How annoying is it when you get an hour into your trip and realize you forgot something important? It’s awful, that’s why I always try to start packing at least a few days prior to my trip. Make an actual list of everything you need to bring and mark each item off as you put it in your suitcase. There are a number of great packing iPhone apps such as Packing Pro or you can even make a list in Evernote.

Packing is a very essential part of going on a fun and relaxing vacation, but can prove to be the most stressful. Many people dread packing and often wonder if they are going to have enough room in their suitcase. The worst thing is to get to your motel ready to change into your pjs and get a good night’s sleep, when you realize you forgot your toothbrush! A late night run to the store is never fun! Here are some tips to help you remember the essentials of packing, and how to make sure you have enough room in your suitcase!


Be like Lady Liberty & get all of your ducks in a row the right way!


Packing rules when flying

1. When packing for a flight think small. Your carry on cannot be over forty-five linear inches, there is also not any oversize luggage or packages allowed to bestowed onboard. While it may be difficult fitting everything in your suitcase, it will pay off! Try to pack the true necessities in your carryon baggage.

2. Try to pack light when you are flying. It is miserable enough trying to keep everything together at the airport, extra luggage just adds to this stress. In the chance that you are late to a flight, more luggage will also slow you down. Many airlines also have a rule that a suitcase can fly free if it is less than fifty pounds, so safe money by packing light!

3. There are also very strict rules for how much liquid you can have on an airplane, or in your carry on. You must carry all of your liquid bottles in a 3.4-ounce bottle placed inside a one quart-sized Ziploc bag. Every traveler is allowed to have a Ziploc bag. It is better, and easier to pack your liquids in your checked luggage.

4. It is also very crucial to know your airline’s baggage-fee, before arriving. Who would enjoy paying a surprise fifty dollars on getting your luggage to your destination? Some airlines allow checked luggage under a certain weight limit to fly for a lower price, while others have a set price no matter how much the luggage weighs. There are also some airlines that charge you to take a carry-on on to the airplane.

5. If you must bring an item that is very valuable to you, do not pack it in your checked luggage. Pack this item into your carry on if it must be brought, but it is beneficial for you to leave this item at home for safety purposes. You will always want to keep your passport, boarding passes, money, and other precious items with you in case the airline loses your luggage. You also never know when something could be robbed.

6. While it can be very annoying the airline crew has the right not to allow any baggage on the flight. It can be very upsetting when you have your carryon all ready to go, but get to the airport and realize it is bigger than the allowed size. Everything, that is in your carryon and you can’t stick anywhere else must then be left behind. This is why it is very crucial to read and reread your airlines luggage certification.


Ways to save space:

1. Packing dual-purpose garments is very essential. A top that can work for both day and night is very helpful, or a neutral color shirt that can be worn with any color is also very beneficial. Pants or shorts are also very important to be versatile. Versatile garments can do a lot to save room in your suitcase.

2. Placing socks and underwear as fillers in the open spaces can also be very beneficial. Undergarments do not take up much room, and therefore, do not need their own pocket. Using an entire pocket for undergarments is like using an entire bottle of shampoo for one shower! When using undergarments in the empty spots in your suitcase not only does it save room but also makes it easy to find!

3. Try to wear the bulkiest items on the day you are traveling. If you are taking a pair of bulky shoes, such as boots, then try to wear them the day you are traveling in order to save room. By taking out most of the bulky items, then you have room for other things. However, if you must pack these, then put them on the bottom of your suitcase.

4. You have always heard to make sure you fold clothes, but folding clothes in a suitcase can take up lots of room, instead roll them. Save time by rolling the top and bottom together. Rolled up garments are easier to stack, fit side by side, and squish together to make more room for other important things. However, when you are rolling your clothing take extreme caution the clothes will not wrinkle.

5. Be sure to bring a dirty clothes bag! This may seem like it is taking up extra room now, however, it will help on the way home. Dirty clothes bags are places that you can throw your clothes in at the end of the day, then just chunk that bag into your suitcase at the end of your stay. It also makes packing up at the end of your trip a lot easier.


What not to Pack

Now that you know how to pack, it is important to know what not to pack.

1. Try not to pack things that easily wrinkle. In other words, don’t bring grandma along – just kidding! Most people don’t carry irons around with them on vacation, and who likes to walk around sporting your favorite shirt with wrinkles. The longer the wrinkle sits there the less the chances are for you to ever remove them completely. Do yourself a favor and just choose another adorable outfit!

2. If you are staying at a hotel then the chances are high that they will have complimentary toiletries. Use them! There is no need in bringing your towels, washrags, shampoo, and conditioner when it is all offered free. This also eliminates the problem of them accidentally spilling.

3 Don’t pack your most adored item. You never know what could happen on vacation; therefore, leave Grandma’s wedding ring, or any other precious item at home. Even though it is very unlikely, you could even be robbed on vacation, or the object could be accidentally broken. It is safer just to leave the precious item locked away at home.

4. Don’t pack your entire closet. Simply pack the things that you are sure you will be wearing with one extra outfit. An easy way to do this is to make a list the week before you start packing, so you will know how many outfits to pack.

Always leave extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs or clothes that you may buy on vacation, especially for those who like to shop on vacation. People often over pack to prepare for any situation but I recommend visiting and only bringing exactly what you need. Packing efficiently will help you once you in the long run in terms of airport baggage fees and it will also be a lot easier on your back. I will never forget the time I had to carry our old school suitcases around the world’s busiest airport-Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Since then we’ve only bought suitcases with rollers.Pack your clothes in as tightly as possible, rolling your clothes is actually the most efficient way topack. Never take more than three pairs of shoes on a vacation, I rarely like to bring dress shoes because they take up quite a bit of room, they can get messed up easily and they
are very uncomfortable and unpractical to wear while on vacation.

We always like to eat on the plane, it can save a lot of time and it makes the time go by much faster. Bring your iPad, magazines, a laptop and plenty of things to do for children.



Taylor Goldblatt

After years of research, travel, and dreams, I have created this website for people like you who want to experience the things that only America can offer. My passion is to explore and share America's greatest destinations and attractions. Follow me on Twitter @USCityTraveler for additional travel tips and ideas.

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