How To Pack A Backpack For Traveling

How often do you travel? If you don’t travel much, then you probably haven’t packed your bags very often. And if you’ve traveled before, chances are you already know how to pack a bag. But even though packing a suitcase or backpack seems pretty simple, there are some things you should consider when packing for traveling.

Traveling is fun, exciting, and sometimes stressful. Whether you’re going on vacation or heading out for a weekend trip, packing a bag is essential. There are several ways to go about packing a bag, depending on where you plan to go.

Packing a bag is easier than you might think. There are only three main steps when packing a bag: deciding what to bring, figuring out how to organize it, and finally, putting it together. 

Once you start, you’ll soon realize that packing a bag isn’t nearly as complicated as you thought.

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How to pack a backpack for traveling

How Do You Choose The Right Backpack For The Trip?

Traveling internationally isn’t just about packing light; it’s also about choosing the right type of backpack. Most travelers choose a hiking backpack because it looks cool and feels comfortable. 

But while a hiking backpack might look great, it won’t provide the best organizational features for traveling abroad. If you’re looking to organize your belongings efficiently, consider how many compartments you’d like to have for storing documents and emergency essentials, etc.

It may make things easier when handling kids’ belongings on a trip to have easily accessible compartments. 

How Do You Pack A Backpack For Traveling?

Airlines are now required to allow passengers to carry small bags under 50 pounds on board. This includes handbags, fanny packs, camera bags, briefcases, and shoulder bags. You can still bring larger bags into the cabin, though.

The TSA recommends putting liquids in a one-quart zip-top plastic freezer bag per liter. Put it in the side pocket of your backpack or purse. Learn more about how to pack liquids for air travel.

Keep your laptop computer in its case. And don’t forget those travel documents such as passports, tickets, and boarding passes.

If you’re flying internationally, pack a change of clothing and toiletries. If you’re traveling within the United States, keep essentials like sunscreen, insect repellant, money, and identification close by.

Read this article to learn more about how to avoid lost luggage.

Correct Weight Distribution

The weight of your backpack is one of the most important parts of packing. If you’re carrying too heavy a load, you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up with others.

On the flip side, if you’re carrying something light, you might feel like you’re dragging around a brick.

Where you pack specific items matters because where you put those things affects how evenly distributed the weight of your pack is.

For example, if you pack your laptop near your body, you’ll distribute the weight of your bag better across your shoulders and hips.

But if you pack your laptop as far away from your body as possible, you’ll have to lift it over your head every few steps. This puts extra strain on your spine, neck, and upper arms, causing discomfort.

So what do you pack in your bag? Here are some tips:

How To Pack A Backpack For Travelling

1. Keep Your Laptop Close To You

If you want to distribute the weight of your pack as evenly as possible, don’t let your laptop out of arm’s reach. Pack your computer next to your torso, and make sure it doesn’t weigh more than 10 pounds.

2. Don’t Carry Heavy Items In Front Or Back

You’ll notice that many people wear a camera strap on their chest or waist. Why? Because it helps distribute the weight of the camera evenly throughout your body. 

Similarly, if you have a lot of books, magazines, or papers stacked in front of you, try putting them behind you.

What Is The Best Way To Pack Clothing?

If you’ve tried to fit everything into one carry-on suitcase, you know how difficult it can be. But what happens when you try to cram too many items into your checked luggage? Your bags might be overweight, and airlines won’t allow that. 

The goal here is to keep everything organized while keeping it light. When you start to unpack, you’ll see what we mean.

Folding Vs. Rolling

Folded clothes are great for keeping things organized, but they don’t do much for efficiency. Rolled clothing can fit into a suitcase more efficiently, and it doesn’t wrinkle nearly as easily.

So why fold your clothes? Because you’ll end up with creases in your clothing—and those creases could make your stuff look less organized.

But there’s another reason to roll your clothes. You might find yourself in a situation where you’re traveling with a lot of luggage. In that case, you’ll want to maximize space and minimize wrinkles. And rolled clothing does just that.

If you want to level up the organization of your packing, consider adding packing cubes. They’re like little drawers that help keep your items separated and are easy to find once you unpack everything.

Plus, utilizing the classic army rolling technique is the best way to keep stuff packed tightly together. The technique has an end result of a circular cylinder-shaped clothing item that can be moved around when packing, without falling apart from the way it’s been rolled, unlike folding, where the moment you move it, it unfolds. 

Packing Cubes

travel accessories for kids

The packing cube is designed to help travelers pack efficiently while maintaining style.

These cubes are perfect for splitting up your clothing into separate compartments, so you don’t have to worry about mixing together items from different seasons and styles. Packing cubes come in a variety of sizes, including large cubes or small cubes.

If you’re traveling for longer than two weeks and traveling across multiple climate zones, use packing cubes to split up your wardrobe based on temperature.

A single packing cube holds everything you’ll need for a weeklong trip in the tropics. Another packing cube holds your warmest clothing. And a final packing cube holds your most comfortable items, like your favorite sweatshirt or a pair of jeans. 

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to organize your belongings before you go traveling. We hope this guide will give you some ideas for getting started.

Remember: It’s not always possible to pack everything you need in one suitcase. That’s okay! Just pick out the essentials first, then add extras later.

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
How to Pack Your Car for a Family Road Trip?
The Complete Guide To Traveling With Children
How To Pack Liquids For Air Travel
Best Diaper Bag for Travel
How To Pack Formula For Air Travel

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The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.