Knowing how to pack for a flight saves you the burden of either packing too much or leaving some essential items behind.
You don’t want to be burdened during your trip or worse, get stressed out because you forgot to bring something important. Packing unnecessary things may also cost you extra luggage fees which can be avoided if you know how to pack right.
You may also know what to bring but then have a problem with how to organize all of them to fit into your suitcase.
We have prepared a list of helpful tips on how to pack for a flight so you to travel smart and worry-less.
Let’s go ahead and check some of the best packing tips for your next trip so you know how to pack for a flight.
1. Choose the Right Suitcase
The best way to pick the right suitcase for the trip is by considering the purpose of your trip. If you’re headed on a business trip, you would usually pack light so you can use a small-sized suitcase. Although there are business trips that take several days so you can also get yourself a medium or large suitcase.
For hiking or mountaineering adventures, a larger suitcase is needed for all your hiking essentials.
2. Check Your Airline Baggage Fee Policy
Nothing makes you worry more than unplanned extra fees that you have to shell out. of your pocket. Make sure to check the baggage fee policy of your chosen airline.
Some airlines have a free baggage allowance while some charge per bag. Others have a weight limit so you must check this first before packing everything in one suitcase.
3. Make A Packing List and Check them Twice
Once you know how many bags to bring, it’s time to make a packing list of the clothes and other items you need to pack.
This is helpful so you won’t forget anything important and avoid overpacking. Checking a packing list also allows you to make sure that everything you need is inside your suitcase before leaving for the airport.
Checking your list twice is also a smart move as you might have missed something.
4. Roll Your Clothes Instead of Folding Them
Rolling your clothes when packing them in your suitcase can help you save a lot of space. This is especially helpful if you’re bringing a lot of clothes for your trip.
To do this, lay your clothes on a flat surface then fold them in half lengthwise. Start rolling from the bottom up until you reach the top.
5. Use Packing Cubes or Ziploc Bags
Packing cubes are one of the best packing hacks to use when packing your clothes in a suitcase. These help you compress your clothes and make the most out of the space in your luggage.
Ziploc bags can also be used for the same purpose. Put your rolled clothes inside a ziploc bag then squeeze out the air before sealing it.
6. Put Your Shoes at the Bottom of Your Suitcase
If you’re bringing more than one pair of shoes, make sure to put them at the bottom of your suitcase. This will prevent them from taking up too much space and crushing your clothes.
When you pack for a flight, you can also put your shoes inside a shoe bag or disposable hotel shower cap to prevent the mud or dirt from sticking to your other belongings. Always be sure to clean your shoes before putting them in your bag, this will also avoid insects like ants rumbling around your belongings.
7. Categorize your Belongings
By categorizing your belongings, you will know where to find what easily and not make a mess of your already tidied up suitcase.
You can lay down all the items for each category and see if all of them are necessary for the trip or if there’s something that you can remove that will save you space.
When you pack by category, it becomes easier to pull out clothes when you need them without messing up your bags. This is not so much an essential rule when it comes to packing for a flight but more so for when you arrive at your destination. Still a good tip nonetheless.
8. Follow the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule
The 3-1-1 liquids rule refers to the size and volume of the liquid that you can carry. You don’t want your expensive lotion or perfume confiscated so you must know about this airline rule.
The “3” refers to the 3.4-inch size of the containers for your liquids, the “1” stands for the one clear quartz-sized plastic bag to place all your containers, and the other “1” refers to only one plastic bag per passenger.
This only counts for liquids in your hand luggage. Liquids in your checked in baggage should be safe from this rule and can be packed normally.
9. Choose Wrinkle Free Material for Clothing and Consider Clothing Color
The most convenient clothing to bring that would save you time and till have you look well-dressed on your trip is to choose wrinkle-free clothing such as wool, denim, and synthetics.
Avoid bringing linen because the material wrinkles easily.
Another good thing to take note of is the choice of color. Darker-colored clothing also makes wrinkles less visible.
10. Bring a Foldable Day Pack
Bringing a foldable day pack on your trip has a lot of advantages. It can act as your extra luggage if you went over the weight limit, or you can use it as your item on the plane.
You can also use it to store your things when you go on a day trip. This is very convenient and helpful, especially if you’re traveling solo.
In general, it’s good practice to have a little mini foldable bag with you wherever you go so be sure to get yourself one before going on a trip. These can typically fit inside your handbag or backpack with ease.
11. Avoid Checking in Valuables and Keep Your Important Documents Handy
Always carry your valuables with you. Bring your gadgets like a camera, power bank, jewelry, and extra cash with you on the plane.
You can put them in your carry-on bag or your item. This way, you can be sure that your things are safe and with you at all times.
Make sure to have a photocopy of your passport and other important documents like your travel insurance and itinerary. It’s also a good idea to keep them in your email so you can easily access them when needed.
12. Wear your Bulkiest Clothing
Wearing your bulkiest clothing on your flight will give your luggage more space for the other things that you have to bring.
This is especially helpful if you’re going on a winter trip and you need to bring a lot of clothes to keep you warm.
If you have heavy clothes, you can always put those in your hand luggage so that your checked in bags have less weight. Heavy pieces that you can usually carry in hand luggage are most likely jeans.
Knowing how to pack for a flight when it comes to heavy and bulky items is essentially useful on budget airlines where they are extremely strict about their baggage policies.
13. Keep a Separate Toiletry Kit for Travelling
It’s good to prepare toiletry kits ahead of time for your travel so you don’t have to bring your whole bathroom with you.
This hack is very useful, especially if you’re going on a long trip. You can just grab your toiletry kit and be on your way.
Toiletries kits also help you save space and keep your things organized.
14. Keep your Suitcase Moisture-free and Fresh-Smelling
Last but not the least, make sure to keep away moisture that could bring an unpleasant suitcase smell especially if your destination is a tropical, humid place.
Find a small muslin bag of rice that will absorb the moisture. You can even use dryer sheets or fresh scents online for a clean and pleasant luggage smell.
15. Pack 1-2 Days Worth of Clothes in Your Hand Luggage
Nothing is worse than an airline losing your baggage when you just hit your destination and you being stuck without any fresh clothes.
Tip number 15 is possibly one of the most important tips when it comes to knowing how to pack for a flight. Always pack 1 or 2 days worth of clothes in your hand luggage.
You always keep your hand luggage on you, so if the worst case scenario happens and the airline loosen your bags, at least you have a fresh set of clothes to get in to and you can still enjoy your vacation while you wait for the airline to deliver your baggage.
Usually when bags are forgotten at a destination by the airline, they put it on the next flight. If you are flying internationally, this could very well be the next day that your bag is onloaded on to the plane. Always, and I mean it, ALWAYS keep some spare clothes in your hand luggage.
Additional Packing Tips by Trip Type
Aside from the best packing tips above, we have also listed some tips for different types of trips as follows:
Most business trips date is given in advance so you can plan which clothing to bring. One helpful thing to take note of on this type of trip is to stick to one or two color palettes so that you can easily mix and match your outfit and reuse them
Most accommodations lend you beach towels, snorkeling sets, and flotation devices so you don’t have to bring them with you. You can call the hotel in advance so that you won’t have to bring items that you can just borrow.
The enemy that you have to be wary of is the fickle weather condition. One important thing to take note of is to waterproof your camping gear in advance when packing.
Instead of packing the bulky clothing material to keep you warm, try to find clothing material that is light and does not take up much space. One recommended clothing material that will keep you warm is Thinsulate. Thinsulate takes up less space and at the same time can guard you against the cold.
Check your destinations so that you can be prepared with the type of clothing to bring as your cruise might have you stop over in places with different climates. When packing for this trip you can pack daytime outfits, and outfit for formal night.
Packing for a flight doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With proper planning and the right packing hacks, knowing how to pack for a flight can make the most out of your luggage space so you can have a worry-free trip.