The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase: What You Need to Know

Packing your suitcase correctly can be an art form, as anyone who has ever attempted to fit an entire vacation’s worth of clothing and accessories into a single, small bag can attest to. Knowing the best way to pack a suitcase and maximize space can help you do more on your trip while ensuring that your belongings don’t end up wrinkled and shoved in the corner. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best practices for packing a suitcase efficiently and effectively to minimize the hassle of travel.

Best Way to Pack a Suitcase: 11 tips

Why put a piece of paper in the suitcase? How to pack clothes so that they don’t crumple? And why photograph the contents of the luggage? We’ve gathered 11 useful tips for packing a suitcase on vacation!


Best Way to Pack a Suitcase: 11 tips

Best Way to Pack a Suitcase: 11 tips

Save time

Write a list of things you need in advance. Leave it in your phone and consult it before you get home, so you won’t forget anything at the hotel. Keep in mind the basic combinations you can create with your clothes on vacation. This will come in handy when traveling, and during packing, it will help you quickly find the right kits for the trip.


Keep the things you only need for travel in one place so you don’t have to waste time looking for them. Travel-versions of shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste, and a first aid kit will all be left to grab from the shelf and transfer to your suitcase. Don’t forget to check the expiration date!


Don’t pack too much!

Before traveling read the description of your hotel room: sometimes a hair dryer, travel iron, steamer, boiling pot, shower gel or beach towel can be left at home.

In hotels there are laundry rooms, in hostels and apartments – washing machines, so you do not need to take a change of clothes, even for every day.

While packing a suitcase, check all pockets: they may have hidden coins and keys. These items not only add weight, but can spoil or soil things.

Take cosmetics in travel-formats, pour them into small bottles, or use samples.


The main thing to remember: sunscreen, socks, T-shirts, and even an umbrella or a towel can be bought on the spot, unless you’re going to spend time on a desert island.

Order matters.

At the bottom of the suitcase put the densest, heaviest and most bulky things – jackets, coats, jeans, towels.

Anything that might stain the contents of the case or spill (dyeing clothes, drawing crayons, bottles), put it in zip-tops or wrap it in plastic wrap.

Along the walls, put shoes, separating pairs and packing each shoe or boot in a separate bag, with lightweight, soft items in the center and anything fragile in between. For more information on how to pack fragile items, see “How to Pack Fragile Items in Carry-on Luggage.

Put a beach bag, books, or travel guides on top to create a rigid frame.


The most prudent tourists put a piece of paper on top of all things, with the passenger’s name, flight date and number, and contact information. This will help if the suitcase gets lost. An external tag with coordinates is also needed, but it can come off.


How to do without an iron when traveling

Seasoned travelers know a lot of ways to pack clothes so they don’t crumple. The most popular is to neatly place minimally rolled up items along the length of the suitcase. Another option is to load everything in one pile, wrapping one thing into another to make a giant “roll” of T-shirts and jeans. But the best way is to roll each item into a separate tight roll. This way there will be no creases on the clothes – and everything will stack very compactly.

A little trick: things will be less crumpled if you add more rinse aid at the end of the wash, or when they dry, use a “liquid iron. There are special thick inlays in the suitcase – clothing organizers. Things are protected in them, but they take up more space in the luggage.


MORE: What to Pack for Beach Vacation Woman

Where to put cosmetics

Perfume, deodorants, shampoos and other bottles put in zip ties. If you have a cloth suitcase, place all cosmetics closer to the tight corners.

Try to take the minimum amount of cosmetics to travel. And not just because of weight. During the flight your cosmetics can be damaged by pressure and temperature changes, as the hold is not heated.

Small items – separately.

Chargers, batteries, flash drives, medications, hairpins and jewelry are better placed in separate bags. Firstly, so that you don’t have to look for them in the hotel, and secondly, so that they don’t fall out when you open the suitcase.

Be careful with your jewelry. The most valuable should not be put in the luggage. Fragile earrings are better placed in special travel organizers, or at least in a thick plastic cosmetic bag or a case for glasses. Put chains through a cocktail straw and fasten them, so that they don’t get tangled or torn.


Fill all empty spaces.

There shouldn’t be any emptiness in the suitcase. All internal space in shoes, boxes, boxes is better to fill. First, precious space is wasted, and second, the thing itself may crumple and lose its shape. Put small fragile souvenirs and glasses in cases, wrapping them with something soft beforehand.

Don’t leave any space between things. Cover all crevices with swimsuits, socks, scarves, handkerchiefs, and other small items.

Belts and belts, unless you put them in the collar of your shirt, do not roll up “snail”, but lay along the walls around the perimeter of the suitcase.

Some tourists use vacuum compression bags to pack everything as compactly as possible. It’s not always convenient, because things get more crumpled. And to put everything back in the suitcase, you have to look for a vacuum cleaner in the hotel.


Don’t travel with an empty suitcase.

Not a lot of things and your suitcase is almost empty? The right thing to do is to take a smaller bag. But if this is not possible, try to pack everything as tightly as possible – fill the space with anything, even an inflatable ring for swimming! Or put crumpled paper in the voids. Don’t forget to tie down the contents with luggage straps.


Take a picture of the packed luggage.

When your suitcase is packed, take a picture of it outside and open inside. Such a picture will help during proceedings with the airline if something happens to the suitcase or things disappear from it. It will be easier for you to remember and describe what is missing.


Padlock or cellophane.

Have no illusions: the lock on the suitcase doesn’t protect from anything, the movers learned a long time ago to open the zippers, and then return them to their original form.

It is much harder to get into your bags if they are wrapped in cellophane. Such a wrap will help keep dirt out and protect you from the rain. Sometimes the packers even put special seals and promise a refund if something happens to your luggage.


What you shouldn’t put in the luggage

Baggage handlers don’t handle things with kid gloves. Laptops, tablets, and cameras can all get smashed. In some airports, theft is rampant: Arrived bags are looked through special equipment not only for security. That is why you should not put money and expensive jewelry in your luggage.