Our seasoned travelers share their best tips for mastering the art of packing a suitcase in a timely manner. With the help of some advanced planning and checklists you can be packed and ready for your next adventure is less than 29 minutes! You might even find that you no longer dread this part of travel!
Step by Step Guide: How to Pack a Suitcase in 29 Minutes
Are you ready to be a pro at packing? I’ll never forget a conversation I had at dinner one night with friends, it was just hours before we took off on an international vacation with three kids. As we were wrapping up dinner I mentioned that we were about to go straight home and pack for our upcoming trip. I’ll never forget the stunned look that crept across our friend’s faces. “You’re just now packing for your trip!” they said.
Yes, it can be done! Over the years I’ve learned some great packing tips and tricks that I’m happy to share with you.
It’s All About Being Prepared
Let’s walk through the steps I take when packing and how I’m able to do it so quickly. These steps start when I unpack from my previous vacation. When I unpack my suitcase after a trip, I print out a packing list and put it inside my empty suitcase. I do this for each member of the family. Having a checklist is the easiest way to stay organized and reduce the risk of forgetting something. Get in a habit of doing this and you will find out how fast you’re able to get the entire family packed.
Next, I have a toiletry bag that’s always packed and ready to go. After each trip, I refill it and prepare it for the next time. Just use refillable bottles for shampoo, conditioner, and mouthwash. I have a printable list that I print out and keep in this bag to easily identify what I’m missing. I also make a list of current medications that anyone in our family is currently taking so that I won’t forget to pack them.
TravelingMom Tip: TIP: When you receive make-up samples, save the containers they come in and use those when packing.
Finally, I have a checklist for our electronics. It seems like the older my kids get the more electronics we have, of course, they all require too many power cords for me to keep up with. We try to keep all of our electronic stored in a backpack in our house so that when it’s time to travel we already know where we can find them all.
Packing Cubes and Staying Organized
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using packing cubes. They are the key to keeping your suitcase organized and we’ve found that we can fit more into our bag because we use them. This has been especially helpful when packing the kids! I use the cubes to sort the types of items we are packing. I use one for clothes and another for shoes and the list goes on. This has saved my sanity! I also love that when we get to a hotel we can just slide the cubes into the hotel drawers. They are great for keeping your clothes neatly folder too! Here are some we recommend.
Packing Printables Save The Day
Here are 3 different printables that will save the day when it comes time to pack in a hurry!
Don’t Forget The Important Things
Every travel experience is different so you must be prepared to tweak your suitcase each time to include the essentials for your current trip. I’ve created a list of things you shouldn’t forget when packing and things you want to check before you leave.
- Passports (check the expiration date and be sure it doesn’t expire within 6 months)
- If you are traveling with a group, make sure everyone in the group has each other’s information. This should include an emergency contact and a list of birthdates and allergies.
- When flying, always weigh your luggage at home before arriving at the airport.
- If you’re flying, double check that the name on your airline reservation matches your Drivers License or Passport.
- Did you know that car seat laws are different in each state? Be sure to research this before your trip. Our favorite travel booster seats are the Bubble Bums. They are easy to inflate when it’s time to use them and they fold down so you can easily stick them in a kids backpack.
- Make sure your photos are backed up in case your device gets lost/stolen. Check out this valuable information on how to prepare your devices before traveling.
- If you’re renting a car at your destination don’t forget to pack a car charger.
- It’s good practice to make sure bills are paid for a couple weeks after you plan to return home. You never know when the unexpected might happen and you aren’t able to return home when you had planned.
- Put a penny in the freezer. You might be wondering why you should keep a penny in the freezer, read here to find out.
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