1. Always start with a packing list.
I know, this is such a ‘mom’ tip, but there’s a reason why moms are always right. Especially in the stressful few days before a trip, it’s all too easy to forget items you need. That’s why I always make a packing list to keep myself organized! Feeling lazy? Try a printable checklist.
2. … and always end by reviewing your packing list.
It’s silly how often people forget this step. There’s a reason you made that list! Make sure you go through all the items the night before you leave (or the morning of) to make sure you haven’t forgotten a single thing, especially the small stuff.
3. Know your airline’s baggage fee policy.
The inconsistency among airlines (especially the budget variety) is pretty infuriating. Avoid surprises at the airport by knowing what you’re working with right from the start. A quick Google before you pack can help save you loads of stress (and potential overweight fees!)
4. Roll your clothes.
One of my best suitcase packing tips is for you to simply roll your clothes! Seriously, if you’re not currently rolling your clothes instead of folding them, do it! It saves lots of space.
5. Pick out what you think you need, and cut it in half.
The first time I read this tip, I thought it was absolute insanity. Then, one time I actually tried it, and you know what? I didn’t regret it at all! While this may initially feel like a slow painful form of packrat torture, doing this will cut you down to the exact essentials you’ll actually need. I honestly think that overpacking is hardwired in us, which is why doing this exercise is so helpful.
6. Make use of packing cubes (or in a pinch, Ziplock bags).
Packing cubes are my favourite things ever. They not only help you stay organized, but also save loads of space in your suitcase/backpack.
7. Always pack your absolute essentials and one outfit change in your carry on.
As much as we all like to think we’re invincible, even the best of us will have our luggage get lost, go missing or uh, accidentally taken by someone else (true story). Having your essentials and extra clothes on you will bring precious peace of mind, so you’re never that angsty person waiting in fetal position at baggage claim.
8. Bring a few extra bags (e.g. totes, ziplocks, plastic bags, etc.)
You never know when you’ll need them, especially for things like dirty clothes, which are always an afterthought. They weigh nothing and come in SO handy, so don’t forget a few!
9. Always wear your bulkiest items of clothing on the plane.
Coats and boots are heavy. If you plan on bringing them on your trip, make sure you’re wearing them so they don’t hog up all the space (and weight) in your luggage.
10. Forget full sized liquids, pack mini versions and buy if you need more.
This is one of the top suitcase packing tips I recommend to newbie travellers. Seriously, put that full-sized bottle away! There’s zero reason for you to bring it. There WILL be toiletries to buy where you’re travelling. It’s not worth the unnecessary weight to bring a giant bottle of everything.
11. Never pack things “just in case”.
Let’s be real: more often than not, that case will not come up! And if by some miracle, you’re in need of a special item, just take that opportunity to indulge in some shopping.
12. Last but not least, don’t forget to leave a little extra space.
A list of suitcase packing tips wouldn’t be complete without this important (but often forgotten) gem of wisdom.
Here’s the thing: you’re human… You will inevitably buy something. The worst feeling is falling in love with an item abroad and having zero space in your suitcase to bring it home.