How To Pack Efficiently For Your Next Vacation

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Are you planning to go on a trip? If so, then you know how much planning is involved in going on a vacation. Whether you are traveling with kids or going by yourself, packing a suitcase can often be the most difficult part of going on a trip. Not only must you decide what you are going to pack, but you must also pack everything perfectly so that everything fits in your suitcase. While it is everyone's dream to learn how to pack efficiently, it is common for most people to end up stuffing their suitcases until they are overflowing. Does this sound familiar?

Well, I'm here to help. In this article, I'll be going over the top ten tips for how to pack efficiently. These tips allow you to stay organized, pack quickly, and be prepared for your vacation all at the same time. While stuffing a suitcase may sound easy, it is better to stay organized at the beginning of your trip than having to organize everything once you arrive at your destination. Hopefully, these tips on how to pack efficiently help you pack your suitcase with ease. Let's get started!

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How To Pack Efficiently: Top Tips To Follow

1. Check the Weather First

Before you begin packing for your trip, check the weather. If the forecast says that it will be cold for most of the time you'll be there, pack mostly warm clothing. Or if it is going to be really hot, skip packing the wool sweaters and hats. If the weather happens to change while you're there, you can always buy clothing at stores. By checking the weather first, you'll save so much space from packing unnecessary articles of clothing. 

2. Pack Your Suitcase the Correct Way

Did you know that there is a proper way to pack a suitcase? Well, there is. And no, it does not involve stuffing clothes into your suitcase as much as you can. To properly pack your suitcase, lay the suitcase flat on its back with it fully opened. Pack your socks and undergarments inside your shoes, and then lay your shoes on the bottom of the suitcase. This will be your first layer of luggage. On top of your shoes, lay down a layer of heavier rolled items (we'll take a look at how to roll clothes later) such as jeans, sweaters, etc. If you will be packing any fragile items, be sure to pack them in the center of the luggage. The clothing around these fragile items will prevent them from breaking. 

Lighter rolled items like t-shirts and undergarments should be on the next layer. Similar to the heavier clothing, you'll want to tightly roll these lighter items. Later in this article, we'll take a look at why rolled items are better for traveling than folded items. On top of this layer, place your folded items. This will allow easy access to them upon arrival for unfolding and hanging. You can also place these items in a dry cleaner bag to help prevent them from wrinkling. Any additional lightweight items, such as underwear, belts, and socks, should be placed anywhere you can fit them. 

Lastly, put your toiletry bag on top of the folded layer, and then close the suitcase lid. Make sure you don't pack too much clothing, as it will be difficult to fit all of these items into your suitcase if you do. If you find that you cannot fit all of your items in your suitcase, then you may have to go through your stuff and take out items that aren't necessary. Also, if your luggage bag has pockets, take advantage of those pockets by using them to store your camera, phone charger, small snacks, makeup, and any other small items. 

3. Use Packing Cubes

Another way you can learn how to pack efficiently is to use packing cubes. These space saver bags allow you to separate your items into different bags. For example, in one packing cube you may pack undergarments; in another, you may place shirts; and in another, you may pack accessories. What's nice about packing cubes is that if you need to get to the bottom of your suitcase, all you have to do is remove your packing cubes. This saves you time from taking out all your clothes and then organizing them again. Basically, packing cubes are like miniature suitcases that fit into your one large suitcase.

Now that you know what packing cubes are, you may be wondering how to use packing cubes. Thankfully, learning how to use packing cubes is easy. First, fold your clothes and lay them flat inside the bag. Seal the zip-lock top, then roll the bag, squeezing out all the air. This can be the trickiest part because rolling the bag and squeezing the air out requires some strength. Make sure you choose a packing cube that is large enough for all your clothes. You may need to purchase packing cubes of different sizes so that all of your items fit nicely in your suitcase. 

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4. Keep A Checklist Of What You Packed

If you are someone who easily forgets things, you may want to keep a checklist of what you packed in your suitcase. This will save you time from having to dig through your suitcase to make sure you packed everything you need. It will also save you space, as you may accidentally pack things twice if you happen to forget what you already packed. Keeping a checklist doesn't have to be difficult. Simply write down on a piece a paper everything you need to pack, and then cross out those items as you pack them. 

5. Plan On Wearing the Same Clothes On the Way Back As You Wore On the Way There

If you want to save space in your suitcase, plan on wearing the same clothes on the way from your trip as you wore on your way there. This will save you from packing an extra outfit for the ride back. If possible, try wearing your most bulky items on the way there and back. For example, instead of packing your boots and coat, wear them on your ride there and back. This will give you extra space in your suitcase. 

6. Roll Your Clothes Instead Of Folding Them

As I mentioned earlier, you'll want to roll most of your clothes instead of folding them. While clothes that are rolled are more likely to get wrinkled, they save you so much space. So, how do you roll clothes? For rolling tops, first, fold the sleeves and then begin rolling the entire shirt. For rolling skirts, fold the skirt into thirds and then roll it really tight up. You can also roll jeans by folding them in half and then rolling it up tightly. If you will be rolling clothes that are prone to wrinkle, place them in a plastic bag first, and then roll it up.

7. When Packing With Kids, Make A Checklist For Everybody

If you will be packing for a family vacation, create a checklist for each family member. For example, your kids' checklist may consist of items such as their favorite blanket, toys, snacks, etc. If you can't fit all of the items in one suitcase, have a suitcase for each family member, or at least one suitcase for you and one for your kids. You may want to keep this checklist so that you can make sure you didn't forget anything on your way back. 

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8. Organize Your Clothes For Each Day Of the Week

When packing your clothes, consider organizing them so that there is one pair of clothes for each day of the week. To do this, use zip-lock bags. In one zip-lock bag, put a pair of socks, a shirt, and pants. Continue doing this with 6 more zip-lock bags. By doing this, you'll have an outfit planned out for each day of the week. If you will be staying longer than a week, you can always wear the same clothes as you wore the week before, but in a different order this time. If you won't be staying an entire week, only pack as many outfits as you'll need for the trip. Don't forget that you'll be wearing the same clothes on the way back as you wore on the way there. By planning out what you'll be wearing for each day, you'll save time from having to choose an outfit each day. You'll also save space, as storing your clothes in zip-lock bags helps them be more organized. 

9. Choose the Right Suitcase

When learning how to pack efficiently, it is important that you choose the right suitcase. If you get the wrong suitcase, you may end up having too much or too little space for all your items. Purchasing a suitcase that is made of fabric allows the suitcase to stretch a little. As a result, you'll get a little extra room for all your items. That said, some people have said that it is better to get a suitcase made of hard materials so that you aren't tempted to over-pack. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you get a suitcase that is large enough for your items. If possible, get a suitcase that has pockets on the sides. These pockets come in handy for storing smaller items.

10. Don't Feel Stressed!

Learning how to pack efficiently may seem like a daunting task, but it is worth it in the end. Try to keep it simple when packing your suitcase. If you pack too much stuff, your life will be cluttered, and you may feel stressed as a result.

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Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you learn how to pack efficiently. These packing hacks are much easier than you may think they are. While they do require some planning, the end-result allows you to not be as stressed and unorganized on your vacation. Remember that you should follow these tips on the way back as well. If possible, try to keep most of your supplies in your suitcase during your vacation so that you are already packed for the ride back. Whatever you choose to do, remember to have fun. Going on a vacation is supposed to be relaxing and entertaining. So enjoy it!

Related Article: 3 Tips For Planning A Hassle-Free Summer Family Road Trip

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