created by the plastic bag, the clothes will not be tightly pressed to create wrinkles, but will gently glided. Place the bag between each layer of clothing. The bag can be used later for dirty laundry.

Take an extra souvenir bag

Take a collapsible bag or backpack with you. It won't take up much space on the go and you can fill it with everything you buy on your trip.

Packing for the plane

Packing for a flight can be a challenge due to the dwindling amount of weight you can take on the plane. Buy a small, lightweight suitcase and make sure it fits the airline's dimensions so you can easily fit it in the overhead compartment. The standard size of hand luggage is 56 x 36 x 23 cm, which includes the handle and wheels. This ensures that the bag fits in the compartment above the seat.

Don't pack accessories

You don't need an extra jacket; since you have one on you. If you want to maximize space in your carry-on, don't use clothes exaggerate. About two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses and five shirts fit in an average hand luggage weighing 8 kg.

Skip the toiletries

If you're staying somewhere where you'll get everything you need for hygiene: shampoo, conditioner, soap, and facial cleanser, avoid wearing this. Space in the suitcase for something else. If you take toiletries with you, always place them on the top of your suitcase, because you never know when airport control will want to look in your luggage.

What things should you never pack in your suitcase?

The guidelines depend on whether you are checking in or not. Don't pack things in your checked baggage that you don't want to lose - jewelry, cameras, etc. Of course, there is a list of items that are prohibited in both hand and checked baggage, so just check that before you leave.

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