Spring break is right around the corner and summer is just another minute away. Hopefully you have a trip planned to escape from the everyday madness and unwind. But before that can happen, you’ll need to pack. Ugh. Dreaded, but obviously a necessary part of travel. Want to know what to pack and then how to pack a suitcase like a pro?
Standing in front of a wall of clothing in your closet, it can be a tad daunting. What to pack? Legit – this is THE most challenging step. What to bring. What to leave behind. Don’t want to forget anything important. You want to dress for the weather where you are going. To be on the safe size, you should just take it all. Kidding! Actually, what you should do is take out everything you want to pack. Then, put half of it back in the closet. This little tip is pretty genius – it helps you narrow down your absolute favorite pieces. Smart, huh?
Ah, Cotton garments. You are our friend. Resistant to most wrinkling and easiest to pack. With cotton or knits, you can simply do that “rolling” technique and add to the bottom of your suitcase. Items like denim or tee-shirts or sweaters all roll like a champ. Also, these types of garments take up the least space in your bag.
Once all your cotton-type items are nicely rolled like little sausages on the bottom of your suitcase, start the next layer. Those wardrobe essentials that would become a hot mess of wrinkles if rolled. Think a J.Crew blazer or button down shirt. Here’s where you can put any retail clothing experience into action. Having worked for The Gap for a few years, I don’t mean to brag – but I can fold anything like a boss. Carefully layer your folded items evenly on top of the rolled items.
Besides the obvious types of square-shaped folding for standard items like button downs or fabric that contains more “weight” to it, you can also fold long ways. Meaning, if you have a lined pair of pants from Banana Republic or a silky skirt from Zara, you can fold it with one simple fold. Or, you can just drape it over the other folded items. And if you had any items dry-cleaned before your trip, keep those plastic bags from the dry-cleaner. Use those in-between your layers to allow for slight wiggle room of your clothing – a little trick to reduce even more wrinkles for the win!
The hidden gem of a suitcase. The sides. Almost like a magic trick on how many items you can add to the sides of a suitcase. Just when you think you are plum out of room, think again. Look to the sides of the suitcase. Add those smaller items like a flatiron or baseball hat or clutch. The sides are also where you pack your belts and shoes.
Be super selective with what shoes you pack. Why? Shoes can add weight and be a space hog – even when you add them to the sides of your suitcase. And, chances are you will tend to wear a few (most popular/comfortable) pair of your shoes for the majority of your trip. Choose a pair for the daytime, for casual and for dinner. Done.
Word to the wise – never pack anything in your checked luggage that you would be heartbroken without. Keep those types of items with you. This includes jewelry, medication, cell phone and charger, iPad/laptop, car/house keys and (duh) wallet. Keep a scarf or wrap with you during travel to snuggle up with a chilly airplane or to wad up as a temporary pillow during delays.