Ideas for Organizing Your Suitcase and Luggage

One Great Way to Organize Your Suitcase or Luggage

Last time, I shared how I needed help with getting luggage when I started traveling. You can read how to about it here – How To Select a Suitcase or Luggage. Click on the link to read the article.

Once you have the correct suitcase and luggage, pack it. Here are some ideas for organizing your suitcase and luggage.

Ideas for Organizing Your Suitcase and Luggage

Make a Packing List:

  • Before you pack, make a list of everything you need to bring with you on your trip.
  • A packing list will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget any important items.
  • Commercial packing lists are available to help you select your clothing

Roll Your Clothes:

  • Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can help save space in your suitcase and prevent wrinkles.
  • I learned this trick when in the US Army.

Use Packing Cubes:

  • Packing cubes are small, lightweight bags you can use to organize your clothes and other items within your suitcase.
  • They can help you keep track of what’s in your suitcase and make it easier to find things when you’re on the go.

Pack Heavier Items at the Bottom:

  • To balance the weight in your suitcase and make it easier to lift, pack heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.
  • Items packed on the bottom creates a lower center of gravity and prevents the bag from tipping over.

Use the Space Inside Your Shoes:

  • To save space in your suitcase, consider packing smaller items inside your shoes.
  • It’s a good place to store a belt or braces (suspenders).

Use Packing Wraps or Compression Bags:

  • Packing wraps or compression bags can help you compress your clothes and other items.
  • They allow you to fit more into your suitcase.

Leave Some Room for Souvenirs:

  • Don’t pack your suitcase too full.
  • You’ll want to leave some room for souvenirs or items you pick up on your trip.

Consider Your Travel Destination:

  • Think about the climate and activities you’ll be taking part in at your destination, and pack accordingly.
  • This will help you avoid over packing or forgetting important items.

Happy travels!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

How To Select a Suitcase or Luggage

Packing a Suitcase is An Art

Who knew packing a suitcase was an art? Not me. 

Too often a man doesn’t realize or appreciate all his wife or significant other does for him. It took my wife dying for me to come to this realization. She always packed the bags for our vacations and for my business trips. She never complained that we were still using the same luggage we’d received as a wedding present all those years ago.

Old, outdated suitcases, a laundry basket, tote bags, and even grocery sacks jammed full of my belongings filled my car as I drove halfway across the United States to attend a writer’s conference.

Hassle and major pain describes unloading the car each evening as I checked into my hotel. The only benefit from my packing was all the steps I walked as I made four or five trips from my car to the room each night. At the conference center, I repeated the scene as I carried my baggage to the room.

To my horror, once in the room I couldn’t find simple things like pain medication or even my socks without rifling through a suitcase, bag, tote, and even plastic sack. I promised myself I would never repeat this nightmare.

I asked the counsel of a couple of experienced traveller friends. With their help, I learned how to get the right bags and how to organize them for a trip. The cross-country trip a few years ago was the first of many. I’ve traveled to a resort out of the country, taken a couple of cruises, and made a few trips across the USA. I’ve learned the right suitcases and bags are important.

How To Select a Suitcase or Luggage

Size and Weight: 

  • One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a suitcase for traveling is the size and weight of the suitcase.
  • Airline weight restrictions vary, but most airlines have a weight limit of 50 pounds for checked baggage, so it’s important to choose a suitcase that is lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • I have one bag to carry-on, one for my computer, and then I check a larger bag.
  • If you have more bags, you’ll get charged extra baggage fees.
  • You should opt for a carryon luggage as large as 22 (length) x 14 (width) x 9 (height) inches.
  • A checked bag no larger than 62” (the total linear dimensions of length + width + height), including wheels and handle, which is standard for most US airlines.


  • I lost a wheel on a large suitcase on my first trip. It made moving the item almost impossible.
  • I learned that cheaper isn’t better.
  • It’s important to choose a durable suitcase that can withstand the rigors of travel.
  • Search for suitcases made from strong materials like polycarbonate or ballistic nylon, which are less likely to get damaged during transit.


  • Packing a suitcase can be a hassle, so it’s important to choose one with organizational features like compartments and pockets to help keep everything in its place.
  • I’ll write a follow-up article on how to pack your suitcase.

Wheel and Handle: 

  • Remember my lost wheel? It made moving the large bag a hassle.
  • I failed to consider the mobility of my suitcase.
  • Considering mobility is important.
  • Look for four-wheeled suitcases as they are more stable, easier to move and you can pull it beside you instead of carrying it.
  • Also, telescoping handles for easy carrying.


  • Make sure that the suitcase has a secure lock, so that your belongings will stay safe while in transit.
  • Make sure you know your lock combinations as security check points may want to inspect the bag’s contents.

Water Resistance: 

  • A visit to a place with a high chance of rain or humidity requires special consideration.
  • You’ll want to choose a suitcase that is made from water-resistant materials to help keep your belongings dry.
  • This helped on a cruise – tour I took to Alaska.
  • My luggage sat in the pouring rain at Whittier, Alaska, for a half-hour when being transferred from the ship to the train.

Brand Reputation: 

  • It’s a good idea to choose a suitcase from a reputable brand that has a track record of producing high-quality and durable products.
  • Ask your friends who travel what they recommend.

Overall, these are the most important aspects that you need to keep in mind when choosing a suitcase for your travel. It will depend on your specific travel needs and budget to decide which one is the best for you.

Once you have your bags and suitcase. You’ll need to pack them Next, I’ll share one great way to pack and organize your suitcase and bags.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.

Ideas For Visiting Sedona, Arizona

Driving into Sedona Arizona

Ideas For Visiting Sedona, Arizona

We know Sedona, Arizona, for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, spiritual energy, and UAPs. There are many ways to experience these aspects of the area, whether through outdoor adventures, cultural events, spiritual practices, and even UAP/UFO tours. Here are a few ideas for a trip to Sedona:

Cathedral Rock - Sedona AZ-1 Terrydarc, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red Rock Canyons

Take a scenic drive through the red rock canyons and visit some of the famous landmarks, such as Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. Both are in the Sedona area within the Coconino National Forest.

  • Cathedral Rock is a massive rock formation known for its steep cliffs and distinctive shape. The rock gets its name from the way it towers over the surrounding landscape, resembling a cathedral. 
  • Bell Rock is another popular rock formation. Known for its distinctive bell-shaped cliffs, the rock gets its name from its shape, and is a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and tourists. 

Both are popular destination for hikers, who can access the rock via several trails that wind their way through the surrounding area.

Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) or Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) Tours

That’s right, UAPs.

You might be thinking, just what is an UAP? It’s what we used to call a UFO. That’s right, a UFO as in an unidentified flying object or flying saucer.

Thanks to a rebranding campaign, an UFO is now an UAP, unidentified aerial phenomenon. US officials recently renamed the old-fashioned unidentified flying object as a UAP. The current definition is a UAP is any perceived aerial phenomenon that cannot be identified or explained.

There are several companies in Sedona, Arizona that offer tours focused on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) or unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Some of these tours may include visits to sites that are believed to be hotspots for UFO activity or may involve guided discussions about UFO sightings and encounters. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Sedona UFO Tour: This company offers a variety of UFO-themed tours, including a “UFO Hot Spot” tour that takes visitors to locations around Sedona that are rumored to be UFO hotspots, and a “UFO Sighting and Encounter” tour that features stories and discussions about UFO sightings and encounters.
  • Sedona Spirit Tours: This company offers a “UFO and Vortex Tour” that includes visits to vortex sites and discussions about UFO sightings and encounters in the Sedona area.
  • Sedona Stargazing: This company offers a “UFO and Vortex Adventure” tour that includes visits to vortex sites and discussions about UFO sightings and encounters, as well as stargazing opportunities.

To find more tour options and to book a tour, search online or visit the websites of local tourism organizations, such as the Sedona Chamber of Commerce or the Sedona Tourism Bureau.

You may also find information about UFO-themed tours by contacting local tour companies or by asking for recommendations from people you know who have visited Sedona.

Airport Mesa or the Fay Canyon Trail

If you need more stunning red rock formations and breathtaking views, consider the Airport Mesa and Fay Canyon Trail

  • The Airport Mesa is a mesa on the east side of Sedona. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding red rocks and the Verde Valley. Viewing the Verde Valley flooded me with childhood memories. I lived in Arizona for six years growing up. The Verde Valley was a frequent vacation and weekend get away destination for my family.
  • Spectacular Sunset viewing: The mesa is accessible via a short hike from the Airport Mesa Trailhead. It is a popular spot offering awesome sunset viewing.
  • Fay Canyon is a moderate to strenuous hike in the Coconino National Forest, just outside of Sedona. The trail takes you through a beautiful canyon filled with towering red rock cliffs and narrow corridors. Along the way, you’ll encounter a small waterfall and a variety of plant life, including juniper trees and wildflowers. The trail ends at a viewpoint overlooking a picturesque meadow, providing a rewarding end to the hike.

Both the Airport Mesa and Fay Canyon Trail are excellent choices for nature lovers and hikers looking to experience the beauty of Sedona’s red rock landscape.

Sedona Heritage Museum

If you’re interested in history, visit the Sedona Heritage Museum. You will learn the history of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Part of the educational experience and programs includes the museum’s collection of artifacts and historical objects. 

  • Sedona Heritage Museum features exhibits that highlight the history and culture of the Sedona and Verde Valley region, including its indigenous peoples, early settlers, and its development as a tourism destination.
  • The museum has artifacts and historical objects collections that tell the story of the region’s history, including Native American pottery, pioneer tools and household items, and items related to the tourism industry.
  • The Sedona Heritage Museum is housed in the former Sedona Grammar School, which was built in 1922 and is a historic building in its own right. The museum offers tours of the building and its exhibits, as well as the opportunity to explore the surrounding grounds.
  •  The Sedona Heritage Museum offers a variety of educational programs and events for visitors, including lectures, workshops, and special exhibits. These provide opportunities for visitors to learn more about the history and culture of the region in an engaging and interactive way.

The Sedona Heritage Museum plays an important role in preserving the history and culture of the Sedona and Verde Valley region, and serves as a valuable resource for the local community and visitors alike. It is a key part of the community’s efforts to preserve and promote its rich history and culture.

Hot Air Balloon or Helicopter Ride

Take a hot-air balloon ride or a helicopter tour for a unique and beautiful view of the red rock landscape. There are benefits of seeing the area from the air instead of your car.

  • Unique perspective: Both hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours offer a unique perspective of the landscape that you can’t get from a car. From high in the air, you’ll be able to see the red rock formations of Sedona in a way that is not possible from the ground.
  • Scenic views: Both hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You’ll be able to see the red rock formations of Sedona from a new angle and take in the area’s beauty in a way that is not possible from a car.
  • Relaxation: Hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours are a more relaxed way to see the sights. There’s no need to worry about traffic or navigating unfamiliar roads, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • Excitement: Both hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours offer an element of excitement that you won’t find on a car tour. Soaring through the air is exhilarating and is sure to be a memorable experience.

Overall, hot-air balloon rides and helicopter tours offer a unique and exciting way to see the sights in Sedona, and offer a level of relaxation and scenic views that you won’t find on a car tour.

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is a shopping center in Sedona, Arizona that is known for its collection of art galleries, studios, and boutique shops.

  • The center resembles a traditional Mexican village, with cobblestone streets, fountains, and colored buildings.
  • It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who come to browse the wide variety of handcrafted items on offer, including jewelry, ceramics, glassware, and textiles.
  • The village also features several restaurants and cafes, as well as live music and other entertainment.

Visit the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and browse the galleries, studios, and shop for a unique experience.

Spa Treatment

Sedona, Arizona, is a popular destination for spa treatments and wellness retreats. There are many options for spa treatments in Sedona, including:

  • Massages: Many spas in Sedona offer a variety of massage techniques, such as Swedish massage, hot stone massage, and deep tissue massage.
  • Facials: Facial treatments can include exfoliating, moisturizing, and other techniques to help rejuvenate and refresh the skin.
  • Body wraps and scrubs: These treatments involve exfoliating the skin with a scrub or wrapping the body in a cocoon of mud, clay, or other ingredients to nourish and moisturize the skin.
  • Manicures and pedicures: These treatments involve grooming and polishing the nails and cuticles, as well as massaging the hands and feet.
  • Salon services: Many spas in Sedona also offer hair styling, coloring, and other salon services.

It’s a good idea to research and compare different spas in Sedona to find the one that best meets your needs and preferences. You may also want to consider booking a package or wellness retreat that includes multiple spa treatments and activities.

Local Wineries or Brewery

You might go wine tasting at one of the local wineries or visit a brewery to sample some of the local craft beer. Sedona is home to several wineries and breweries that offer visitors the opportunity to sample some of the local craft beer and wine.

  • Wineries: Visiting local wineries can be a great way to learn about the local wine-making industry and taste some of the unique flavors that are produced in the region. Many wineries offer tastings and tours, which can be a fun and educational experience for visitors.
  • Breweries: Breweries are also a popular attraction in Sedona, and offer visitors the opportunity to try a variety of craft beers that are made with local ingredients. Many breweries also offer tours and tastings, which can be a great way to learn about the brewing process and taste some of the local beer.

Overall, visiting local wineries and breweries can be an enjoyable way to experience the local culture and taste some of the unique flavors produced in the region.

Sedona Performing Arts Center

The Sedona Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility that hosts a variety of live performances and events, including concerts, theater productions, dance performances, and more.

Some things to see and do at the Sedona Performing Arts Center might include:

  • Live Performance or event: The performing arts center hosts a range of performances and events, including concerts, theater productions, dance performances, and more. You can check the center’s website or social media pages to see what’s coming up and purchase tickets to attend.
  • Taking a tour: The Sedona Performing Arts Center offers guided tours of the facility, which gives you the opportunity to learn more about the history and features of the venue.
  • Taking part in a workshop or class: The center may offer workshops or classes in various performing arts disciplines, such as acting, dance, or music.

You can check the center’s website or contact them to see if there are any opportunities to take part in these activities.

Sedona Art Center

The Sedona Art Center is a non-profit organization in Sedona, Arizona that offers a variety of art-related programs and events for the community. Some activities that you may participate in at the Sedona Art Center include:

  • Art classes and workshops: The Sedona Art Center offers a variety of art classes and workshops for people of all skill levels, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and more. These classes are taught by local artists and help you develop your skills and explore new techniques.
  • Exhibitions: The Sedona Art Center hosts exhibitions of work by local artists throughout the year. These exhibitions showcase a wide range of media and styles, and provide an opportunity to see the work of talented artists in the community.
  • Artist talks and lectures: The Sedona Art Center often hosts artist talks and lectures, which provide an opportunity to learn more about the work and techniques of local artists. These events may include demonstrations, discussions, and Q&A sessions.
  • Special events: The Sedona Art Center may also host special events throughout the year, such as open studios, art fairs, and holiday markets. These events provide an opportunity to meet local artists, see their work, and purchase art.

The Sedona Art Center is a great place to learn about and appreciate art, and to take part in a variety of art-related activities.

Photo Source: All photos were taken by the author unless noted in the photo caption.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase using the links in the article I receive a small commission.


Five Reasons to Stay on Property at a Resort in Cozumel

Private beach at the Occidental Resort Cozumel Mexico

Fear of Travel

Maybe, like me, fear kept you from traveling outside the United States. Yes, unfounded anxiety stood between me and a wonderful time abroad. Mental roadblocks included not knowing the language and being unsure of what to expect.

My experienced international traveling companion helped me overcome these fears, as did a few YouTube videos. The videos showed the experience of getting on the airplane to navigating customs. Most helpful videos were showing a guest exiting their taxi at the resort. It included a tour of the facilities from the entryway, check-in, to riding to the room, dining, entertainment, and of course, the swimming pools and the beach.

Island of Cozumel in Mexico

I flew to the island of Cozumel in Mexico and stayed at The Occidental Resort Cozumel. It’s an amazing five-star hotel, a unique destination. Masquerading as a Mexican hacienda, it offers amazing immunities, a private beach, and the possibility of enjoying the treasures of the Palancar Reef.

The Occidental Cozumel is an all-inclusive resort that is integrated in its natural surroundings of mangroves, white sand beaches and tropical gardens. It offers an unparalleled experience. I opted to stay on the property during my stay. Part of staying on the property was to develop my travel legs and have better control over my experience.

Here are five reasons to stay on property during a visit to an all-inclusive resort like the Occidental Resort.

5 Reasons to Stay on Property at a Resort in Cozumel

Reason One: Convenience:

  • Staying on property at the Occidental Resort in Cozumel means you have easy access to all the amenities and activities offered by the resort, without having to worry about transportation or logistics. It limits your travel to going to and from the Cozumel International Airport.
  • The airport handles national and international air traffic for the city of San Miguel, Cozumel, the island, and handles hundreds of thousands of tourists on a year-round basis. I purchased transportation to and from the airport as part of my travel package. Someone met me at the airport and got me to the resort without issue.


Main swimming pool at the beach at the Occidental Resort Cozumel

Reason Two: Variety of activities:

  • The Occidental Resort in Cozumel offered a wide range of activities and entertainment options, from swimming and snorkeling to spa treatments and fitness classes.
  • Staying on property allows you to take advantage of these activities without having to plan and coordinate transportation to and from off-site locations. In the evenings, there was a variety of on-site entertainment to fill the evening.


Lots of evening concerts, dancing, and trivia events

Reason Three: Access to dining options:

  • My resort had a variety of dining options on-site, including restaurants, bars, and cafes. I purchased the fine-dining package, which allowed me to have several evenings at speciality dining venues on property.
  • Staying on property means that you can enjoy these dining options without having to go off site to find a place to eat.


Dining by the beach at Occidental Resort Cozumel

Reason Four: High-quality accommodations:

  • The Occidental Resort in Cozumel has high-quality accommodations, and staying on property allows you to experience the luxury and comfort of the resort’s rooms and facilities.
  • Occidental Cozumel also offers an even more luxurious and sophisticated experience: the Royal Level at Occidental Cozumel.


Room with a balcony at the Occidental Resort Cozumel

Reason Five: Personalized service:

  • Staying on property at a resort in Cozumel means you have access to personalized service from the resort’s staff, who can help you with questions you may have during your stay. This can make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free.
  • The concierge and staff are there to make your stay special. Enough staff spoke English where my lack of Spanish was not an issue.


Royal level area sign at Occidental Resort Cozumel

I had a great time during my stay. Staying on property is a comfortable option for the experienced traveler. My visit let a smile on my face as seen in the below selfie of me on the beach at the Occidental Resort in Cozumel.


The author on the beach at the Occidental Resort Cozumel Mexico.