Packing a Checked Bag

Packing sucks. I used to like it but now it just feels so time consuming and it’s so annoying how you have to put it in and then take it out and then put it in again. Hotels already supply toiletries so when are they going to start supplying clothes? That would make trips so stress free haha. To end ‘luggage week’ I wanted to show how I pack my checked bag. My sister is terrible at packing and always ends up asking me or her husband to do it, so I figured at least this might help her/anyone else who’s intrigued. As you’ll see I pretty much just play tetris with my bag but maybe something will be interesting.

To start you’ll need a suitcase (duh). Mine is by London Fog and I actually got it for free from JFK airport after my initial suitcase arrived with a huge hole in it. This suitcase isn’t too large and doesn’t have four wheels or a hard case but I still love it. It’s survived multiple trips across the Atlantic so who am I to complain? Two tips I have regarding suitcases are a) make sure you buy one that is light when it’s empty. You don’t want a heavy suitcase to start as then you’re going to reach your weight limit very quickly. The other tip b) is to always tie some kind of ribbon or string on the handles so you know it’s yours. I’ve seen people write on their bag in sharpie and that’s pretty wild haha, I just go for a luggage tag or a shoe string round the handle.

Ok now to packing! First thing I do is make piles of everything I want to take (apparently everything I own is neutral). Different types of clothes, toiletries, accessories, books, maybe some snacks etc. For this we’ll just pretend I’m going on some generic week long trip.

If I have a lot of stuff then I’m a roller but if not I’m a folder (we’ll demonstrate both haha). I like to make a base layer in my suitcase, kind of like a sandwich. I roll my trousers and t-shirts and start lining them up. If possible I’ll have them in certain areas so that I know all my t-shirts are together for when I’m unpacking later. Then I’ll add in jumpers either rolled or folded flat on top depending on how much room I have. Shoes I tend to wrap in a plastic bag and then kind of play tetris with them and the jumpers to build a second layer. If you need more room don’t forget you can always put things in your shoes! Underwear and socks just kind of get shoved in to cracks to make everything a bit tighter haha. Dress shirts I never roll as they tend to get creased so I just place them at the very top and then normally some kind of large jacket over them.

I try to keep a hole where the bottom of the suitcase is to wedge in my wash bag. I like to have it at the bottom as it tends to be pretty heavy and helps ground the case for when it’s standing up. I also find it’s normally the last thing I’m packing as I’ll want to use my toothbrush or something right until the last minute so therefore saving that space is always handy.

Electronic chargers and plug adapters etc. I wedge between the layers so that my clothes act like a cushion. I know most sane people have a bag or a pencil case that they keep them in but I’m all about that risky life. This is me being an idiot but I always put this bear in my checked bag as a kind of ‘suitcase guardian’. It’s total poppycock but I rest easier each time haha. I think the most important thing is to remember that your bag is going to get flung around and have weight on top of it so be sure to wrap and protect anything that could break or get damaged.

To finish up I always write on a piece of paper my contact information just in case my bag does get lost or misplaced. It takes like five minutes and I’d rather have that peace of mind. I’ve never (touch wood) had a bag go missing on me but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever. Maybe when I’m older and I have a matching luggage set I’ll buy some official tags but for now this cheapo method works.

And that concludes luggage week! There’ll be some regular travel posts coming soon as I’m heading to Canada and a roadtrip round Lake Erie for Easter. Have a great week!

Discussion

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