10 tips to pack a suitcase efficiently for an organized vacation

There is nothing better than leaving for our favorite vacation destinations. Once the plane tickets have been purchased and the hotel rooms reserved, it’s time to dust off those suitcases and start packing for the next trip.

These are my 10 favorite strategies my family uses to pack our suitcases in an orderly fashion, maximizing every available space allocated.

Plan ahead for lost luggage – If you are traveling with family members, pack some of your outfits in their suitcase and vice versa. If you are traveling alone, pack a light change of clothes and a toothbrush in your hand luggage. Since most misplaced bags are found within 24 hours, this tip will ensure you’ll have an outfit or two to get by until your bag is returned.

Items to pack in your carry-on baggage- Prescriptions, jewelry, money, cameras, keys, cell phone chargers, itineraries, passports, and tickets must be carried in carry-on baggage and not in suitcases. Think ahead and ask yourself “What items would I miss the most if my luggage was lost?” It is best to keep them close to you at all times.

Plastic can help minimize wrinkles. As you carefully fold and pack your clothes, layer them with plastic bags, preferably dry-cleaning bags. These bags will help protect clothes from wrinkles.

Keep shoes to a minimum: Shoes can be heavy and bulky; pack only a minimum of two pairs and place them in the bottom of your suitcase. On the subject of shoes, consider buying cheap flip-flops to wear in your hotel room and pool area and just throw them out before you head home.

Tips to save space: Jeans, T-shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear and other casual clothes can be easily rolled up and placed to fit in small spaces. Socks can also be tucked into shoes to maximize all available space!

Put the items you will need immediately on top of your suitcase. Our family loves to travel to Walt Disney World in the winter months. Upon arrival, we can’t wait to trade in our sweats and jeans for T-shirts, shorts, and bathing suits. Packing a quick change of clothes and sunscreen on top of the suitcase allows us to quickly change and hit the parks or pools in no time.

Cut your toiletries in half: Ditch the big bottles and invest in mini-size travel versions of your shampoos, body washes, etc. favorites. If you can’t locate your favorite products in sample sizes, purchase small travel-size containers and fill them with your favorite shampoo, lotions, and creams. Be sure to take the guesswork out of what’s in each of these bins by labeling them. To prevent these items from spilling while traveling, place them in Ziploc brand bags.

Ziploc bags are our best friends – Always pack a few Ziploc bags of different sizes to keep dirty clothes and wet bathing suits separate from the rest of your belongings.

Check the weather forecast for your travel destination. The day before you leave, check the extended weather forecast for the area you’ll be traveling to and alter your outfit accordingly. If your destination is just as warm at night as it is during the day, there’s no need to pack sweaters or coats. Raindrops in the forecast? Pack an umbrella or a light jacket.

Bonus Items The Genie Never Goes Without: A small flashlight (you can get one for $1.00 in most camping sections of any store), small packable ponchos, a compact repair kit for my husband’s prescription glasses, batteries, and an extra foldable bag for items we bought on our trip or to store dirty clothes.

These 10 tips will ensure your suitcase is packed and ready for a magical organized trip!

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