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How to Pack the Perfect Suitcase

by Shawn L Fitzpatrick

Here are ingenious strategies for traveling light, saving space and arriving at your destination wrinkle-free and ready for any adventure.

How to Pack

– Decide what to roll, and what to fold
If you’re using a duffel, roll everything. Otherwise, reserve that technique for knits (T-shirts, light sweaters) and fold garments that have more structure (blazers and trousers).

– Get space-efficient
Packing cubes, like Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Cubes (from $15), keep swimsuits, gym clothes, delicates, and dirty laundry separated. Squeeze out all the air for extra compression.

– Use trash bags to fight wrinkles
Here’s how: line the bottom of your luggage with a garbage bag; then, after you’ve packed, add another on top. The slippery surface keeps creases from setting.

– Arrange contents strategically
Stash footwear and other heavy items near the wheelbase; this prevents the suitcase from tipping over. Then layer in this order: packing cubes, rolled garments, folded clothes, and bulky sweaters or jackets. Leave crushables for last.

– Maximize every nook
Snake belts around the bag’s perimeter. Stuff shoes with socks and fill the molded cups of bras with underwear (this prevents the foam from crinkling). Tuck jewelry and ties (rolled inside out) in a side pocket—you can store earrings in pill cases and string delicate necklaces through drinking straws, taping the clasps to each end.

Suitcase Smarts – Pick the bag that’s right for you

1. Measure your Carry-On luggage. Remember these dimensions: 21 by 14 by 9 inches (or 45 inches overall dimensions). That size is guaranteed to fit in any overhead bin. We like the soft sided Tumi Alpha Bravo Kirtland International Expandable Carry-On for $625 with multiple zippered outside compartments, is expandable and has individual interior separate compartments.

2. Know the Full-Size-Case rules. Four-wheeled hard-sided models are best—they’re least likely to topple. Choose one that has a sturdy handle and butterflies open (for easier packing), like the Samsonite LIFT2 21″ Hardside Spinner or the Victorinox Spectra 2.0.

“Do not go where the path leads, travel instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  @wbbrjp

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