How to pack a suitcase in under 30 minutes

From bestreviews.com
By
Jackalyn Beck
BestReviews

To ensure you're packing the right items, check the weather report at your destination.

How to pack a suitcase quickly

Whether you’re going on a business trip or vacation, being able to pack quickly is a valuable skill. Thankfully, it's a skill you can learn with ease by having some go-to items and processes in place.

Packing quickly can also get easier with time and as you learn your own tendencies. Whether you’re a slow, methodical traveler or a stress packer, it is possible to pack your bag in 30 minutes.

Decide what kind of trip you are going on

If you are going on a business trip, packing sundresses might not be the right choice. So plan for what kind of trip you are taking and what kind of activities you’ll be doing. 

By considering your activities, you will be able to choose items faster and efficiently. Blazers, jackets and other business attire take up considerable space and may need ironing. Starting with those items and keeping their special needs in mind will save you time now and at your destination.

Pick a packing method

From the ranger roll to the KonMari method, there are a surprising number of options for how you can fold your clothes. Packing cubes are a popular solution to packing quickly, but they aren’t always compatible with carry-ons. 

Whatever you do, don’t just shove your clothes into your bag. While that may seem faster, it will wrinkle your clothes and cost you time in the long run. Plus, you’ll be more likely to forget important items. So take the time to carefully fold your clothes.

Choose a good suitcase

If you pick a bag that is too small, it will take time to unpack and repack it. So, pick a size that works for how long your trip is and where you need it to fit. 

Because everyone is different, there are no hard-and-fast rules for picking the right bag. Just remember to consider the bag’s durability and condition. Having your bag break is a quick way to make a trip unforgettable for the wrong reasons.

Pack key items first

Once you know what kind of trip you are going on, your folding method and what bag you are using, you are ready to pack your bag. Start by identifying your key items.

Key items are anything irreplaceable or vital for your trip. This may include things like electronics, chargers, business files or visas. 

Packing them first ensures you have remembered them and can check them off the list. But, if you tend to stress check your bags, just gather the items. Then you can put them toward the top of your bag where you can easily double-check that you have them.

Pack versatile items

If you need to pack a bag quickly, have some multi-use items to pack. For example, a nice shirt that can be worn comfortably but can be paired with a blazer for business meetings.

By packing versatile clothes you not only need less space and can pack faster but you are also more prepared for surprises. If you travel often have some go-to items to make decisions faster and packing easier.

Pro tip: If you are flying internationally, pack a multipurpose outfit in your carry-on. If your luggage gets lost, it will be less stressful.

Check the weather

If you pack a scarf that you can wear three different ways, it won’t be useful if you are going to a beach. Before packing your clothes, check the weather and plan accordingly.

Bulky, winter items also take planning to pack efficiently. Large jackets can be worn if you are limited on space or they can be carefully folded and laid over the top of a suitcase.

Have a packing list

Whether you travel often or not, have a packing list handy. This will help you remember key items and make sure you have all your items when you leave your hotel and as you are traveling.

While not every trip you take is the same, having a set list gives you a good idea of what to pack. If you don’t travel often you can start with a basic packing list from the internet. Over time build a packing list that is personalized and meets your needs. 

If you would rather have something comprehensive and permanent, you could buy a premade packing list. Alternatively, you could make a personal list and have it laminated so you could check it off as you pack. 

If you want a mobile packing list, it’s best to keep your packing list on your phone or computer, where you can easily access it. Google Docs or a similar system is a good way to make it reachable on all your devices.

Important items for your packing list 

Identification: Passports or driver's licenses are important no matter what kind of adventure you are going on. 

Phone and charger: No matter what kind of trip you are taking, make sure you have your phone and its charger.

Visas, tickets or passes: From national park passes to visas for your destination country make sure you have any required paperwork. Use a passport case to keep your identification and paperwork together but make sure to put it in a secure spot.

Cash, credit cards and bank cards: Double-check that you have any vital currency. If you are going to another country this could also potentially include money for a taxi or other immediate expenses.

Headphones, chargers or other electronics: Depending on the nature of your trip, you may need to bring other electronics and their chargers. For example, if you are on a business trip make sure you bring your computer, flash drive and any other necessary technology. 

Medicine: from Tylenol to Dramamine, remember to pack important medications. If you’ll be gone for an extended period, medicine organizers make planning easy.

Personal or hygiene items: Don’t forget your toothbrush and hygiene items. Depending on your trip you may also need practical items like hand sanitizer, shampoo and soap. Having clear toiletry bags also makes it easy if you fly often.

Jackalyn Beck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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