Backpacking tipsGet a good, sturdy suitcase
I failed at this one. the suitcase I bought was the cheapest rolling duffle I could find, and less than one year later I need to buy a new one. the wheel broke, the handle ripped off, and the seams have split. My boyfriend, on the other hand, bought a hard sided suitcase that has proven to be awesome. You're better off spending a bit more and having a reliable suitcase to carry around.
If you want to also bring a carry on or backpack, go for it, but you do not need more than one large suitcase for your items. You won't use most of what you bring, and you'll curse yourself for having so much crap.Pay attention to what you wear
I have way too many articles of clothing, especially when I look at what I actually wear. If I had thought ahead I would have packed about half of what I actually brought. as you're packing, don't bother bringing "just in case" or "this shirt only looks good with these pants" items. they waste space if you won't wear them often.Leave decorations at home
I learned this after my first full year away. All those neat trinkets that are going to look awesome on your shelf? Half of them will break. They will look cool, but they'll also take up the space of NEW trinkets to bring home. I have everything in a bag at my parents house, and I will leave it until I have a more permanent home.Check the average temperatures of your destination
Will you be mostly needing warm clothes or cold clothes? If you're going somewhere generally warm year round, you probably don't need more than one jacket. If you're going somewhere usually cold, you can probably pack one bathing suit instead of two or three.