Going on vacation is the best. Not so fun? Trying to cram your cutest outfits into your suitcase. Indeed, the anxiety of figuring out what to pack (and how to make it all a fit) can put bit of a damper on your pre-getaway excitement.
Roll clothes and pack them first.
The best way to prevent creases and make the most of your space is to use the roll method. Lay tops facedown, fold in the sleeves and roll from the bottom up. For pants, put the legs together and roll from the waist down. Once you’ve rolled everything, place pants and tops in your suitcase before shoes and accessories; then, fit in other oddly shaped items like hair tools.
Choose travel-friendly fabrics.
Woven fabrics (like linen or cotton twill) are more prone to wrinkling.
Pack the first outfit you’ll want to wear on top.
If you know you’re getting off the plane and going straight to dinner or a meeting, plan your outfit and put it into your suitcase last. That way, when you arrive, you won’t have to dig through everything else to find it (plus, it will be less likely to wrinkle).
Place heavy items at the base.
Keep weightier things like shoes and books by the wheeled end of your suitcase. This placement helps your bag stay stable when upright, and stops other items from getting smushed.
Layer plastic dry cleaning bags between clothes.
You can use plastic bags to protect delicate items from accidental pulls by layering them between your clothes. They help your clothing slide (not snag) when your bag gets jostled (and they help reduce wrinkling!).
Use packing cubes.
These blocks keep your suitcase organized and stack together easily. Plus, the durable cubes are lightweight and thin so you won’t lose any precious suitcase space.
Avoid over or under-packing.
While you might be tempted to leave space for souvenirs, extra room means items can shift and crumple or break. Fill empty spaces with dry cleaner bags (and fill them later with mementos from your trip). It’s important not to over-pack either (especially if you’re only bringing a carry-on), since that’s a surefire way to create crease marks and can make it extra tricky to repack when you’re going home — or heading off to another spot.
Get an extra tote for souvenirs.
You’re going to want to shop so bring a foldable bag. It won’t take up much space on the way to your destination and you can fill it with (almost) anything you buy on your travels.
Take a mini iron.
Despite your best packing efforts, some wrinkles and creases are inevitable, so make sure to pack a mini iron.
Bring two small laundry bags.
Use one for lights and one for darks. If you forget, grab plastic bags from your hotel room’s closet. When you get home, throw the presorted loads in the wash.
Organize your liquids bags.
Stash any liquids you want to keep in your carry-on bag in a separate, clear bag so you can easily pass through security.
Keep important medication in your purse.
Even if you plan to carry on your bag, there’s still a risk you could have to check it at the gate. If your meds are in your purse, you’ll have what you need even if the overhead bin space fills up and you end up having to check your bag.
No matter what season it is, planes are often on the chilly side. Bring a pretty, warm wrap that you can bundle up in if the temp doesn’t feel comfortable. Bonus: You can also fold it and use it as a pillow.
Carry a reusable water bottle.
As long as it’s empty, it’s okay to bring a water bottle through airport security. Once you’re inside the terminal, fill it up at an airport cafe or water station. You’ll stay hydrated, and it’s greener than having to buy plastic water bottles while site-seeing.