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Planning is a must when it comes to preparing for an exciting vacation. As the departure date nears, packing for a trip is extremely stressful. Along with the added distractions of work and kids, packing essentials tend to get put off until the last minute. Essentials such as baggage choice, clothing and the weather play a major role when deciding what to take on a trip. The following tips will help you make the most of your suitcase the next time you are traveling.

Make a Packing List

While this may seem obvious, it should still be mentioned. It’s important to make a packing list so you don’t forget anything important. Whether you’re writing it down by hand or using a helpful packing app, a packing list is necessary. Write down all the items such as clothing, gifts and other add-ons that will be required for the trip.

Pack Plastic Bags in all Sizes

Plastic bags are a lifesaver when packing for a vacation. Not only do they save a ton of space, but they are also multipurpose. For instance, large zip locks bags can be used to store items like toiletries, delicate garments or accessories. Large bags, such as garbage bags, are great for protecting luggage and important items during sudden weather changes like rain or snow. Large bags also work great at keeping clean and dirty clothes separated.

Choose the Correct Suitcase Size

The size of your suitcase or bag is just as important as what’s in it. Just as a rule of thumb, the smaller the suitcase the better. Packing light saves you from being stressed out with a big and heavy bag. Heavy and overweight bags come with an extra price tag at the airport, smaller luggage bags give more flexibility when toting from one place to another.

Pack Carry-on Bags Wisely

Take full advantage of the option to bring a carry-on when taking a flight. Pack the carry-on with an extra set or two of clothing if your check-in bag gets lost or the flight gets delayed. While it’s recommended to keep expensive items at home during a vacation, packing them in a personal carry-on bag is a great idea if you must bring them.