Avoid These 5 Common Packing Mistakes for a Smooth Vacation

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Let’s be real: the most dreaded part of any vacation is always packing. From trying to stuff that extra pair of shoes in to figuring out a way to fit your laptop and electronics, packing a suitcase can be an exhausting and, frankly, emotionally draining effort.

Staying organized and practical are imperative in the suitcase stuffing packing process. But while we should strive for perfection, here are five common, easily avoidable suitcase packing mistakes that could turn your vacation into a messy disaster.


Having options is one thing, but bringing your entire wardrobe for a three-day cruise is just crazy.

Many people make the mistake of trying to fit too much in their suitcase; they simply get overwhelmed with trying to pick out the appropriate amount of clothing, shoes and accessories to bring on vacation.

The best way to avoid overpacking is to choose a few pairs of pants or shorts that are versatile enough to pair with a few more different tops. You could also opt for a color scheme that you want to coordinate throughout the trip.

Waiting Until The Last Minute

Procrastination doesn’t just apply to homework and cleaning the house.

Vacation-goers often wait till the night before (or sometimes the morning of) to take care of packing. According to Dacy Gillespie, a personal stylist, “You end up packing too many options and don’t have what you need.”

If you have to rush the packing process, you can often overlook important items or pack way too much out of desperation.

Never Fold When You Can Roll

Folding clothes may be the traditional way to do it, but you should really roll with the times.

When it comes to maximizing a small amount of space, rolling your clothes up is the clear-cut choice. Start by folding the article of clothing lengthwise before rolling it tighter than a Chipotle burrito.

Store heavier items along the bottom of your suitcase before layering in lighter items on top. You’ll thank me later…believe me.

Keep Your Toiletries Contained

Nothing is worse than opening up your suitcase only to find your favorite outfit ruined by an exploded shampoo bottle.

Toiletries like lotions, mouthwash, toothpaste and deodorant can easily spill inside your luggage (if you’re flying, remember: the cargo hold is unpressurized) and cause serious damage. Store all non-solids inside plastic bags to ensure your clothes are safe and your vacation will start off on the right foot.

Throwing Out Your Packing List

Organization is the key to packing, and writing everything down on a list can be a helpful strategy.

However, many travelers make the mistake of throwing out their packing list after the final zipper has been pulled. Instead, store your packing list inside your suitcase so that you can verify you have everything when you pack again at the conclusion of your trip.

Any other tips you’d recommend? Share them below!