Suitcase Packing Instructions

2023-01-31 07:11:48 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Travelers often learn the rules of packing the hard way after thousands of miles on the road. If you plan ahead, you can avoid the stress of stopping at multiple pharmacies during your trip and instead enjoy a relaxing time away from home with everything you need right at your disposal. Find the best suitcase, pack light for a beach vacation or business trip, and minimize wrinkles with our streamlined packing guide.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you'll always be prepared for your next trip.

Get a new suitcase This should help you decide quickly.

To be well-prepared for any trip, you don't need a ton of luggage. A traveler's essentials may include three bags: a duffel bag, a check-in suitcase, and a carry-on.

According to Anne McAlpin, a travel expert, frequent traveler, and author of the book "Pack It Up," this triumvirate has you covered for any kind of trip, whether it be a quick trip through several cities, a cruise, or a trip focused on the natural world, such as a safari. "Most travelers tend to use the same pieces of luggage over and over again," she said, "so it's unnecessary and expensive to have a big collection of luggage."

Here's how to make a decision within each of those groups:

Even though most suitcases and carry-ons are rectangular and have a hard or soft exterior, there is a wide range of sizes, shapes, and styles available. As a result, selecting the optimal one is more difficult than picking out a duffel bag. Consider these three factors before making a final choice:

1. Two vs How should one wheel on four wheels? Unlike rolling suitcases, which can be swung over one shoulder, two-wheeled bags must be dragged behind you in a straight line. It's much simpler to move around with four-wheeled bags, also known as spinners, because they can be rolled in any direction. However, because of how they're built, the wheels are more likely to break.

Second, frequent flyers versus frequent fliers Those who travel once a month or more should invest in durable luggage that will hold up even after years of use. The higher the quality, the higher the price — expect to pay $500 or more for a carry-on and 0 or more for a check-in bag. High-end bags, according to Lyle Saltzman, director of merchandising for Luggage Factory, a Lambertville, New Jersey store selling more than 60 brands of luggage. According to him, "many premium brands have a lifetime warranty policy that protects your investment," meaning that they will either repair the bag at no cost to you or replace it entirely if it is ever damaged.

Because they don't put as much stress on their bags as frequent flyers do, casual vacationers can get by with a moderately priced suitcase that will last them a few years and possibly come with a warranty.

3) Soft- vs. bag with a hard exterior There are advantages to both hard and soft suitcases; the choice should come down to individual taste. New York-based luggage retailer Altman Luggage owner Dan Bettinger opines that hard suitcases are more aesthetically pleasing. Hard bags are more durable and less likely to tear compared to soft ones, making them ideal for storing valuables. If you tend to overpack, a hard-shelled suitcase has the added benefit of limiting the amount of stuff you can bring with you. Plus, the modern designs aren't as cumbersome or susceptible to scratches because they're crafted from lightweight polycarbonate. Some models are even lighter than soft suitcases, but you shouldn't put too much trust in a bag just because it's lightweight.

Soft bags have the benefit of being lightweight and having exterior pockets, which are useful for storing small items like a phone or a passport. If you're someone who likes to pack their bag to the gills, you'll appreciate the squishy nature of many soft bags.

We're just looking for a fantastic bag. Options recommended by The Wirecutter:

Whether it's made of leather or fabric, a duffel can be used to describe any large bag. Their adaptability makes them useful for road trips, safaris, ski trips, and other vacations where large, awkward items need to be transported. As an added bonus, traditional duffels can be folded up when not in use to take up very little room. Additional features include shoulder straps, wheels, and external and internal pockets to keep small items from getting lost.

Suggestion for Duffel Bag:

There is a $150 Eagle Creek "No Matter What" Rolling Duffel Bag.

The wheels, padded and adjustable shoulder strap, external pocket, and lockable zippers make this large duffel bag easy to transport. In addition, it can be folded up and stored in the pouch that comes with it.

The typical size of a checked bag is between 24 and 30 inches. Mr As some airlines may charge a fee to check a suitcase that is 29 inches or longer, Saltzman recommends that passengers opt for a design that is 28 inches or less.

There are bags (typically hard-sided ones) that have GPS monitoring, phone chargers, built-in scales, biometric fingerprint locks, and various other technological conveniences. However, Mr. And Mr. Saltzman, Bettinger warns against rushing out to buy one of these bags just yet because of potential quality control issues. As a corollary, they are also quite costly.

Your current piece of luggage can be upgraded to a more high-tech variant with minimal effort and at a lower cost. If you're looking for suggestions on how to do this, check out The Wirecutter's guide to smart accessories for your luggage. A Bluetooth tracker is the most helpful addition to increase the likelihood of finding lost luggage.

Packing lists are provided to facilitate vacation preparation.

Even the most experienced vacationers have trouble with packing. Where do you stand in terms of what you actually require and how much you should bring? Experts we consulted agreed that the biggest mistake is to overpack, regardless of the trip's length or purpose. To paraphrase Hitha Palepu, author of "How to Pack: Travel Smart for Every Trip," "most people bring along too much stuff and don't end up using half of it." ”

Extra packing and unpacking and keeping track of things is a waste of time and energy when you're traveling, she warned.

Creating lists is the best way to streamline a process, so we made some to make packing easier. Adapting a packing list to your travel preferences is the key to efficient packing, according to Christine Sarkis, deputy executive editor of the online travel magazine SmarterTravel. She advised that "you'll refine it as you go, and it may change over time, but ultimately, relying on a list is a tremendous time saver." Our suggestions have been condensed to the essentials for a standard weeklong vacation.


Keep your color scheme to no more than two colors.

  • Up to five, the number and variety of which will be determined by the destination, the time of year, and the purpose of the trip.
  • Three pairs of pants; which ones you bring depends on the season and purpose of your trip.
  • 1 dressy or businesslike piece of clothing, such as a suit or a dress
  • seven pairs of briefs
  • 7 pairs of stockings
  • Bring two sets of workout clothes, if possible.
  • Two ensembles of nightclothes
  • 1 weather-appropriate, lightweight, foldable coat or jacket
  • Waterproof coat that can be folded up


  • Bring 3 pairs of footwear: one pair of dress shoes, one pair of stylish sneakers that can serve as both workout and walking shoes, and a pair of flip-flops for lounging around the hotel or at the spa.
  • Bring along not one, but two bags: a larger tote or backpack and a smaller crossbody or clutch
  • Sunglasses
  • Affordable jewelry in case of emergency
  • International travel requires the use of a voltage adapter.


  • Floss, tooth brush, and other dental essentials
  • Bath products, specifically soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Cosmetics (and, if necessary, remover)
  • A comb and, if necessary, bobby pins or other hair accessories
  • Sunscreen
  • Washing and moisturizing your face
  • Lotion for the skin
  • Sanitizing gel for hands
  • Should you require shaving equipment,
  • You can bring laundry soap sheets or packets of travel-size laundry detergent if you need them.

Put This in Your Hand Luggage

  • Spectacles, if required
  • Essential vitamins and supplements, as well as prescription drugs
  • Bandages, analgesics, a topical analgesic, and antidiarrheal medication make up this miniature medical kit.
  • Equipment chargers
  • Identification, including a passport if traveling internationally, and additional forms of identification (including copies)
  • T S A sanitary ware that fits your space
  • Earplugs
  • A lip balm (useful for preventing flight-related chapped lips)
  • Items of monetary or sentimental value: jewelry, camera, tablet, and/or laptop
  • Headphones
  • Supportive blanket and cervical support pillow
  • Something to wear instead of your current outfit
  • To combat the effects of jet lag, take melatonin or another sleep aid if you must travel across time zones.
  • The bottle should be empty; water can be added after passing through security.
  • Reading material: magazines and the iPad
  • A pen
  • Sandwiches, whole fruit, energy bars, and nuts are all great options for when you're on the go.

To help you prepare for your trip, we've provided a printable packing list.

Senior editor of travel deals and advice site Travelzoo, Gabe Saglie, affirmed that at the vast majority of beach locations, visitors would have no trouble locating necessities such as sunscreen and an additional bathing suit. Additionally, many hotels provide guests with complimentary pool and beach amenities such as beach towels, snorkel gear, and floaties. According to him, "the best part about going to the beach is that you don't have to worry about anything."

Check out our suggested items to bring to the beach on vacation.

The proper preparation for a ski trip includes bringing along appropriate cold-weather gear. However, instead of bringing a bunch of bulky sweaters, Ms. Palepu suggests layering up with tops and bottoms made of Thinsulate, a thin, lightweight material that will keep you warm. Your suitcase will have much more room for them. Nearly any sporting goods retailer will carry Thinsulate apparel.  

You can get our ski trip packing list by clicking here.

Remember that bringing your own ski equipment will likely result in several hundred dollars in checked baggage fees due to its size.

Ms For example, SmarterTravel's Sarkis says, "Since the itinerary for most business trips is set in advance, and I know exactly what I'm going to be doing when, I plan out my outfits in advance and use most pieces of clothing three times." ” 

Get ready for your next business trip with the help of our printable packing list.

Items that provide protection from mosquitoes and potentially contaminated water or food should be on your packing list if you're traveling to a remote area. The safari or visit to a remote village is not the place to wear your best clothes. That thick layer of dust is going to be on everything you own, Ms. Palepu

Get our extensive travel packing list here.

Packing for a cruise can be particularly challenging because you need clothes for so many different activities, Ms. Quote from Sarkis Some cruises have formal nights where passengers are expected to wear black tie, so you may want to pack at least one formal outfit along with more casual options for the ship's daytime activities and evening meals. Plus, it could involve visiting locations with wildly varying weather patterns.  

Please feel free to print out our suggested packing list for your upcoming cruise.

Since most campers travel by car, they don't need to pack as minimally as they would for a plane ride. Dress comfortably but weather appropriately for camping by packing rugged gear.

To help you prepare for your upcoming camping trip, we have provided this comprehensive packing list.

While traveling, Mr. You can bring more stuff with you than you would on an airplane, and according to Saglie, you might need it in the event that your car gets a flat tire or has mechanical problems. Because of this, many necessities for road trips center around protection from danger rather than minimization of bulk.  

Here is our packing list for a road trip, feel free to download it.

Packing for a family vacation requires careful planning and a streamlined approach.

It's a hassle to get everyone ready for a vacation. It is not enough to stay on top of your own packing list; you must also think ahead to the needs of kids who don't do so on their own. Even though you can probably get by without whatever you forgot to pack, your kids will probably have a much harder time adjusting without their essentials. These could be anything from a favorite stuffed animal or book to a special electronic device.

Learn how to pack for a family vacation without stressing out ahead of time.

Packing cubes and a first-aid kit are two items that all family travelers, regardless of the ages of their children, should have on hand at all times.

Rainer Jenss, president and founder of the Family Travel Association, recommends using packing cubes, which are inexpensive fabric containers (square or rectangular) that zip closed and fit into carry-on bags and suitcases, to efficiently separate and organize items for multiple family members. Everyone will have their own cube, he explained, and that would make it easier to keep track of who's belongings.

Amazon customers can purchase the cubes. com or at a retailers like Target or Walmart, come in varying sizes, and Eric Stoen, the founder of the online family travel site Travel Babbo, recommends using three or four cubes for each average-size check-in suitcase, in addition to saving a small area of the bag for shoes or toiletries

Packing cubes are like mini suitcases that can be easily distributed among your rooms, whether you're staying in a hotel or renting a house with multiple bedrooms. Not to mention the dirty clothes cube, which can be used by everyone in the family.

Any trip with the family should include a fully stocked first aid kit. Mr Stoen said that his family of five, which now includes children aged 7, 9, and 11, has rarely gone on a trip without using the kit. There's always something we need something from our kit for, he said. "It could be a stomach bug, an allergic reaction, or a scrape." (An adult may also have a use for the first aid supplies.) )

Essential items for a first aid kit are:

  • Assorted Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin
  • Medicine for fever and pain in children
  • Treating motion sickness in children
  • Thermometer
  • Topical ointment for relieving itching
  • Treatment for allergies in children
  • Treatment for children's diarrhea and vomiting
  • Antiviral drugs for kids who are sick
  • Juvenile-appropriate rehydration tablets


  • Underwear
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the climate, which could be pants or shorts
  • Clothing Shirts (either long- or short-sleeved, depending on the climate)
  • Pajamas
  • Only 1 raincoat
  • Wear only one outfit that requires dressing up
  • Knitwear or outerwear
  • Put on a hat and gloves if it's cold outside.
  • 1 sun hat (optional)
  • 1 swimsuit
  • Footwear (boots, sandals, sneakers, and dress shoes, if desired) and socks


  • Sunscreen
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair accessories, such as a brush and clips
  • Lubricant for the Skin
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Bug spray
  • Depending on your age, deodorant may or may not be necessary.

Family Vacation Critic's editor-in-chief Lissa Poirot noted that despite being the youngest members of your group, infants require a disproportionate amount of equipment when traveling. However, the greatest convenience is provided by the fact that many modern hotels provide guests with free use of strollers, car seats, baby bathtubs, and other baby essentials during their stay. To paraphrase Ms. Frugalwoods, "depending on where you're going, you may not have to pack as much as you think." When asked, Poirot stated Diapers, wipes, baby food, and other necessities can be ordered from Amazon in the United States to help reduce the amount of stuff you have to bring along on your trip. dot com/Diapers com and have them delivered to your hotel or other lodgings before you arrive.

We've provided a printable packing list for infants that you can access here.

Two- to four-year-olds still require numerous items for trips. As an added bonus, make sure to pack a ton of items that will keep them entertained. "Toddlers need fun ways to stay busy on plane and car rides because they get very squirmy," Ms. To which Poirot replied

Check out our printable toddler packing list below.

You'll have an easier time packing up your kids when they turn five. In the same way that your children bring a backpack to school each day, they can bring one on the trip. Typically, kids get their first suitcase around this age. Mr Jenss suggests that parents give kids the freedom to choose what they pack in their bags. He advised parents, "Have your children help pack; this will make them feel more invested in the trip."

Get the kid's packing list right here, and print it out.

While it's expected that teens will be responsible for their own packing and carrying, parents should still check that they have brought things like a phone charger, their iPad, and any necessary textbooks. D and any and all glasses and medications she may need, Ms. After some deliberation, Poirot stated She reassured me, "Your packing job as a parent at this stage is minimal."

You can get a printable version of the teen packing list here.

According to Mike England, TSA employees rarely let passengers through security with more than two bags, including a carry-on and a personal bag like a purse or briefcase, even though there is no official limit on the number of bags fliers can bring through security. a representative who can speak for the group He explained that most airlines have a limit of two bags per passenger and that it is their responsibility to ensure that this limit is adhered to. Items that cannot be screened by the X-ray machines are not permitted.

Any liquid, aerosol, or gel must be in a container that is 3 All liquids must be contained in one clear bag no larger than a quart in size and be no more than 4 ounces in total volume. T S A Regular passengers must take this plastic bag out of their bags, but PreCheck passengers can leave it inside. Visit the T.S.A. website for the most recent information on security rules and regulations.  

According to Pavia Rosati, CEO and founder of the online travel magazine Fathom, you shouldn't unpack unless you plan on staying for more than a few days, but that decision should be made on a case-by-case basis. To avoid having your belongings in your bag become a jumbled mess, you should take extra care when packing.

Ms Rosati recommends packing your belongings in the order in which they will be used; for instance, the items you plan to use first should be packed last. Your pajamas should be the first thing you see when you open your suitcase if, for instance, you plan to go to bed as soon as you arrive at your destination in the evening. Keep your dirty clothes in a plastic bag.

It is recommended that Ms. As Rosati put it, "unpacking is the way to go." She remarked that unpacking "gives you a better sense of being in place as opposed to just breezing through it," despite the fact that the task takes only five to seven minutes.

Don't scatter your belongings all over the place as you unpack; doing so will make it more difficult to repack and increase the likelihood that you will forget something. Make use of a single piece of furniture if possible; for instance, if your hotel room has two dressers, don't unpack everything twice.

To a certain extent, yes If you check your bags, you won't have to lug them around the airport. Also, there is no fighting for an overhead bin once you're on the plane.

Some airlines, however, will charge you a fee to check a bag, and the time spent waiting in the baggage claim line will add extra minutes to your total airport departure time. The worst part is that lost luggage is always a possibility.

A ski trip, for example, requires more than a carry-on bag's worth of space for the bulky sweaters, boots, and other equipment you'll need to bring along for the ride. Checking bags is a common necessity when taking a family vacation, especially one with children of a young age or school age.

Do not base your decision to check a bag on how long your trip is: Ms. The expert packer, McAlpin, said that she was able to travel for three weeks through Asia and the Middle East using only a carry-on bag. She reassured me that I didn't need to check any bags because "you can get all your essentials and then some into a carry-on bag," she said.

These rules are conditional on whether or not your luggage will be checked. You shouldn't put anything of value or sentimental significance (like an expensive camera or cherished family photos) in your checked luggage.

What you bring with you is also subject to restrictions imposed by security. The T S A features a prohibited baggage list that includes both personal items and items that can't be checked Some things, like flammable liquids and gels, are forbidden in both situations but permitted in the other. For instance, fuel for a disposable lighter must be carried on, but it cannot be packed in checked baggage.

According to FareCompare's CEO Rick Seaney, carry-on luggage weight is not typically a factor. According to com, most airlines only restrict carry-on bags in terms of their dimensions, rather than their weight. However, he did note that "some small aircrafts, such as those that fly regionally, may have weight maximums for carry-ons," though such planes are relatively uncommon.

When it comes to checked bags, things change: most U.S. airlines don't charge extra for having bags that weigh up to 50 pounds each. It's common practice for airlines to charge extra for checked bags that are too heavy. These charges can add up quickly and change based on which airline you fly with and where you're headed.

Delta Air Lines' domestic economy class passengers must pay an extra $100 one way for bags weighing 51–70 pounds and $200 one way for bags weighing 71–100 pounds. There will be no allowance for checked bags weighing more than 100 pounds. As an alternative, the one-way fee to check a bag that is 50 pounds or less is $25.

Delta's international and business-class passengers have different baggage fee and weight limit structures.

If it's a shock to learn at check-in that your bag is too heavy, you have a couple of choices. For bags that are overweight by only a few pounds, Mr. Seaney suggested removing the heaviest items from your suitcase and repacking them in your carry-on or a second checked bag. If your bag weighs more than 10 pounds, Mr. T suggests purchasing a new bag at the airport and paying the additional fee for a second checked bag. Seaney, this tactic is often less expensive than the extra bag charge.

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