With increasing restrictions on what you can and can't pack or even how much you can pack for air travel, we got a lesson from seasoned packing pro Susan Sparrow on how to pack a suitcase for a week-long vacation.
Start by making a list of all the clothing, shoes and accessories you will need for the week and lay them all out.
TIP: Choose a colour theme for your clothing that mixes and matches well.
Using packing cubes, place clothing into individual compartments. This helps break down huge task of packing into small "bites." I like to use my 'cross pack' theory: give one of your cubes to your travel companion and you take one of theirs- if one of the suitcases is delayed or lost you will have other clothes. Think of it as "insurance."
TIP: Travel cubes come in all colours so "colour code" the travel cubes ie. Johnny gets blue, Suzie gets pink, Mom gets red and Dad gets black. That way everyone can keep their clothes organized.
TIP: a pashmina can change a sundress to dinner-wear.
Use dry cleaning bags for packing items that wrinkle easily. The plastic retards the wrinkles and also smoothes out air so it conserves space in your suitcase.
Shoes are heavy, so place them at the bottom of your suitcase, so it isn't "top-heavy" and makes it easier to wheel to and from the airport.
TIP: Place shoes in shoe bags (avoid plastic because shoes need to breathe/dry out).
Susan says toiletry bags should also be placed near the wheels to evenly distribute the weight of your luggage-this also prevents the suitcase from being top-heavy.
Bring a portable weigh scale along to avoid weight issues at check-in. Most airlines allow you to bring a suitcase between 40 and 50 pounds. But don't forget to leave room for souvenirs.
Put your toiletries in your carry-on, to avoid spillage over clothing, and that way you will have your toiletries with you if your suitcase is delayed. Make sure your toiletries are the right size and in the right size bag-there are restrictions!
Never pack jewelry; always keep it with you.
Download our PDF packing list! (needs Adobe Reader)
Packing cubes and suitcases courtesy of Heys: http://shop.heys.ca/
Visit Susan at:
Sparrow's Luggage & Leathergoods
432 Kerr Street, Oakville, L6K 3C4