Save on baggage fees: Use bedsheet packaging to organize a family suitcase

Amazon: High Sierra 26" Drop Bottom Wheeled DuffleAnother great use for those thick plastic sleeves in which new sheets come packaged! Ladygoat used them to lower airline baggage fees by cleverly organizing her family's travel gear:

On a recent vacation, we used one big suitcase for all the family's clothes. I used the plastic sleeves that sheets are sold in to organize the clothes.

The plastic sleeves to kept the kids' clothes separated and organized: socks and underwear for one kid in one sleeve, shirts for other kid in another, etc. I also used them to separate complete outfits by day, so in the morning I could just pull out the package with an outfit already put together.

It worked really well – the clear plastic made it easy to see each set, so I wasn't always digging around a pile of clothes. Because the packaging is soft-sided, the individual sleeves compress well into the suitcase.

This would also help prevent the inevitable "where are the socks" questions when someone else helps get the kids dressed (or they're dressing themselves).

My husband, Rael, aka Gear Man (because he always springs for the ideal gear for every situation), swears by the Eagle Creek Pack-It travel system for keeping his clothing subdivided and crease-free. Myself — I find it fussy and would much prefer using free(!), transparent bags.

A very organized friend used to roll together each of her camp outfits and place them in individual bread bags. Ziplocs would work too.

Any more suitcase-packing tips to share?

Related: Plastic bedsheet packaging makes great playroom storage

AndStrap the car seat to rolling luggage to "tote" toddlers through the airport

More: Tips for summer travel


  1. Marcy says

    Oooooh, I love the camp outfit bread bag idea. Water-resistant! I’ve always just packed all our clothes in one big bag and sorted into individual piles at the destination for family vacations.

  2. Carolyn says

    We have one large rolling duffle bag and have used it as the “family” suitcase, but found that for a family of 4 (w/ 2 young children who get dirty) we end up over-packing it and the overweight baggage fees are higher than paying for an additional bag. So make sure you weigh your bags! 2 medium size bags will likely be more economical than 1 large (over 50 lb) bag. We take both of our children’s carseats onto the plane, so doing a medium bag + carry-on luggage is not a great option for us.

  3. Lauren says

    This is a great idea. If you don’t have enough sheet bags, I have also used painters tape (the removable blue kind) to roll and secure individual outfits for each kid. That way we don’t get to the end of the vacation and have striped pants paired with flowered shirts. Plus it’s easier to hand off the task of dressing a child with a complete bundle of clothes.

  4. Tracy says

    I LOVE these bags. We’re travelling to Greece this summer & I think i’ll be partaking in this packing methodology!!! I’ve also used them to corral legos & those little plastic animals my boy loves. We also have one as an art bag to go (this one had a blanket in it…and has a lovely zipper & handle!). We keep it filled with paper, crayons, pencils stickers etc. We leave it by the door to grab when we know we’re going to a destination that requires some quiet time!

  5. Jo says

    Just did this myself. You can also use the large zip baggies. I fit two kids and my adult outfit in one of the large baggies. I like it for myself because I am always losing something of my outfit while trying to help every one else.

    It is also nice to put jammies in there. That way, if you come home to your hotel room and the kids are beat you don’t need to search for each Jammie piece.

    I also liked that I could pull out one baggie, have the kids dress themselves or have my husband take over while I took a shower.

    I heard the airlines don’t like it, but it worked for us no problem. It was also a good way to compact all the clothes. Kind of like the airtight bags. I think it saved space. I am a great packer, but my husband could not believe i could fit so much into our suitcases

  6. yal says

    I have to say, I’m with your husband. The Eagle Creek packs are awesome. Yes, they are not exactly cheap – but they are very, very durable and will pretty much last forever. I have some that are almost 12 years old. I have enough for my family of 5 and everyone has their own color. I won’t pack with out them.

  7. says

    Je voulais vous remercier pour cette grande lecture! Profitez Sans doute, chaque peu de lui que je dois choisir d’ajouter de nouvelles choses à vous écrire pour vous voir.

  8. says

    J’ai bien aimé votre blog. Il est facile à lire, le contenu est bon, et vous êtes un auteur culte contrairement à la plupart des blogs que je suis à la recherche de ce sujet. Je vais vérifier à nouveau et de voir à l’avenir si vous avez plusieurs éléments. Merci de poster ce, je vous remercie de l’information et l’effort que vous mettez dans le site.

  9. says

    Ooooh. Someone just pointed out to me that putting dirty outdoors clothes in a ziplock bag while camping will keep any ticks the clothing may have picked up under wraps until they drown in the washer.