The Savvy Traveler: How to Pack a Suitcase for a Week (Marie Kondo Style)

Are you heading on a week-long trip? Are you wondering how to pack a suitcase like a pro? The smarter you pack, the smoother your trip. Check out these tips!

Nothing beats a great vacation.

Indeed, in 2017, roughly 195 million Americans went away on one. That’s right, just over 60% of the population took a holiday that year.

That’s a lot of people taking a much-needed break to relax, explore a new place, spend time as a family, and enjoy a change of pace. Yep, vacations are a special time!

But planning them can be far more stressful. Of the many hair-pulling aspects of holiday preparation, packing for it can be the worst! Seriously, how on earth do you cram everything you need into that one tiny suitcase?!

We want to help.

Keep reading to learn 7 top tips on how to pack a suitcase for a week away, the easy way!

1. Think About Your Itinerary and Location

Prior preparation prevents poor performance.

This definitely applies to your travel packing!

It’s essential that you stop and think about what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be. Activities and whereabouts largely determine what you need to take. It’s tempting to pack for every possible scenario. But there’s no point taking things you won’t need or use.

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What sort of holiday are you going on? A laissez-faire beach-side shindig with the occasional night on the town will obviously demand different attire to a week hiking in the great outdoors.

Check the weather too! Hot or cold? Humid, or fresh? Wet or dry? Each will factor into the clothing it makes sense to pack.   

2. Follow the 1 to 6 Rule

The 1 to 6 rule is a shortened version of what’s otherwise known as the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 rule.

That’s too much of a mouthful for us. But the idea behind it is hard to fault!

Essentially, for a week away you’d pack like this:

  • 1 x hat
  • 2 x shoes (as in, pairs of shoes…or comfy sandals)
  • 3 x pants/skirts/dresses
  • 4 x shirts
  • 5 x socks (again, pairs of socks)
  • 6 x underwear

Now, you might look at that in shock and horror. It doesn’t sound like a lot! And that’s because it isn’t. It’s the bare essentials of what someone might need. The 1 to 6 rule isn’t meant as a hard and fast thing. It calls for personalization! Use it as a starting point and adjust according to your specific needs.

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Just don’t go overboard! If you have to sit on your suitcase to shut it, you’ve packed too much.

3. Stick to a Palette

You can’t take your entire wardrobe away with you.

That’s a fact. And it’s probably what’s keeping you up at night thinking and planning exactly what to take away.

The worst thing you can do is take a giant selection of clothes that don’t match. You’ll be left feeling like there’s nothing to wear. It’s far better to pack around a certain color palette. Neutral colors are a good idea.

Do this and all of your clothing combinations will match. With limited clothes options available, that’s always a positive. You’ll be happy with whatever you’re wearing.

Oh, and be sure the shoes you have match everything too!

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4. Use Compression Bags

We’ve all been there:

You’ve laid out everything you want to take, next to the suitcase it has to fit into. Getting it all in can be a daunting prospect. You know you’re about to do battle with your suitcase.

But stop! There’s another way.

Compression bags are going to be your new best friend. These specially crafted bags are designed to hold your things and squeeze down (by rolling them up) to remove the air inside. It’s the ultimate space saver. You can also use the bag for dirty laundry for your return journey.

Be careful though. These bags also make it easy to take too much stuff. You can end up with a suitcase that weighs more than your airline’s baggage allowance. And that can add up to $350 to the price of airfare! No-one wants that.  

5. Prevent Wrinkles with Packing Cubes

No-one wants to get ready for an evening out, only to find their outfit is all wrinkled.

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There’s nothing quite like traveling to crease your clothing.

A simple little trick to stop it happening is to use packing cubes. Instead of shoving everything into the main compartment of your suitcase, you use these neat little cubes to organize it all first. They keep your clothing in place, stopping them shifting and creating creases.

Likewise, you can actually fold your shirts and blouses around plastic packing cubes. That provides a structure that prevents them from moving around too.  

6. Be Strategic

Good packing requires strategy.

There are lots of strategic little tricks of the packing trade to help you on your way.

For example, a classic hack is to roll up your socks and put them in your shoes. You’d be surprised how much space those pesky socks take up! Next, try rolling up your clothes instead of folding them. Rolls seem to require less room than layers!

Another tip is to pack a reusable back somewhere in the mix. Firstly, it takes up no room. Secondly, having it means you have a carryon to bring all your souvenirs back- without requiring space in the suitcase.

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7. Pack in Advance

A quick one to finish:

Be sure to pack your suitcase early.

Don’t leave it to the night before! We’ve all done it. But that’s a recipe for stress and disaster. Packing early stops that happening and means you’ll have enough time to buy in anything you’re missing.

Exactly How to Pack a Suitcase

There you have it: exactly how to pack a suitcase for a week’s vacation!

There’s nothing like a great vacation to get some much-needed rest from reality. It’s prime time to hunker down with family and enjoy some fun and relaxation in a lovely place.

However, preparing for vacations can be a hassle. And packing for them can be a particular struggle!

Hopefully, the information above will have you all packed up in no time, and with no trouble, at all.

Enjoy this article? Be sure to drop us a comment or contact us to let us know your thoughts!

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