How to pack a suitcase: the simple easy way.

I know how to pack a suitcase, and I want to share my travel packing tips with you. Looking back over the years of vacation packing; I have made lots of mistakes, especially when it came to overpacking. Now I am very efficient. 

jump to quick summery

Get out your vacation packing list before you start so that you don’t forget anything.

Do these things before you start

After you have gone through your basic travel wardrobe, made sure that your clothes are colour coordinated for mix and match, checked the weather, added and deleted for your vacation destination, have your travel papers in order, got your suitcase and carry on luggage purchased you can start packing a suitcase.

Pack these first

I get my toiletry bag ready. I pick out my  travel purse and I pack it first, then my makeup kit, and carry on luggage. Then I pack my suitcase.

Don't forget these items

  • I have a big mesh compartment in my suitcase and I put my special blow drier there ( if I m taking it ), my toiletry bag, vitamins, aspirin and any non-prescription drugs.
  • I also put any books I will not need on the plane.
  • I put a paper with my travel itinerary and name and address info inside, where it can be seen easily.
  • If I take anything that might harm my clothes like an evening bag, I will put those in the pocket also.
  • I also put extra plastic bags in there; you never know when you can use one, also some duck tape.

In the main suitcase compartment

When you think about how to pack a suitcase of course right away you think about things like the best way to pack so as to not get your clothes too wrinkled.

How to pack a suitcase my way would be to use the roll method for most of my clothes.

  • I like little plastic bags for many reasons with the zip lock top. Use separate bags.
  • Use one each with your dark tops, dark bottoms, dark sweaters, dark jackets.
  • Then one each with your light ones and one with your colour items.
  • One with lingerie in it.
  • One with your swimsuits in it.
  • One with your extra pair of shoes and flip flops for the beach.

You could also buy those bags that scrunch up from Travel Smith, instead of ziplocks.

Optional: take all of your clothes and put them into one large clear garbage bag.

Place it in your suitcase.  I started doing this when everything got wet one time.

Push some of your small bags of clothes into the corners to disperse everything evenly and not waste space.

You will want to fold some items on top of your rolled items. Like heavy jeans, or double folded long dresses.

Your shoes go on top of everything, or at least where they can be seen easily, so that if they want to inspect at the airport screening, they will not have to root around through all your clothes.

If you use a large garbage bag they can go inside it on top.

Things like socks can be stuffed into your shoes to save space.

Never put valuables or prescription drugs in your checked luggage. Anything like jewellery, money, passports, tickets and hotel confirmations should go in your carry-on bag.

Quick summery:

  • lay out everything that you want to pack
  • open up your suitcase and lay on flat surfice; like a bed, table or sofa
  • roll most of your clothes
  • place in ziplock or scrunch bags and squeeze the air out
  • fold heavy items like jeans and place on top
  • find little spaces to fill with your small iems ( eg. inside shoes) 
  • shoes next
  • small loose things like toiletry bag can go into inside mesh pocket with your address and intinerary

How to pack a suitcase would also include making sure that you lock your checked suitcase with a TSA approved lock. 

travel packing tips

packing with small plastic bags

one bag travel

Return to Top

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.