BEFORE THE SUITCASE
Updated: Aug 11, 2019
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PACKING FOR YOUR GETAWAY.
Whether you're packing for a weekend trip or a two-week trip abroad, here are suitcase tips you need BEFORE you put anything in your suitcase. And yes, you NEED to know because seriously... that suitcase, where has it been? Filthy. You'll see what I'm getting at, keep reading.
WHERE HAS YOUR SUITCASE BEEN?
Dirty, dirty suitcase. Who's a dirty suitcase? Okay, anyway, think about it. You put clean clothes in, go on your trip, put dirty clothes in to come home; wash said dirty clothes and store the suitcase away in the back of the dark closet to keep all the smells, dirt and grime that you added to it when you were re-packing your dirty clothes from your trip. Ew.
And now you're considering doing this all again?!? Adding clean clothes back into that dirty suitcase?? Stop the madness. Good thing you're reading this.
It's a fairly easy concept, but just clean out your suitcase with a wipe (like a Clorox) or wet paper towel. Get ride of the grim and smell of the last trip in a 2 minute cleaning spree. If you're really into the cleaning mood, spray a light mist of your favorite smell - perfume, cologne or Febreeze that suitcase. Now we're so fresh and so clean!
TIP: If you have the time, leave it open to dry out. Personally, I like to leave it fully open for 24 hours to completely dry out.
PRO TIP: When you've returned from your trip, clean out your suitcase and then leave a drier sheet inside to give it a fresh smell for next use.
WHO STEPPED IN IT?
Have you consider what is on the bottom of your shoes? Walking thousands of miles in tennis shoes, heels or loafers. There's bond to be something underneath, not to mention the smell of a good ole used pair. So why do you want to put this in your suitcase on top of the clean clothes?
Here's the trick - purchase shoe garment bag and put them in there. Wooow, yea, I know. Or you can go the very inexpensive route and use a plastic bag, like one of the 100 that you have from a grocery store and have been hoarding. Wrap the shoes up and pack away, the bag liner also helps the fancy shoes avoid being scuffed. Going the extra mile.
Now, about the smell. If your shoes have a slight odor, use some more Febreeze to give them a fresh scent, or grab a dry sheet and tuck it inside each shoes. Now that they smell better, you can stuff the shoes with socks to save vital packing room.
TIP: Save the bags for your return home. Use them to store laundry, wet items or really dirty things to keep the dirt contained. Also, reuse the drier sheet over and over!
You're probably good at layering your clothes, and playing Tetris with which items can line the sides. However, chances are that you have a good amount of clothing that gets wrinkled traveling from point A to point B. You're in luck because there is a solution: Packing Cubes.
Don't put them off, this will be your new best friend because you can use them over and over and they have all these great sizes that also double as a laundry basket; I digress. The 'good packing' solution is packing cubes. You can separate your different items by type (shirts, shorts, etc.) or you can separate but outfits for the day. It's an easy way to pack and stay organized. Bonus, use one as a laundry bag.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Baggage weights vary from airline to airline, so don't get caught with green hands (like red-handed but you have to pay for the weight; bad joke). Check the airlines website before you start packing so you know your limits. Some carriers (the nice ones) will allow you to carry on two bags or check two bags. Not all airports are this nice and instead will make you pay up, so know what your options are before packing and trying to take 20 shirts for a 3-day weekend.
TIP: Weigh your suitcase before you start packing. And if you're in the market for a new one, pay attention to the weights. Yes, they are actually listed on the suitcase so you can compare at the store.
Thanks for reading and if you're in the market for the items listed above, please check the Travel Essentials page for quick links and my referrals are built in - thanks in advance!