The Ideal Suitcase – Packing for a Trip

This weekend starts the big travel season for the summer. Many people will be on the road and knowing how to organize a suitcase and pack effectively can get your travels started off on the right foot.

Create a checklist with everything you might need. You can make a computer file or use my checklist. Use the list each time you need to travel. Include everything you might need on your trip like undergarments, socks, shoes, tops, bottoms, jackets, toiletries (travel size when possible), makeup, grooming supplies, medications (prescription and OTC), glasses, jewelry, pajamas, money, electronics and chargers, any railroad or flight tickets and your ID.

Think about the type of suitcase you want to bring along with you. Duffel bags with soft sides might not be the most solid, but they are flexible and can fit more inside than hard suitcases. A duffel bag on wheels is even better.

When you start gathering things to pack, be selective. You do not have to bring everything in your closet with you. Jeans can be worn more than one day. Consider what you are wearing when you travel. Maybe you can wear the pants an extra day.

Put your heaviest clothing on the bottom of the suitcase and your most delicate clothing on top. Figure out the outfits you will wear before you start packing and then pack outfits together. This will save time so you don’t have to root around in the suitcase to find things that go together.

Check the weather forecast ahead of time. It is not always correct, but can give you a good idea of how the weather will be. Pack clothing that can be layered if the weather is unpredictable.

If you have a lot of clothing, rolling the items instead of folding will allow you to pack more. Be careful not to roll wrinkles into the clothes. If done properly, rolling actually helps prevent wrinkling. Your suitcase will also weigh more, and that can be an issue if you are flying to your destination.

Put the most fragile stuff in the middle. Shoes should go into plastic bags so they don’t make the clothes dirty. A bag for dirty laundry (can be a pillow case or plastic bag) will keep the clean clothes away from the dirty ones.

Enjoy your summer travel season. Bon voyage!

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