Going on vacation is the best! What is not the best? Trying to cram all of your favorite outfits and accessories into your suitcase. It’s easy to get frustrated while sitting on top of your suitcase – just trying to get it to zip. Having a perfectly packed suitcase is a science and no biology or chemistry class is required! Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to ensure you have everything you need and still have room for those post vacation souvenirs.

The human brain loves lists, and we crave order whether we realize it or not. Taking time to create a packing checklist is game changing and is often overlooked. In the week before vacation your mind is running a marathon with everything you need to get done prior to take off. By making a list of everything you need and want to have available to you on vacation you are taking the guessing game out of packing. Draft your list when you are calm and not distracted, take yourself through a typical travel day and write down everything you will need. Then, stick to the list you so diligently wrote and fight the urge to throw in those extra outfits or shoes (any other binge packers out there?). Once you have your suitcase beautifully packed, review your checklist and make sure you have everything included. There is nothing worse than unpacking in your hotel room just to realize you have no toothpaste or your favorite beach shirt. I know making lists sounds like such a “Mom task”, but hey…there is a reason Mom is always right.

If you are not currently rolling your clothes when you travel…you need to start. While this tip is controversial we find it necessary to share. Rolling your clothes saves a lot of space and leaves your clothes surprisingly less wrinkled than if you folded and stacked those leggings and tees. Rolling your clothes makes it easier to see what you packed so planning the perfect sightseeing outfit is at your fingertips.

Whether you use packing cubes or the ever so traditional Ziploc bags – separating your suitcase by category is a must. Being able to easily locate a specific item you are looking for makes getting ready for your Magic Kingdom day so much easier. By separating your tops, pants, jewelry and so forth you will not only find yourself more organized, you will find yourself with more room in your suitcase than when your clothes resembled the Leaning Tower of Pizza (What? You didn’t think there would be no travel references…did you?). Check out our favorite packing cubes here: https://amzn.to/3rdYSg0

While packing shoes is obviously a necessity, the space inside of them is empty real estate. And when packing…real estate is precious. Utilize this space by packing small items inside each pair. Place earrings in a Ziploc bag and lay them inside your tennis shoes or place your device charges inside your boots. No matter what you need to pack, chances are you will have small items that can find their place safely tucked inside your favorite pair of travel kicks.

Go ahead and pack your bathing suit, dinner outfit or pajamas right on top of everything else in your suitcase. Whatever you plan on doing when you first arrive, you want to have it easily accessible – this eliminates the headache (and giant mess) you would invite by digging through your suitcase arsenal. Remember, this is vacation; you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Plan the outfits for the entirety of your trip in advance. This tip is often our most unpopular and that is because people love options, and we aren’t any different while traveling. Planning your outfits ahead of time helps streamline your packing process and ensures you only bring clothing that you will actually wear; avoiding suitcase clutter and taking up unnecessary space. Leave that extra space available for goodies you pick up along your adventures.

Take a moment and think, what do you normally do with your dirty clothes when you travel? Keeping your dirty laundry separate from your clean wardrobe is necessary because you definitely want to keep those two things separate. Might we also suggest a bag that seals or zips because well…we have all smelled dirty laundry before. These adorable, space saving and sealing travel laundry bags are a hit: https://amzn.to/3HixvXV. On the dirty smell topic, pack dryer sheets in between clothing to help eliminate that “stuffy” smell clothes can get while traveling. By doing this you help keep your luggage smelling fresh and clean.

Let’s be real, most likely this case won’t come up and you will be wishing you left those items back home. If for some reason you do need an extra item for such a case…extra shopping trip!

While most of you know this already – I want to make sure to remind you; keep your liquid products separate from your clothing. Pack your shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream etc. in different bags or containers and place them in a separate pocket of your suitcase. By doing this you eliminate any chance of a shampoo explosion (please excuse our FRIENDS reference). This also makes it easier to pack your toiletries the day of travel because it won’t matter if they are wet from your pre-flight shower. There are so many options for reusable travel totes and bags, you can pretty much find them anywhere. While plastic, Ziploc baggies are easily accessible (if this is your choice) we ask you to consider reusing them in as many ways as possible; we do want to help save the turtles after all. We also suggest you use travel sized toiletries; you probably don’t need that giant body wash bottle for a long weekend vacay and the amount of space you will save allows for extra room to bring home that holiday souvenir. Check out these adorable and equally functional TSA approved containers for your next vacay: https://amzn.to/35reO67.

Another tip that often goes unnoticed is to wear your heaviest and bulkiest outfit on the plane. By doing this you don’t have to worry about packing that cozy sweater that takes up valuable real estate in your suitcase. Also, there is a good chance you will want that sweater to help keep you warm and cozy while flying anyways so…win-win!

How many times are we at the luggage carousel and see black bag after black bag wheel by us? The answer: all the time! Have fun picking out a fun/unique luggage tag or tie a bright, eye-catching ribbon around your handle. There are tons of fun options for personalizing your luggage; we like this sassy summer set that instantly gets you in the mood for vacation! What’s even better? These colorful tags come in a pack of four so you and your party can all level up your luggage game: https://amzn.to/3ISJGuY. This not only makes it easier for you to spot your suitcase coming around, it also easily let’s other travelers know to keep their paws off your luggage as they will instantly notice it is not theirs.

When packing your suitcase make sure to pack the heaviest items on the bottom, by the wheels. This allows you to avoid your suitcase randomly toppling over while traveling. This is the best way to pack your luggage for stability. See? Science!

And lastly…

Sadly, luggage gets misplaced; while the airlines will do their very best to help you find your bags this can take a few days. We always suggest our clients pack their absolute essentials and one change of clothes in their carry on. This may include medications, diapers etc…If you happen to find yourself without your luggage, at least you will have enough resources to make it through a day or two without the stress of having to replenish your must haves.

So there you have it folks, all of our packing wisdom condensed into this one blog post. What are some of your favorite packing hacks? Is there a life changing tip we forgot to mention? We will leave you with the most important question of the week: are you team #fold or #roll your clothes when heading out on vacation? Make sure to leave your vote in the comments below and let’s see which team comes out victorious!

Until next week adventurers; stay safe, have fun and most importantly…be kind.