Berty and I are constantly on the go. Sometimes, we even have seasons during the year where we would come home from a trip, only to turn around and head right back out the door again. To prevent our house (and our sanity) from completely falling apart, we’ve learned the tricks of how to pack a suitcase in less than an hour.
If you find yourself a frequent traveler like us, or just don’t want to spend time packing (hey, we like Netflix too, we get it), keep reading. We’re sharing everything from tips to cutting excess weight, preparing toiletries ahead of time, and the tools we use to make organizing a breeze!
How To Pack A Suitcase In Record Time
1. Choose The Right Bag
This depends on how long you’ll be gone, and what airline you are traveling with. Always go online and check your airline’s baggage dimensions and weight before flying! Generally, for domestic flights we recommend a soft-cased duffel or backpack for easy carrying, and the ability to squish it into tight spaces if necessary. If it’s an international flight, we still like to travel with carry-ons but we opt for the four-wheeled ones like this one that hold a little more, but are still really easy to handle.
What we look for in Carry-ons:
- Easy access laptop zipper/pouch.
- Small outside pocket to store passport, ID, and money.
- Shoulder strap as well as bag handles.
- Inner pockets and zippers to separate items.
What we look for in Suitcases:
- Four wheels (trust us, it’s a game changer).
- Zipper compartments to separate each side.
- Hard outside, but flexible under pressure.
2. Gather Clothing
- Choose all possible outfit options. Pull out anything that you may want to pack and lay them out on the floor or bed. Try and keep all items in the same color scheme for ultimate mixing and matching.
- Make serious cuts. Start off with setting aside your most wanted articles of clothing. Once you have picked half of the items laid out, stop and put the non-chosen pile away. Most of the time, you can get away with wearing things twice and doing laundry on your trip.
- Pack no more than 3 pairs of shoes. General rules states that you should bring comfortable walking shoes, a nice pair for fancier occasions, and either sandals or boots, depending on the climate in your destination.
Read More: How To Avoid Overpacking
Read More: Cold-Weather Packing List
Read More: Warm-Weather Packing List
3. Control Chaos With These Gadgets
Packing cubes, laundry bags, and cord organizers….these are just a few of the gadgets that are now essential to pretty much every trip we take.
- Clothing Cubes: These often come in different sizes. You can choose to separate different kinds of clothing into each cube (shirts in one, pants in one…etc) for easy locating.
- Double-Sided Packing Cubes: These types are helpful to separate smaller items like underwear or wet clothes so that you can keep the rest of your laundry clean.
- Cord Organizers: If you’re like us and bring a lot of gear (think camera chargers, computers, adapters…you can see our full list here!)
- Laundry Bags: To separate dirty clothes from the clean ones. Simple as that!
4. Pack Essential Toiletries
Do you travel often? Create a fully-stocked toiletry bag equipped with all the essentials:
- Toothbrush / Toothpaste. If you want to save space, look in the travel aisle of your favorite store and buy a “half” toothbrush.
- Deodorant. Pack a solid one as opposed to the roll-on or gel kind to minimize risk of mess.
- Shampoo / Conditioner. Use these reusable bottles to fill with your favorite brands. If you want to cut down on even more space, try buying a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner combo to bring only one bottle.
- Face Wash. A small one ensures you can refresh anywhere, anytime.
- Moisturizer. For those super-dry, airplane climates.
- Hair Comb or Brush. Essential for looking put together in a short amount of time.
Buy an extra set of all these things and permanently keep them in your toiletry bag. This ensures that you are ready to simply grab it and go at a moment’s notice.
Do you have tricks on how to pack a suitcase? Leave some tips you have in the comments!
Destination Specific Adventure?
Read These Packing Lists!