As with everything, when it comes to packing, it’s no secret that practice tends to make perfect (or as perfect as you can get when figuring out which of your belongings to throw in a bag). The more you do it, the easier it gets, but there’s no point in suffering in the meantime. If I’m an expert at anything, it’s packaging, and I have a long list of packaging tips to share from my experiences.
Nothing can put a stop to a trip as quickly as a horribly packed bag, and after much trial and more error, I’ve mastered my packing system. From the perfect piece of luggage to the cosmetic bag I swear by, I’ve transformed packaging from something I dread into something I look forward to.
Ready to plan your next trip? We’ve got you covered with these expert-backed packing tips.
Make a packing list
If you do one thing before your trip, do it. A few days before you really have to strap in and start packing, write down everything you need in your notes divided by category: clothes, toiletries, tech, important documents, random (specific for this trip). As you pack, check off the items one by one so you don’t forget anything.
Invest in your luggage
It may seem obvious, but the meaning is so important to remember. If you’re buying a cheap suitcase, the bottom line is that it doesn’t survive the wear and tear that comes with travel. Think of your suitcase this way: when you’re constantly traveling, your body feels tired and worn out, and so does your suitcase. Rather than buying one that you’ll need to replace in a few years, spend the money on one that you know will last now (it’ll save you money in the long run).
Pro Tip: We all want the basic black, silver, or tan suitcase, but if you’re lucky enough to have a different color, do it! So when it rolls out onto the baggage carousel, you’ll immediately know it’s yours.
Use the magic of packing cubes
If you’ve never used packing cubes, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to make packing easier. These days they have cubes to pack your entire wardrobe, but in my experience you really only need one large, one medium, and one small. I pack my underwear, bras and socks in one and it’s so much easier to find my intimates (which are easy to lose in a suitcase). I also use others to group similar categories: bunk tanks, workout clothes, and even remote work supplies. Here is one of my favorites:
Don’t fold your clothes, roll them up
While it’s instinctive to fold your clothes in your bag, rolling them up can actually save a ton of space in your bag. and avoid unnecessary creases. Separate your clothes by gender (shirts, pants, etc.) and organize them according to the room. So not only will you save space, but you will also know exactly where all your clothes are in your bag.
Also, to avoid unnecessarily crushing delicate pieces like straw bags and ornate shoes, be sure to place all the heaviest clothing on the wheel side of your bag. This way, the more delicate pieces will be safer in your bag.
Organize your jewelry
I feel like jewelry is always the last thing we think of for travel or something we forget easily. When you remember to pack your fun earrings or trendy necklaces, the last thing you want is for the pieces to get damaged. I just started using a hard jewelry case and it was so great to have everything organized and I know it will get there in one piece. I have a small hard case for my everyday jewellery: small hoops, gold rings and an everyday watch. Then I have another one for those fun pieces you bring specifically for that Instagram-worthy shot.
Consider a transparent cosmetic bag
Once I became a clear cosmetic case convert, I don’t know how I ever traveled without one. Not only does this let you see everything you have in your bag so you can easily grab what you’re looking for, it also makes security much more transparent.
A clear case will also help any leaks or spills that occur as it can easily be rinsed away without leaving a trace. Also, who doesn’t love a monogrammed situation?
Wear slip-on shoes
When I go to the airport, I always travel with a pair of easy on and off training sneakers. I love these Reebok Guresu version 1.0 sneakers, because they have an elastic insert in the middle of the structure, so they are lace up but I never had to tie them more than once because of this insert.
Don’t forget a laundry bag
The last thing you want is to mix up your clean parts with your dirty ones. Bring a laundry bag so that when you get home it’s easy to pour it into your washer. Don’t have one or forgot one? Keep any of your keepsake bags and use one!
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