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6 Ways to Organise Your Luggage for a Short Trips

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Organising a backpack

How organised is your luggage? Do you dash through the airport, dragging an uncooperative bag in one hand and a heavy backpack in the other, or do you know how to be calm and pulled-together, even when chasing a flight? The way you organise your luggage can make all the difference in the world for your week-long holidays. Follow these luggage organisation tips to keep yourself sane on your next trip.

  1.     Pick the right suitcase size. Many travellers create headaches for themselves by choosing the wrong size of luggage. For a week, you don’t need massive, hundred-pound suitcase. And unless you’re a hardcore minimalist, you shouldn’t try to cram everything in a single backpack. What do you really need to bring on your trip? Plan to bring only what you absolutely need to wear, plus an emergency outfit or two. For most people, a medium-sized rolling suitcase is perfect for a week-long getaway.

  2.     Put bags inside your bags. Before you go, put all toiletries in plastic bags. Make sure that all the small liquids in your carryon are in individual zip-lock plastic bags, if you are traveling by plane. The toiletries in your suitcase should also be in zip-lock bags, and they should be neatly organised within your suitcase. This protects your clothes from spills and explosions, and makes unpacking more convenient. If you pack individual outfits in small travel bags within your suitcase, you can cut down on prep time each morning and keep your suitcase organised all week.

  3.     Take a carry-on. Whether you’re traveling by airplane, train, or car, you’ll need a bag or backpack to keep near you. This is the place to store your laptop, tablet, snacks, book, maps, and other necessary items. You should also be able to fit an emergency outfit, in case something happens to your other luggage. This carryon should be comfortable to wear, and should have zippers rather than snaps. If you’re going to be carrying it around a big city, you need it to be pick-pocket proof. It should also fit easily on top of your rolling luggage so you can carry everything without breaking your back.

  4.     Bring a personal item. Even if you’re not flying, a small grab-and-go bag is essential for both men and women. Make sure this bag has zippers, compartments, and can fit in your carry-on.

  5.     Protect your valuables. When traveling internationally, there is nothing more valuable to you than your passport. Keep your money, identification, and passport in a safe place on your person. The best way to keep track of your valuables is to store them in a slim wallet tucked into a front pocket.

  6.     Compact it! When you unload your luggage, place your wallet in your pocket. Store your personal item or purse in your carryon. Stack your carryon on your suitcase, and you’re set to navigate the streets or terminals. You’ll still have one hand free for that much-needed latte!

Person holding a suitcase


Breana is an American expat living in the Dutch Caribbean. Graphic Designer and writer from sunny Arizona, she has travelled around the Caribbean, Mexico, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and most of the U.S. You can also follow Breana and her adventures together with her husband, at 3rdculturewife.com.