If there is one thing I’ve learned after all of these years of traveling, it’s the need for an organized suitcase. Tearing through luggage in airports and train stations, searching for lost or misplaced items is one of the worst feelings in the world, not to mention a complete waste of time. What if you could eliminate these searches with a few simple products? Organization is the key to a successful trip, and with a few steps, you can be organized too.
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How to Pack a Suitcase That Makes Travel Easy
Once you are ready to pack your bag, there are some strategies to think about. Some of the best things I have found over the years are suitcase organizers. Organizers will help to keep your items orderly inside your suitcase. They come in different shapes and sizes and store a variety of items you need for your travels. Having these help you find what you need when the time arises. Here are some favorites of frequent travelers:
1) Shoe Bags
Shoes are dirty and heavy, and may get wet during your trip. Packing them in shoe bags not only keeps shoes together, but your clothes will remain clean, too. If you are using a suitcase on wheels, pack shoes at the bottom, by the wheels, to keep you bag properly weighted and easier to maneuver.
2) Toiletries Bags
If you can make a rule to only bring the toiletries you will be using and stick with that, you don’t need to bring your whole makeup bag, or all the extras. A cosmetics bags that unfolds and can hang on the back of a door allows you to see everything at a glance and provides easy access to everything.
Double bag toiletries in zip-top bags that might leak. Men seem to like a Dopp kit style bag that zips closed, so consider one of these as an option too. Either one will work well for keeping your toiletries and cosmetics wrangled together in one place. Pack toiletries in the middle of other clothes, not at the top or bottom of the bag to prevent items from getting broken.
3) Compression Bags
Some of the more interesting organizers available today are compression bags. These are very similar to those big plastic bags that use a vacuum to suck out the air. Instead of a vacuum, though, you roll them to get the air out. This would be great for sweaters or ‘fluffy’ garments that take up a lot of space, because with these bags they can be compacted. These are extremely helpful for winter and ski travel!
There are also zippered rip stop nylon compression cases that can reduce a several inch stack of clothing down to an inch of space. These bags are great for shirts, pants and underwear, and other clothing that doesn’t wrinkle too much.
4) Laundry Bags
You need to have a way to keep your clean clothes clean, and the easiest is to put your dirty clothes in a waterproof laundry bag.
5) Packing Cubes
I have been singing the praise of packing cubes for years! These allow you to use all of your space by consolidating items together. They fit perfectly into luggage, and keep you from losing small items. The small ones are great for keeping your electronics and cords together, while the larger ones can be used for organizing any a way you like. They allow you the flexibility of grouping like items together, or keeping a day’s worth of clothing together. Available in many sizes, color, and configurations, they are lightweight and easy care. When we travel we assign a different color to each child which makes it easier to keep track of everyone’s stuff!
6) Zipping envelopes
Last, but not least, consider bringing an assortment of zipping envelopes. They are waterproof, great for storing small trinkets and jewelry, and the larger ones can double as a laundry bag. In a pinch, they can be used as a makeshift ice-pack. Bag your camera for picture taking in the rain. Keep track of them in some of these zippered envelopes! They take up very little room, and are great for jewelry, important papers (like tickets and passports), too.
Remember, when traveling, the key to stay organized is to know where everything is and to be able to find it when you need it without having to unpack your whole bag. There are many different kinds of cases and bags available to help you get and stay organized. Find a system that works for you and use it every time you pack your bags.
What’s your favorite packing tip?
Looking for more packing tips? Check out our post The Best Packing Tips for Families.