Suitcase Packing Tips for Your Road Trip
Most experienced travelers can probably share a few suitcase packing
tips. But many of us also feel a little insecure about our packing
style. Could we be saving space somehow? Is there a "right" order in
which to stick things in the case? Why do clothes still get wrinkled
The truth is, there's no single right way to pack a suitcase - but
there are a few things you can keep in mind to get the most out of your
space and ensure that your cargo will get to your destination in good
Let's explore our best suitcase packing tips item by item:
- Shoes. Shoes are a little tricky. They take up a lot of room,
and there's not much you can do about that. So, try to pack shoes that
can serve more than one purpose. For example, you might choose to wear
your comfortable, very-broken-in running shoes as your all-day shoes for
your drive. That way, you won't have to pack an extra pair of exercise
shoes for just in case you decide to go running during your road trip.
A few other thoughts on shoes: first of all, be sure to fill them with
rolled up socks to save space in your case. Second, put each pair of
shoes in a plastic bag (the ones you get from the grocery store will do
fine) before packing them. And third, always put them on the bottom of
the case or bag. They're flat on the bottom anyway, so you might as
- Shirts and pants. Fold them. I'm sorry if that seems obvious
almost to the point of being insulting, but it's amazing how often
people just bundle things up and fire them into a suitcase. If you
really want the tightest fit, consider ironing items, folding them while
still hot, and stacking them in the case. You'll fit far more items and
have the bonus of really neat-looking clothes when you get there.
- Bottles. Put plastic bags around any toiletry bottles, too.
But before you do that, get some of those little travel bottles and
transfer as many of your bathroom items into them as possible. It's
amazing how much space you can waste packing an entire king-sized bottle
of shampoo. The little travel bottles are dirt cheap at any drugstore
and totally worth it.
- Underwear. This is one item you can wad up and jam into any available space, because guess what? Nobody will see it anyway.
- Suits. For goodness' sake, don't even try to pack a suit
without putting it in one of those clear plastic dry cleaning bags
first. I can't tell you how many times I've packed a suit in a garment
bag, being perfectly careful not to wrinkle it or pack anything on top
of it, only to arrive in my hotel and have a horribly wrinkled suit to
Those dry cleaning bags are magic; they somehow keep major
wrinkles from forming while the suit is in the garment bag.
A few bonus suitcase packing tips for you: pack all elements of an
outfit (such as pants, shirt, and sweatshirt) together so that you won't
have to rifle through your entire case each day to get dressed.
the clothes you plan to change into first - whether they're pajamas, a
bathing suit, or something else - on top of the case.
Bring a couple
extra of those plastic bags you get from grocery shopping. They hardly
take up any space, and they can be really handy as laundry bags or