How to pack a suitcase

Going on holiday is fun and the last thing you need is agony over packing a suitcase. If you are travelling to India on holiday then you really don’t need to take a lot of things. Remember, India is a country where you can buy cheap goods. Things like clothes, toothbrushes, shaving kits and other toiletries etc can be bought at next to nothing prices so you can always buy them when you are there.

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So you must plan your holiday and need to think of the things you need to carry in your suitcase. In addition, if you pack your suitcase with items that are not permitted, you’re bound to get in trouble at the airport.

"How to pack a suitcase"

So here are some tips on how to pack a suitcase;

Fold, roll and bundle your clothes: this is perhaps the best tip of them all. If you fold, roll and bundle your clothes, you can maximise your space and get more items in your suitcase. Although “to roll or to fold” is a disputed topic, it’s up to you to decide. But I think rolling works best for skirts, sleeveless T-shirts and pants. In contrast, folding shirts is best to prevent creases. However, folded clothing takes up too much space. You can pack your clothes in such a way that you can have enough space for other things. If you’re travelling in India, don’t come with a heavy bag. There are lots of things you can buy in India at cheap rates. The golden rule is not to let any space go unused and to wrap your clothes in bundles.

Check the weight: This is the hardest part (mostly for women). For majority of airlines, the luggage allowance is about 20 to 25 Kilograms. The last thing you want is to pay for extra luggage.

Take your bare necessities: if you are coming to India, don’t bring your whole wardrobe with you unless you’re taking part in a fashion show. You can always buy them in India (if you really wanted them). The best thing is to cut down and keep it simple. The bulky items should rather stay at home?

Layout everything before you pack: before you put everything in the suitcase, lay it out on the floor. Take this opportunity to downsize. Put the bulky items first and the lightest last. Toiletries should go on top.

Place your footwear on top: when in India, all you need is a pair of shoes. You can always buy a cheap and cheerful flip flops that you can abandon when leaving. If you really want to bring another pair then bring a good sturdy leather sandal for the hot summers to prevent your feet sweating excessively. Ideally, never take more than two pairs of shoes. To protect your clothes in the suitcase, you can place the shoes in a plastic bag.

Smaller items: utilise the pouches on the lid and sides of the suitcase for smaller items, this way you’ll be able to find them quicker when unpacking. You can always place the smaller items in your socks that can in turn be stuffed in the shoes.

Don’t pack oily edibles: there are rules preventing oily items the suitcases. In India, before check in, you’ll need to have your suitcases scanned. Save the embarrassment of opening and throwing away such items.

Buy the right suitcase: have you ever seen how suitcases are tossed about at airports? Have you ever seen suitcases completely open on the conveyor belts with all the contents coming out? Get a sturdy suitcase. Samsonite’s hard shell suitcases are the best I have seen. I still use my 20 year old Samsonite suitcase for travelling.

Don’t gift wrap: you never know if you have to open your suitcases at the customs. Gift wrapping can wait till you get home.

Write your contact: always make sure your write your name and contact details on the suitcase. It’s a good idea to remember what you have packed, make a list of things in the suitcase if you have to.

Lock your suitcase: always lock your suitcase with proper locks and use luggage straps.

Fragile items: should be placed in the centre surrounded by clothes or linen.

Packing medication: never pack your medication in your suitcase: what if you need them in an emergency. Always carry them in your hand luggage and not in your suitcase.

Your valuable items: protect your valuables such as you camera, camcorders, travellers cheques, money etc in your purse or hand luggage. Guard yourself from lost luggage woes.

Change of clothing: keep a change of clothing in your hand luggage just in case your suitcase gets lost and have to wait before it’s found.

Finally, think and pack your suitcase sensibly. Ask yourself, do you really need the things you are stuffing in the suitcase. You’re not going to need jumpers during summers in India or high heeled shoes if you are trekking in the Himalayas. My best travel advice to India would be to travel light.

Come with an empty suitcase and go back fully packed.

Watch this video on how girls pack a suitcase

Here’s a list of 51 things you can buy in India to stuff your suitcase on your return… Bon Voyage

34 thoughts on “How to pack a suitcase”

  1. I loved picture the most of them all;)
    Good information on packing a suitcase.

    But I still feel making a list of items that were packed will not be of much help. Last time when we were returning to India from USA, a few of my things were stolen. I do not know if that happened in US airport or Indian airport. We could not get anything back. Luckily the things that went missing were not all that valuable.

  2. I love that video Shalu, it’s really funny but it’s a big TRUTH.
    Packing things might look really simple but you’re mistaken in that idea because it’s so hard to think of the stuff that you need most.
    Anyway, nice tips you have there! I love it too..

  3. very nice tips . These tips are very helpful and these tips can be used in packing bags not only for India but every place we are visiting.

  4. Very nice! It’s amazing what a challenge packing can be. Admitting that the Jenna Marbles video sums up my packing experience. You see, I like to have a lot of choice when it comes to fashion…

    You write sage advice. 🙂

  5. Hi Shalu,
    Thanks for the advice on how to pack a suitcase when going to India. I agree that in every place we go to, we must always be alert and guard our valuable items.
    Before we travel, I usually make it a point to list all the essential things needed and cross them out once they’re inside my luggage. Funny picture you put here! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Shalu Ji….

    Packing is really toughest and important part of travel.
    Recently one of my friend forgot its food baggage at home because of last minute packing and now she is missing it very much as she is abroad and missing indian food.

  7. Poor girl in that suitcase 😉

    Thanks for the list. The Oily-Edibles-Issue is really important. Missed that Knowledge at my first flight … kinda emberassing …

  8. This is probably the worst part of travelling, I personally dislike packing my suitcase and taking into consideration weight limits. But thanks anyway for your valuable tips, I will definitely keep them in mind 🙂

  9. It’s true that it would be sensible to purchase the other items you need at your destination because most of us are bound to go shopping anyway 🙂 Just remember to keep your valuables secure and avoid packing unnecessarily. Great tips! Thanks!

  10. It’s require to pack a suitcase perfectly. Most of the people love travel and I’m not different from them. This kind of details writing really helpful for all kind of people. I liked last video very much.

  11. You seriously covered it all.

    The only thing I’d have to add is that you should bring a packing list with you that includes everything you’d need for your trip. That way you can ensure that you’ve brought everything it says and don’t forget anything important once you’re ready to return home.

    And, if you’re REALLY smart, you can include your contact information on the list in case you lose your luggage. This way you heighten your chances of having your things returned to you.

  12. When it comes to go for travelling, it’s very important to pack your luggage in proper way to make your travel hassle free. Choose the right travel bags for packing your luggages that’s most important thing. If you want to buy travel bag, then you can find it on Infibeam’s online store.

  13. Hello Shalu, I love your tips. I am going to Paris for one week. I am so glad that I have found your blog. It is really important not to put my medicines in my luggage. Thank you for remembering me. Greetings!

  14. Whatever you are packing, whether it be for a holiday or packing up boxes because you are moving house then there are a few things to consider. Firstly and most important ensure you pack fragile items correctly to ensure when being moved around they do not break. Bubble wrap will ensure fragile items are kept safe and not broken.


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