Start with a Packing Checklist
Before you start packing your suitcase, take some time to plan exactly what you intend to pack.
A complete and accurate packing checklist is important to ensure that you don’t forget any essentials. If you're shipping your suitcase overseas you can also use this for your customs declaration as well.
The contents of your checklist will vary according to individual circumstances – e.g. what you’re packing for, where your suitcase is headed, and the nature of your trip.
What To Pack in your Suitcase
- Check the climate of your destination and choose your clothing accordingly. You don’t want to be unprepared or have wrong clothes for the weather!
- Pack versatile clothing that you can mix and match so you don’t have to bring as much.
- Try to avoid clothes that wrinkle easily.
- Avoid bringing brand new shoes! Ensure your footwear options are comfortable and sturdy, not rigid shoes that haven’t been broken in.
- Don’t bring full sized toiletries – either buy travel-sized versions or decant them into mini plastic screw-top containers.
- Don’t forget that there will probably be laundry facilities where you’re going to, so you don’t have to pack a new outfit for each day! This will help you to reduce the amount you’re packing.
- Wear your heaviest shoes and chunkiest jacket onto the plane to reduce weight and room in your luggage
What not to Pack – Dangerous Goods
These are items that could cause risks to health, safety, property, or the environment when transported by aircraft.
- They include flammable liquids such as paints and adhesives, flammable gases, explosives, radioactive materials, bleaches, drain cleaners, and solvents which contain chemicals that can cause toxic fumes and corrosion.
- They also include everyday items such as some toiletries, most aerosols, matches, lighters, tools and lithium batteries.
Contact your airline to find out about their dangerous goods policy.
Extra considerations when shipping your luggage overseas
Customs & Declaration
We all know that when you take your suitcase with you on the plane, you have you pass though customs before you can exit the airport in another country. When your suitcase arrives in the destination country, it may be assessed by Customs to see whether its contents are subject to any duties or taxes. If you have not accurately filled out the Customs Declaration Form for the items in your unaccompanied baggage, you could find yourself in trouble with Customs. At best, this will delay you receiving your suitcase, at worst, you may be assessed fines or even risk having your belongings seized or destroyed.
Extra packaging for your suitcase
For extra protection, and peace of mind, consider using extra packaging when shipping your suitcase.
- Security seal it with Cling film wrap
- Wrap in bubble warp and then film wrap
- Or pack and seal your suitcase inside a sturdy and suitable sized cardboard box.
If you’re sending boxes as well as suitcases in one shipment, consider carefully what you pack in the suitcase as opposed to a box. Some items are better packed in a box than a suitcase.
Folding: This is standard method of packing which is quick and easy. However, it is not the most space efficient.
Tip: Store your folded clothes in horizontal layers instead of vertical stacks, like you were filing them. This makes it easier to see and access your clothes, and creates more room too.
Tip: Fold structured clothing like shirts and formal clothes and place them at the top of the suitcase so that they may lie flatter to prevent wrinkles. This also allows them to be removed easily for hanging and ironing.
Rolling: Tightly roll your clothing to save space and reduce creases. Pack your rolled clothes tightly otherwise they may unroll and wrinkle.
Tip: Even if you use the rolling method for most of your clothes, bulky items like jackets should be folded as this is more space efficient.
Hacks: Preventing Wrinkles
- Line the bottom and top of your suitcase with garbage bags – the slippery surface prevents creases from setting!
- Fold your clothes and place them between sheets of tissue or dry-cleaner plastic
What’s the best method? Combine all of the above!
- Stuff your shoes with socks, jewellery, and ties. This will not only save space but also protect the shape of your shoes.
- Use disposable shower caps provided by hotels to cover the base of your shoes
- Place a flat cotton pad between the pressed powder and the lid to prevent makeup such as eye shadow from cracking.
- To prevent liquid leaks, take the lid off the container and wrap the neck of the container with cling film, before replacing the lid. Use tape to seal the gap where the lid connects to the container. No more spills!
- Store electronic cables, headphones, adapters, chargers, and other things prone to getting tangled in ziplock bags
- Protect with clothing and place them in the middle of the suitcase
- However, clothing only offers so much protection. For extra fragile items, ensure they are well packed inside a box before being packed in the suitcase.
Compression Packs: Just stuff your clothes into these packs, roll to press the air out, and zip!
Recommended for: Thick and bulky items like coats, blankets or pillows.
Note: This only saves space when packing items that contain air which can be compressed out.
Packing Cubes: These come in a variety of sizes. They help to keep clothes compact and outfits organised. You can choose to roll or fold your clothes with this method.
Tip: There are 2-sided versions that enable you to sort dirty clothes from clean.
Garment Folders: To keep folded clothes flat and compressed and minimize wrinkles.
Note: Usually comes with a useful folding board to ensure your clothes stay wrinkle free.
- Fill every inch of space! Just like Tetris, ensure there are no gaps! This will help to prevent your items from moving about and also effectively utilises space. For instance, snake your belt around the perimeter of the suitcase, or stuff swimsuits in the small gaps.
- Place everything that could spread dirt, spilt, or tangled in bags.
- Place the heaviest items such as footwear closest to the bottom of your suitcase (the end with the wheels), followed by packing cubes, rolled clothes, folded clothes, and bulky jackets.
- Don’t overpack! Your suitcase shouldn’t be bulging at the seams, and should ideally weigh less than 30kg. Anything more than that could present a potential work health & safety issue for anyone who handles it through the course of transportation.
- Remove all baggage tags and labels from previous flights.
- Label your baggage! Ensure your luggage is clearly labelled in English with your name, permanent address, email, and contact number. Have a copy of your contact information inside your luggage too. You may include these details in the local language (or departure and arrival country) on additional baggage tags.
Can’t fit everything into your suitcase? Let us take care of your excess baggage… we’ll send it to wherever you are!