Packing a suitcase is a science. With increased baggage costs on airlines, efficient packing of a suitcase or carry-on can actually save you money, which is certainly better spent on holiday fun than excess baggage fees. If you want to learn some tips on how to carry more for less, you will find some great ideas in our article on Perfect Packing.
1. Get a Suit(able) Case
Choose your suitcase with care. In order to comply with flight baggage regulations for checked in luggage, a well-packed 24 inch (60cm) suitcase will normally reach the weight limit, so a full smaller suitcase is generally better than a half-empty larger one. Maximum weight limits per suitcase are usually around 20kg for international flights, but check your individual airline website to be sure.
2. Label your Luggage
Write your name and contact phone number or email address clearly in permanent pen inside the suitcase lid. Other labels on the outside of the suitcase can be individualized for each trip with flight details etc. Make sure your address and phone number are hidden in a tag with a lift-up flap to avoid someone gaining knowledge of your personal details. Invest in a boldly coloured luggage strap for added security and to enable easy recognition on the carousel at baggage reclaim.
3. Leave the Extra Clothes At Home
Lay out all your intended clothing and accessories on the bed so you can see exactly what you have. Now is the time to pare those indulgences and whims down to sensible essentials. If you are going on holiday for 7 days, you really do not need 24 outfits. Take separates that can be mix-and-matched with belts and bold costume jewellery for a variety of looks from a minimal wardrobe. Even fashionistas only truly need to take three pairs of shoes, maximum, and should co-ordinate their holiday wardrobe around them.
4. You Gotta Roll With It…
Fold each item of clothing lengthwise and then roll up until all you have is neat rolls of varying sizes. This minimizes creasing and eliminates bulk. The exception to this rule is a smart jacket which should either be carried and hung during the flight, or laid on top of your packed suitcase just before closing the lid. Start to line the bottom of the suitcase with these rolls until they are all neatly packed.
5. Be a Double Bagger
Toiletries, makeup and spillable items such as coffee and creamer powder should all be placed in Ziplocs or plastic carrier bags before packing. The baggage hold of an airplane is unpressurized and frequently causes “sealed” liquids such as nail polish remover to expand and leak. Fill in the spaces and top layer of your packed suitcase with shoes and these odd shapes. Finally, drop down the suitcase lid. It should close easily without you having to sit on as, as there is no “bounce” or “give” in your neatly rolled clothing.
6. Weigh It
Pop your bag on the bathroom scales to confirm that your perfectly packed suitcase is just under the maximum weight limit, to avoid any nasty surprises at check-in. Bon voyage!