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How to pack a suitcase: a packing checklist for your next trip

Ladies and gentlemen welcome onboard the Cleanipedia guide on how to pack a suitcase efficiently. Try our packing tips and follow our packing checklist so you don’t leave anything behind.


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Whether you’re going on a long getaway or packing light for a short trip, arranging your suitcase is a real art. With the right packing tips, this doesn’t have to be a daunting experience – follow our guidance on how to pack a suitcase efficiently and jet off in style!

Check your airline’s baggage allowance rules and know the different regulations for long-haul trips with checked-in luggage and short-haul trips when you travel light with a carry-on.

Packing checklist: what to remember

A thorough packing checklist is essential for efficient packing as the last thing you want is to forget something when it’s too late. To go through items systematically and ensure nothing gets missed, try categorising your list into these sections:

  • Clothes – pack enough change of outfits, underwear, scarves and shoes. Don’t forget other essentials like nightwear, coats, and beachwear.

  • Seasonal – pack for the weather at your destination. Raincoats and jumpers are musts for cooler regions while sunseekers will need to pack lots of light, cool fabrics.

  • Toiletries – all the basics such as toothpaste and soap as well as medications, makeup, perfume, deodorants, and electronics such as hair dryers. Check if your hotel provides any of these to cut down on your packing and remember to follow airline restrictions for any liquids you carry with you in your hand baggage.

  • Carry-ons – these should be valuables and other items you want easy access to during the flight such as books, tissues, a camera, travel pillow, money, and phones.

  • Miscellaneous – these are the most commonly forgotten items and include travel documents, passports, chargers, and adaptors (for international trips).

Packing tips and hacks

The best way to pack a suitcase so that your clothes stay in good condition is to pack it tightly. Follow these packing hacks to get the right results:

Choose the right luggage

Always choose a type of luggage suited to your trip. Backpacks are best for adventure trips or long adventures when you’ll be moving around a lot while rolling luggage is ideal for long-haul holidays where you’ll be based in one or two locations only. For short-haul holidays of short duration, you may be able to get away with only carry-on luggage.

Learn the art of folding or rolling clothes to pack successfully

One of the most common questions when it comes to how to pack a suitcase is whether to roll or fold. Rolling not only helps you fill empty spaces, but it’ll actually help your clothes stay crease-free too. The general rule is to roll small items and fold larger, bulkier pieces to place on top at the end. Use rolled clothes to fill gaps in your suitcase and don’t forget to make use of extra storage space by packing items within each other.

Wear your heaviest items on the journey

This packing hack always works: rather than packing your heaviest clothes, why not using them on board?  By wearing chunky clothing, coats and heavy boots, you’ll be saving room in your case. Dress in layers so you can easily remove a few items if you get too hot.

Keep clothes smelling fresh with laundry sheets

A common question when learning how to pack clothes for holiday is how to keep them smelling fresh. Suitcases can get a little musty over time, and everything on your packing list could come out smelling this way if you don’t address the issue. Place laundry sheets before your clothes to infuse them with a sweet smell during the journey and give your case a good clean before and after each use.

Learning how to pack a suitcase to make the most of your luggage allowance makes the whole process a lot smoother. Whether you’re planning a long trip with plenty of belongings or are going to travel light, our packing tips will help you get the job done right for any trip.

The best way to pack a suitcase so that you don’t forget your essentials is to put them in last. Tick items off your packing list as you go but leave valuables and important items – like your passport – to the end. This makes them easier to access, and easier to check they’re in your bag!

Key steps

Want to know how to pack a suitcase efficiently? Follow our key steps:

  1. Make a packing list.

  2. Choose a suitable suitcase.

  3. Take essentials in your hand luggage.

  4. Roll clothes to fill spaces in the suitcase and pack more efficiently.

  5. Place laundry sheets between clothes to keep them smelling fresh.

  6. Wear your heaviest clothes on the journey so you have more space in your case.

Originally published