Whether you’re leaving for a weekend getaway or a three-week expedition, packing is pivotal. However, underpacking your suitcase to avoid unnecessary clutter typically leaves you scrambling to the nearest store once you’ve arrived at your destination. On the other hand, overpacking your essentials means you’re in for a heavy, disorganized suitcase that may even cost you extra because of pricey airline baggage fees.To avoid the usual travel packing chaos on your next trip, we are sharing ten tested and proven tips that will help you pack lighter and smarter every single time!

Check Your Airline’s Baggage-Fee Policy

The first thing you need to check before you begin packing is the weight limit you’re allowed to carry with you. If you’re traveling by air or any such means that require you to follow a strict baggage guideline, this step can save you from paying huge extra charges.
Moreover, if you’re off to visit a place where you’ll be unloading some of your items (like gifts), you shouldn’t face any problem on your trip back. However, if you’ll be bringing back souvenirs, it’s best to make sure you’ll be able to pack them based on what your luggage weighs after you’re done packing for the trip.

Follow the 3-1-1 Rule

This helpful rule was put in place by Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA). The 3-1-1 rule applies to carry on luggage. It’s important to know because you can get your items and/or luggage confiscated during the screening process if you don’t follow through with it. The 3-1-1 rule is associated with how you pack the liquid and gel items such as shampoos, deodorants, and cosmetics) in your carry on luggage. There are special considerations for medications and baby nutritional related items such as formula. Here’s what it says:

  • 3 – Each liquid must be enclosed within a container of 3.4 ounces or less.
  • 1 – All the liquid containers must be packed inside one clear, quarter-sized, plastic bag.
  • 1 – There should be only one see-through plastic bag for carrying your liquid essentials.

Organize a Capsule Wardrobe Outside Your Suitcase

Now that you’re aware of the rules and regulations that every traveler must know to avoid delays and mishaps, let’s move on to the essential packing tips that help you pack smarter for your trip! Most people pick out what they’d like to wear during their trip, laying them down in the suitcase one-by-one. However, that’s precisely how you overpack your suitcase, making a complete clutter.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to avoid this travel packing havoc. Instead of picking out things based on what you like and dislike, layout your preferences on a surface where you can inspect all your items in one place. This includes all your shirts, jeans, shorts, dresses, jackets, sweaters, scarves, and shoes. Now, start organizing a capsule wardrobe to create complete outfits, eliminating the items that you can’t match with other pieces. For example, there might be a particular pair of jeans that you can’t wear with more than a t-shirt or two. Or, there must be some shoes that you love, but they only go with one outfit. Moreover, it would be best to pick out neutral colors first, like white, black, blue, and brown, so that you can make your capsule wardrobe more easily. Plus, don’t forget to pack one outfit that you can pull off at all kinds of fancy gatherings and clubs. For instance, women should always pack a mini black dress that can be dressed up or dressed down for any occasion.

Fun Accessory Tip – Pack Scarves

Different scarves can completely transform your outfit even when they’re worn with the same clothes repeatedly. These wardrobe accessories take close to no space in your suitcase and work as an exceptional all-rounder on your trips.

Roll Your Clothes and Pack Them First

The best way to make the most of your space while preventing your clothes from creasing is using the rolling method. For your tops, lay them facedown, fold their sleeves, and then roll from the bottom up. As for pants and shorts, put their legs together and roll them from the waist down. Furthermore, it is best to put the rolled clothes in your suitcase before anything else, as they can fit more nicely with the suitcase lining.

Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are the next best thing you can invest in if you want to pack smarter. These blocks keep all your items organized, as you categorize all your tops, bottoms, and other essentials in different sections. Plus, these cubes are so lightweight and thin that you wouldn’t have to compromise your baggage weight limit or the precious suitcase space.

Layer Up

There are always some essentials that weigh a lot more than you can afford to carry in your suitcase. For example, a heavy fur coat, chunky boots, or a thick sweater. Layer yourself with the heavy items when you’re off to the airport and then shed them to the overhead luggage area once you’re safely seated on the plane. This way, you’ll be able to save space and overcome the weight limit.

Place the Heavier Items Wheel-Side

Keep the weightier (solid) items, like shoes and books, on your suitcase’s wheel-side. This placement will help it stay stabilized when you’re carrying it in an upright position.

Bring Some All-Size Plastic Bags and a Mini Iron

Include some all-size plastic bags in your travel packing list, as they exceptionally help you store wet swimsuits, dirty laundry, or other such things during your trip. Additionally, if you think there’s a need, you can carry a mini iron in your suitcase. The best thing about this item is that it’s usually lightweight and small enough to even keep in your handbag.

Keep the Small, Expensive Essentials on Your Person

While keeping your identity card and passport on your person is essential, you also wouldn’t want to lose your expensive Rolex if your luggage gets lost. Avoid such mishaps by keeping your small, expensive essentials with yourself in your carry on bag.

Note: Don’t forget to pack the important medications and daily supplements in your handbag as well.

Give these ten travel packing tips a try for having a wonderful time on your trip without making a chaotic mess of your suitcase!