10 Tips for Packing Your Suitcase

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

This is the season for summertime travel, but sometimes packing a suitcase is a challenge. What do I want to take? Need to take? What’s the best way to analyze if I’ve packed enough or too much?

Before you slide into a “Why did I plan this trip?” mode, there is a solution. Over the years of traveling for business and fun, I’ve simplified my packing method. I’d like to share with you 10 ways I’ve made packing headache-free.

  1. Store a trip-bag of toiletry items in plastic or waterproof bags that are handy for you to grab at a moment’s notice. Make sure these are always full and ready to slip into your suitcase. This is a huge help when we have a long list of to-do items before leaving town.
  2. Include in your trip-bag of toiletries a medicinal day-to-day container. Forgetting to take our vitamins or meds can mean the difference between enjoying our time away from home or feeling miserable. I encourage you to include three extra days of medicines, vitamins, and supplements in case your trip is delayed returning home. Who knows? Maybe you can splurge an extra day or two.
  3. Tuck important items into your carry-on in case luggage is lost—makeup, extra set of clothes, meds, and etc. If you’ve ever been a victim of lost luggage, then this tip resonates with you.
  4. Select outfits and accessories to mix and match with others. Basic black, white, and navy blue go with anything. Also, consider clothing items that are labeled travel-wear. No one wants to head out for the day wearing wrinkled clothing.
  5. Choose walking shoes that are super comfortable and go with everything. I know we women love our cute shoes but think about how much they weigh. Okay, what about just two pairs?
  6. Pack each day’s outfit with accessories inside a 2.5-gallon plastic, ziplock bag. Now (don’t laugh) sit on it to release all the air, then zip it up. See how easily it lays flat in your luggage? Use a sticky note to print the day the outfit will be worn. The good news is when you open the bag, most wrinkles are nonexistent. Everything is at your fingertips so you look the best for the day.
  7. Checked luggage tip! Identify your luggage with something colorful. What’s yours needs to stay yours.
  8. Organize your luggage’s contents to head home. Sort dirty clothes according to color. Remember those plastic bags you used to pack for the trip? Fill them up with clothes that are washer-ready. Yes, sit on these to seal them.
  9. Check to see if your lodging has washing facilities. If so, you are in luck! Grab your favorite book and handle the washing now so that task is out of the way once you’re home.
  10. Reminder: simplify your packing by making sure you have only what you need.

Are you ready to plan your next getaway? What packing tips can you share with others?