How to pack a suitcase

How to pack a suitcase

Author: Canadian Living


How to pack a suitcase

No one wants to lug a heavy bag around while on vacation. But when faced with the task of packing a suitcase, many travelers lose sight of the benefits of packing light. With our 6 packing tips below, even the most die-hard clotheshorse can learn to lighten up when they travel.

1. Choose the right suitcase size for the trip
The length and type of your trip should determine the size and style of luggage you choose. A weekend getaway requires little more than an overnight bag, while a month-long backpacking trip across Europe would necessitate, well, a large, rugged backpack.

If you're shopping for new luggage, look for bags with expandable sides. They will maximize your packing space and minimize what you need to carry.

2. Pack your clothes in rolls
Rolling each garment will save space in your suitcase and prevent your clothes from creasing. But beware: rolling doesn't reduce the weight of your suitcase, so be aware of how much you're putting in.

3. Plan just the right amount of clothes
Pack according to your trip's itinerary – if your vacation plan involves eating at one high-end restaurant, then you only need to bring one dressy outfit. Before you leave, check the weather forecast for your destination and pack accordingly – no need to bring galoshes if the forecast calls for sunny skies. As a general rule, if you're not sure you need an item, leave it at home.

4. Check off a packing list
If you tend to over-pack because you're afraid of forgetting something, make a checklist. This will help you keep track of the number of items that end up in your suitcase. Making a list also gives you a chance to review and reconsider what you really need to bring.

Page 1 of 2 – Discover two more essential tips for packing light on page 2.
5. Invest in travel-size bottles
Leave the industrial-size bottle of hairspray at home. Instead, opt for travel-size toiletries found in the travel-products section of most drugstores. You can also order products online from companies specializing in travel products, such as Or, save some money by investing in empty travel-size bottles and refill them with your favourite products from home. Keep in mind that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority restricts carry-on liquids and gels to packages that contain no more than 100 mL.

6. Wash your clothes and wear them again
If you're staying with friends or family, pack less clothing and plan to make use of their laundry room. Some hotels offer laundry service for guests, so do some research on what your accommodations offers before packing your bags. A more DIY approach: wash socks and underwear in your hotel sink and hang overnight to dry. Hand soap or shampoo should do the trick if you're not fussy, or purchase rinse-free laundry products. You can also take a travel-size bottle of fabric freshener to use on larger items.

For more travel tips, visit

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How to pack a suitcase