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Can you pack a suitcase inside of another suitcase?
Yes, you can pack a suitcase inside of another suitcase. Whether you want more space for souvenirs or just need a way to transport a suitcase, you can definitely do it.
As long as your smaller suitcase fits properly inside of the larger one and you don’t go over the weight limit, you should be fine.
Airlines and TSA agents are used to people doing this and won’t bat an eye. It’s particularly common when traveling to popular shopping destinations, such as Milan, Paris and New York City.
Personally, sometimes I like to travel light and only pack a carry-on, but there are other trips where I know I will be bringing back lots of souvenirs or treats.
For those trips, I like to either pack a packable backpack or duffel in my suitcase or an entire other suitcase.
Are there any advantages to packing a suitcase within a suitcase?
The main advantage to packing a suitcase inside a suitcase is having lots of extra packing space for your return trip.
You can shop to your heart’s content and not worry about not having enough space to bring everything back.
Of course, you could bring both suitcases without packing one within the other, but that means lugging two suitcases around. And when one of them is empty, that hardly seems worth the effort.
You would also potentially end up paying to check two bags, depending on the size of your extra suitcase.
Are there any downsides to packing a suitcase within a suitcase?
Unless the smaller suitcase is carry-on sized and can be put in the overhead compartment, you will have to pay to check a second bag on one leg of your trip.
Another downside is that in the unlucky event that your suitcase gets lost, you will lose both suitcases.
We always recommend that you take your essentials with you in the cabin, such as medication and important documents in the event that your checked luggage goes missing.
How I travel with a suitcase within a suitcase
When I go back home to Puerto Rico to visit family, I often pack a carry-on suitcase within a larger checked bag.
I like to have tons of room to bring back all the foods and goodies I can’t get in LA.
Note: You’ve not known true embarrassment until a TSA agent pulls aside your carry-on to be checked and it’s full of nothing but cookies and cakes.
Here’s how I like to pack for such trips:
- Grab a carry-on, packable duffel, or packable backpack depending on how much extra space I need.
- Grab a larger checked bag that can fit any of the items above.
- If I decided on a carry-on, I will pack all my clothes and necessary items in the carry-on and then put the carry-on within the larger checked bag.
- If instead I’m bringing a packable duffel or packable backpack, I pack it along with the rest of my things and clothes in the larger checked bag.
If a carry-on won’t provide all the extra space you need, you could also use this method with two checked bags. As long as it fits, you can use whatever combination of bags you want.
Suitcase sets that nest
The key to making this all work is having the right equipment.
If you want to bring two suitcases with you, you need to make sure that one of them can fit inside the other without any issues.
The easiest way to do this is to use a set of nesting suitcases. If you don’t already own luggage that can nest, some good suitcase sets to consider are:
- Travelpro Maxlite 5 Carry-On and Checked Bag Set
- The Carry-On and The Medium from Away
- Samsonite Winfield 2 Set
- AmazonBasics 3 Piece Softside Luggage Set
Packable duffels and packable backpacks
When you want additional space for souvenirs but you don’t want to deal with bringing two suitcases, you can opt to bring a packable duffel or packable backpack.
These come in a variety of sizes and price points.
The Hikpro is my favorite backpack to bring along for trips to Walt Disney World.
It’s incredibly light, takes very little space in my suitcase when folded, and can hold all my essentials for the day, including a water bottle, sunscreen, snacks, and ponchos.
Recommended packable duffels
- Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 40L
- Osprey Packs UL Stuff Duffel
- Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel
- Gonex 60L Packable Travel Duffel Bag
Recommended packable backpacks
- Hikpro 20L Backpack
- Gonex 35L Backpack
- Herschel Packable Casual Daypack
- Tumi Voyageur Just In Case Backpack
Traveling with a suitcase inside a suitcase is totally doable. Not only that, but it can also offer you tons of flexibility if you’re the kind of traveler who likes to do a lot of shopping on your trips.
Or if you’ve promised the entire office that you’ll bring them back souvenirs.
Do you have any travel tips or tricks to share with us? Leave a comment below!
Kat is originally from Puerto Rico and is now living in (almost equally) sunny Southern California. She works at a children’s educational company and travels as much as her vacation time will allow. Some of her favorite hobbies include baking, planning Disney trips, and watching too much Netflix.