Packing is something that I find very stressful and requires a lot of preparation. I’m a planner and so packing for me really is a process that starts earlier in the week in anticipation of a trip.
My biggest pet peeve around traveling is not checking a bag – until this past weekend when I was forced to based on my ticket I hadn’t checked a bag since my last trip abroad in college… can you believe it?
I’ve tried to master the art of packing just enough to barely close your carry on and make sure you can get on and off of the plane quickly. Here are some of my tips for how to make it work for a weekend trip!
Find a suitcase that meets the TSA requirements for a carry-on suitcase and that you like. I’ve found that actually liking your suitcase makes a difference in the entire packing and travel experience. I can’t say enough good things about our Away suitcase (we have it in green!). MG and I love taking it everywhere because we can charge our phones through it and it’s so light!
P.s. You can use this link for $20 off your Away suitcase!
This without a doubt will take up the most space in your suitcase (especially if you have bigger feet than me). As a rule of thumb I try to pack one pair of heels or wedges (in the winter think booties) and I’ll always wear the 2nd bulkiest pair of shoes I want to bring assuming they’re easy to walk in (think sneakers). Leave your sandals, flats and anything else thin for the open side of your suitcase. They can easily slide in the slide.
3. FOLDED CLOTHES
Some people swear by the rolled clothes method where you roll everything up and it doesn’t wrinkle and fits more, but I believe in careful folding and arranging your clothes like jenga pieces. I’ll lay the longest pieces in the very bottom so that they can lay the most flat (pants, jeans, longer dresses). On top of that I’ll fold up pieces that might only take up the width of the area and carefully stack them with other similar sized pieces. The trick is to continue to make the surface of that side of the suitcase even. You can add in socks and smaller items in the gaps to help make that happen.
I just got a new Cuyana toiletry set that I’m so excited about because it’s both beautiful and the perfect travel size. I always keep a small bag of travel sized goodies of the things I always use (Garnier Micellar Water, micellar cleansing wipes, q-tips, and face wash). It makes traveling feel less foreign when you’re trying to stick to your routine and at the end of the day those $5-10 bottles will actually last you a while! I’ll then put my makeup in the smaller bag and try to put all of these on the left side of the suitcase. Again, the trick is to keep everything relatively flat.
Are you trying to bring a coat, suit jacket, chunky sweater, or anything I didn’t mention above? Either put it on your body or put it in a small tote. I always put my laptop, books, chargers (for easy access), magazines in a stowable tote that also has room for my purse and then leave the bulkier items to carry. Good luck trying to fit any sizable jacket into a carry-on – it’s just not going to happen.
What are your tips for packing your carry-on bag?