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!


Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

FlΓ₯m - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima



Kyoto 2


Tokyo & DisneySea


Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naçáes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff