Top 7 rules of packing a suitcase

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Your tickets are booked, and you have made reservations in suitable hotels. Your airport transfer is taken care of, and your trip’s itinerary is ready. You are almost ready to go, but you have one last important thing: packing your suitcase.

There are usually two kinds of travelers when it comes to packing; the one that is well-organized and packed days in advance or the kind that packs the night before traveling. Regardless of which category you belong to, there are essential rules to packing efficiently, allowing you to save space, maintain your luggage weight within the allowed amount, and ensure that your suitcase is safe throughout your travel.

Efficiently packing your suitcase is extremely important, especially when traveling to a location like East Africa, where you need to pack many additional items (for example, for safaris, you need the right equipment, clothes, etc.). Here are the top 7 rules to help you pack your suitcase for your next trip.


  1. Size matters – Pick a suitcase that is not too big; otherwise, you will be inclined to pack anything and everything. Try to get one of those wheel shell suitcases that is just the right size. The hard shell will prevent you from overstuffing your suitcase while you watch the weight as well, given that shell suitcases are slightly heavier than traditional cloth-based suitcases.
  2. Planning your wardrobe – You should be practical when planning the wardrobe you want to pack. If you travel to East Africa, you will need to pack for the occasion. Also, keep in mind the reason you are traveling. If you are going on your honeymoon, then pack one outfit for a particular date night while making sure you have comfortable and casual clothes for adventuring. If you plan on taking a safari, make sure you have comfortable and breathable clothes. Make sure you stick to a specific plan. Remember, you do not need to have different clothes each day.
  3. Only keep essentials – After you are done laying out your wardrobe, make a list of all the other things you may need. Lay them down in front of you to understand how much space each item will take. Now, look at everything and consider how essential each item is to your trip. Eliminate the excessive essentials and only keep the ones that you need. You can always buy some things at your destination.
  4. Packing – This is where creativity comes into play. Utilizing space as efficiently as possible is essential. For example, you can stuff socks in your shoes or put smaller items in the front pocket, like medication. It would help if you folded or rolled your clothes, so they fit snuggly. Use your towels as padding for delicate objects. You can use many packing tricks, such as packing cubes and bundling.
  5. Liquids – Liquid items, such as body sprays and perfumes should be placed in reachable areas. These are items that airport security tends to stop and check. It is best to have them in areas that can be reached easily to avoid unpacking at the airport.
  6. Toiletries – Keep your toiletries in a bag or pouch so you can access them easily and they are packed neatly in one place.
  7. Locks – Now that everything is packed, make sure you set a combination that you can remember on your suitcase lock. Get some small traveling padlocks if your suitcase doesn’t have a lock. The padlocks usually come with multiple keys. Keep each key in a particular place (for example, one in your wallet and one in your hand-carry) to ensure you don’t lose them.


This set of rules will help you pack your suitcase efficiently and ensure everything is organized. It may seem tedious; however, it will help you throughout your journey. If you want to learn about East Africa to plan your trip, read our 2021 Travel Guide for Tanzania.

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