Packing for a short trip has never been a problem. However, when a trip spans more than a couple of days, packing becomes a stressful chore. In a helpless state of mind, you tend to dump everything that you need in a suitcase, arranging all of it later on. In this process, you tend to add more of what you don't need, and forget all the tiny stuff that can be a live savior. Come to think of it, experienced travelers will agree with me, you don't need half of the things you pack in a jiffy. The more you travel, the better you get at packing. However, for those that travel not so often, these tips will guide you. They will not only reduce the time you take to pack, but also ensure that you don't pay excess luggage charges.
Prepare a list of items that you think you have to pack in your suitcase. Some items differ with every trip. For example, if you're going for a surf trip, you'd probably need all things beach. Pack for just half the trip. From the first day itself, start washing your clothes or give them for laundry. This list that you make, will also serve as a checklist for your return trip.
Rolling your clothes slightly will keep them crease free. You can roll two or more garments of a kind together. Place these rolls horizontally over one another. Keep one area of your suitcase only for clothes. Make pouches for undergarments and carry plastic bags to keep the used ones in them on return. Remember, carrying disposable undergarments will save you a lot of space.
Be careful with the number of shoes, handbags, and belts you carry. Pack neutral-colored footwear and accessories; these go along with most clothes. Always prefer packing flats; they're easier to manage.
Pack all the essential toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, medicines, etc., in clear plastic bags. Thus, any leaky items will not spill on to your clothes and ruin them or even your suitcase for that matter.
If you're carrying any fragile items, keep them in between all the rolls. Medicines should be kept in a small pouch; take only the most important ones. Common medicines can be purchased anywhere in the world.
Valuables like cash, travelers checks, credit cards should always be kept in your handbag. These are items you need to carry along with you everyday; making them space-eaters in your suitcase.