Suitcase Packing Tips Needed!

lydia1959April 20, 2004

Help! My teen DD will be going to Australia, NZ and Fiji this summer for 3 weeks. She is allowed to only take 1 large suitcase and a backpack. They will be doing laundry periodically. The suitcase we bought has an outside pocket, but nothing inside. How can we organize her things (clothing, tolietries, laundry detergent, home stay gifts, etc.) so that everything is just not thrown in and mixed together? I was thinking of buying several plastic tubs with lids, but feel that would waste a lot of space. She will be needing room for souveniers she is planning on purchasing. Any ideas? Do they make large vinyl bags with compartments? TIA

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I would suggest that since she is a teen, all your efforts at organization might be discarded at the first overnight stop! What about 2 gallon zip-lock type bags? Then she can quickly see what's in them and re-use easily. Also will make security easy -

    Bookmark   April 24, 2004 at 10:26AM
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Another thing for space for suveniors...bring throw away stuff. Pack the old underwear (of course have new waiating at home), as it's worn, toss! Same for any clothing you can.

Rolling seemed to give us more room, I don't know why.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2004 at 4:08PM
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You can pack your outfits in two gallon freezer bags. You should be able to get two days of clothes in one bag. One pair of slacks, two tops, socks, 2 pair of panties. Take one extra two gal. bag and put the first day's dirty clothes in it, then the second day's. That leaves you with an empty bag for the next set of dirty clothes. All of this depends on what kind of trip you are taking. I go to the jungle and this is perfect. It is also good for childrens clothes. I fly so I put every bottle of liquid in it's own sandwich baggie in case of leaks from altitude.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 8:45PM
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The biggest tip I can think of is to pack light. She doesn't need more for three weeks than for one, for example. For general sightseeing, I usually take three bottoms, including one skirt or nice pants. Maybe 5-6 tops, including a cardigan.

I presume that your daughter is going during the U.S. summer, which is winter down under, so she'll need a coat as well. Wear that on the plane, as it's bulky. Include a zip-lok bag each of underpants, bras and socks, one of small containers of shampoo, conditioner, sunblock, cosmetics, and you're done.

I never bother to pack in outfits, as I only take half as many bottoms as tops. I always have little enough that I can find everything easily.

Good luck - it sounds like a wonderful trip!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 11:29PM
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Tell her to carry on a couple of outfits, etc. onto the plane cabin in case her luggage doesn't arrive when she does. Make a Xerox copy of her passport, airline tickets & any credit cards she might be taking & pack that separately from her documents, as well as leave a copy at home. She can stuff socks/underwear, etc. inside her packed shoes. Find out if hairdryers will be available where she'll be staying & if so, she won't need that plus the converters.

If she really wants to take laundry detergent, figure out how many loads you think she'll be doing & zip-lock enough for each load (powder, not liquid.) If she takes it, it will take up luggage space but will be used so she'll have room for a few souvenirs to come home with.

Pack basic colored bottoms (neutrals, khaki, navy, black) that will mix & match with the tops. If she's a reader, take paperbacks that can be left behind. Remind her to pack any scissors, sewing kits or sharp objects in her checked luggage or they'll be confiscated.

She might want to take disposable cameras & if so, buy at discount places because I've found they're cheaper in the US than in other countries.

Rather than take an address book along if she's the type to send postcards you could type up a sheet of address labels on the computer (remembering to put USA after the zipcode) & that way she can just slap them on the cards.

Also, tell her to not keep all her money together in one place but to divide it up (NOT in packed luggage) & to never leave her backpack or bags unattended anywhere.

Anything that can do double-duty will save luggage space. Also, those sample bottles or hotel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner can be used up & then tossed rather than taking bigger bottles. If she's going to Fiji she should probably take any sunning products with her as they might be a lot more costly there.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 5:04PM
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I use drycleaning plastic bags to layer between clothes if the clothes don't fit in the 2-gallon bags. Really keeps things from getting crushed and wrinkled.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2004 at 10:10PM
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I use the Ziploc bag trick every time we travel. I would never go anywhere without putting the liquids in sandwich bags. I had my lotion break open on our last trip to Vegas and was glad it wasn't all over everything. I think the tip to take disposables and leave it there is great that would also leave space for souvenirs to bring home. Sounds like a great trip!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2004 at 10:21PM
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I go to exotic places where people are very poor, so I take some old clothes and leave them behind. I never leave my underwear but will be rethinking that. I know it sounds horrible but when I was told this story I realized underwear would be valued. I was told by an American Doctor practicing in the Amazon Rainforest that she gave a t-shirt to the lady who does her laundry and was amazed when the lady said she cut it up and made panties out of it. She was so happy with her new underwear.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 7:50PM
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You can also get those zippered mesh laundry bags if you want to separate categories of items. They now come in many different sizes. I suggest those because you have to be careful of using plastic bags for clothing in a tropical climate. If dampness gets into the plastic bags, mildew can spread on everything so quickly.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 5:25PM
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For the jungle trips everything has to go into plastic bags, otherwise everything in your luggage will be wet. Wet things do not dry in the jungle. I take a large trash bag for swim suits and shoes that get wet.

When I pack for a trip to the Amazon, I line my luggage with a large garbage/leaf bag, I pack everything in it, then tie the top closed. Luggage often sits out in the rain. Wet items in the jungle do not dry, that is why I take old clothes and leave them there. The locals are very happy to get anything we leave behind.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 12:30AM
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What did we do before we had ziplock bags? I find a million uses for them.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 1:12PM
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Be careful on the weight of the bag. Airlines have restricted weights on baggage and you pay through the nose for additional weight....don't stuff that big bag too full...your over-weight baggage could cost you big $$$$.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 2:35PM
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Make sure you check luggage weight restrictions with the airline. Most domestic flights has a 50lb limit, I can't remember what international flights are.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 2:57PM
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I used those bags that you squish the air out on a recent trip -- could only take one bag. Everything fit in real nice, but ended up 25 POUNDS overweight! Of course, I didn't use any of the formal stuff, could have used an extra pair of jeans, only needed a hoodie and one coat, not all the extra sweaters . . .

Pack for one week, plan on wearing pants 2 days, extra tops, and take a serious look at "dress up" clothes. Can you take a pair of black slacks and a dressier top and do the same thing?

Hope the trip goes well for your daughter and that she has a lot of fun.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 4:33PM
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