Another 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?
More: Tips for summer travel