5 Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase & How to Choose a Good Suitcase :: iFly Luggage GIVEAWAY

Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase

Traveling really is the best- don’t you agree? From the moment you begin planning your next destination to coming home and going through your pictures. Traveling is simply inspiring. I love everything about traveling. And in my opinion, the vacation begins when you start packing your bag.

After years of travels, I’ve finally gotten packing down to an art. So today I’m sharing 5 unexpected items you should always pack in your suitcase and I’m giving you my insider tips on how to find the perfect suitcase.

Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase

5 Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase

  1. Thank you cards. I am a firm believer in the power of a written note. I always bring thank you cards with me so I can write thank you notes to whomever I may want while traveling. While you could just wait until you get home, I’ve found that if I wait I might either a.) forget little details that at the time stood out to me or b.) forget to write it all together. I’m a big fan of classic, simple cards like this set.
  2. Ziploc bags. You never know when you will need a large bag for something. Whether it be liquids for your flight, dirty laundry or to pack a little snack to carry with you during the day. I always find a use for ziplock bags when we travel. I personally travel with gallon size bags.
  3. Portable charger. Okay, this may sound like a no-brainer, but it is an absolute must. I love this one because it allows me to charge my phone, camera and any other items I may need to charge while on the go.
  4. Dryer sheets. I like to keep a few dryer sheets in my bag when I travel. They keep my clothing smelling nice as we travel and if an item happens to get wet, I always let it dry near one of the dryer sheets. They are also great to stick in your shoes if you happen to get caught in the rain and they get wet- this helps keep them from smelling. I personally love lavender scented sheets.
  5. Safety pins. This is another one of those items that might not seem necessary at first, but I keep a few with me as a “safety net.” I’ve used these for wardrobe malfunctions {hello broken straps & zippers that won’t stay up}, to clasp luggage zippers together for safety, and so much more.

Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase

Having been raised by a family who has always loved to travel, I have gone through my fair share of suitcases. Some of my suitcases have been great, while others have fallen apart within a couple of trips. Finally, after many years, I have come to learn what I need to look for in a good suitcase. Here are my tips for what to look for when you are looking to buy a new suitcase.

How to Choose a Good Suitcase

  1. Hard shell. When traveling you never know what may happen to your bag after you check in it at the airport. Bags are tossed around, buried, and sometimes even left to sit in the rain while waiting to be placed onboard. I’ve found that a hard shell suitcase helps protect my items from not only being crushed, but also from getting wet.
  2. Four-corner, double-roller wheels. We have all come to love rolling bags with wheels on each of the four corners. But you know what makes these bags even better? When each of those four corners has two wheels, rather than just one. Having two wheels per corner helps the wheels last longer & roll more smoothly. Trust me, it is a game changer. {see images below for pictures of double-roller wheels}
  3. Interior compartments. I’m a huge fan of utilizing the various compartments in my suitcase. In my opinion, a great suitcase should have a big center separator (to separate the two halves of the suitcase when you open it) and at least 2 other zipper compartments. It makes finding undergarments or smaller items much easier and without the hassle of digging through your items.
  4. Light weight. Since you likely want to either pack as much as possible or leave room to buy momentos on your trip, it is important to choose a light weight bag. Not all hard shell bags are created equal. Make sure your bag weighs under 10 lbs before purchasing it {or slight over if it is a really big bag).

Unexpected Items You Should Always Pack in Your Suitcase

iFly Review

I recently traveled from New York City to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin with my iFly suitcase and could not have been happier. I traveled by train, plane & car and had no issues at all. To my surprise, it even rolled over the cobblestone streets fairly easily. I traveled with this medium size bag, but am totally swooning over this large gold bag. I normally steer away from black suitcases when traveling in fear of someone else accidentally grabbing my suitcase instead of their own, but I had no issues. While my bag is black, it actually has a small two-toned design when you look at it up close.

I truly can’t think of anything negative to say about the suitcase- it’s just a good, simple piece of luggage. Oh, and did I mention iFly bags are under $100 and come with a 10 year warranty? Win-win-win!


***G I V E A W A Y closed***

I’ve partnered with iFly to giveaway one of these suitcases to one luck winner! Follow the rules below to enter.
1.  Follow @ChloeBArnold on Instagram
2. Follow @iFlyLuggage on Instagram
3. Tag a friend on this photo on Instagram (tag as many as you want)

top Banana Republic :: pants Nordstrom :: shoes Sam Edelman, more sizes here
hat from a street vendor in Colmar, similar here & here {$16} :: sunglasses c/o DIFF
suitcase c/o iFly


***be sure to pin the pictures below***

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  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Great tips and some of those I would have never thought to pack! I love that suitcase too!

  • Reply
    Ashley DTKAustin
    April 28, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I am SO picky with my luggage, it’s a little ridiculous! I have had so much bad luck in the past with luggage falling apart too quickly! Great post!

  • Reply
    Nicole Anderson
    April 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I love the recommendation you have made with that suitcase for all the reasons you have highlighted – but especially the hard case for protection and the wheels for easy walking. As for the items to pack, my absolute favorite is the thank you cards. I never thought of this before but this is such a nice thing to have to show appreciation while you are actually still there. I will add this to my future packing for sure.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I always need ziploc bags and safety pins and never have them – they have been added to my packing checklist. I would have never thought about thank you cards, but this is such a good idea!

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Hello Chloé, and thank you for your hints. Since when I decided to be more organized about what to put in my suitcase, I prepared a long checklist that sometimes I update with new items. And some items you suggested were missing in my list, such as dryer sheets, (I prefer the Sandal scents), and safety pins. I loved your advice how to choose a good suitcase. Thank you

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I always thought I was a great traveler but I read this article and thought so many time – duh! Seriously, I believe in hand written note too. Why don’t I take them with me?? I’m seriously in the market for luggage. My sister was trying to convince me to go hard shell. I’ll check out iFly. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  • Reply
    Iza c/o Kathy James (Walk About Wanderer)
    April 29, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I just followed you on IG and tagged a friend. I hope that I’d get this suitcase. I like the design a lot. I will remember to bring the ‘unexpected’ items when I travel.

  • Reply
    Ling Ge
    April 30, 2017 at 5:35 am

    My wife actually packs most of those “unexpected” items so she definitely is on the same wavelength as you. Great minds think alike, right? The only thing she doesn’t bring are thank you cards, and I think that’s a really great and smart idea. Although I’ve sent many thank you emails/texts, I can say that personalized cards definitely have that extra specialness to them, so we might prep something like that. Very nice suitcase, looks like it is perfect for anyone’s traveling needs.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I’ve used an ifly suitcase for years and I love it! Your tips are so great Chloe!

  • Reply
    Tatum Skipper
    May 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Portable charger YES! I just put this in a recent post of mine too! It is so important so you can know where people are, where you are going and for booking accommodation. I hate people who have the two wheel suitcases because they run over everyone! Definitely a light weight hard shell does the trick. I always go with a purple color ;)

  • Reply
    Katie Ann
    May 14, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    These are great lists, Chloe!! I totally agree… plastic bags, safety pins and portable charger are musts. I’m going to have to start bringing thank you notes!!

    Katie Ann

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