It seems that these days, it costs more to check a bag than it does to book a flight. So it’s little surprise that more and more passengers are choosing to swerve suitcases and go with carry-ons. But with seriously reduced space, you need to make every inch count. Well, luckily, we’ve got some travel tips on baggage packing that’ll ensure you’re wrinkle-free and not left lacking, whether you’re lounging around the pool, sipping cocktails in a rooftop bar, or exploring the city sights.
The 50% rule
Lay out all of the things you plan to pack on top of your bed. Lose at least 50% of them. Seriously. Pretty much everyone ends up with a bunch of clothes in their suitcase that they’ve dragged across the world but never worn. Group the items by color and type, and be ruthless. No, you don’t need two white tops, three black dresses and four pairs of jeans. Select your favorite item by color and type, then put the others back in the wardrobe. Don’t fall into the “what if” trap. We’ve all done it. “What if we end up going somewhere fancy? I better pack a snazzy cocktail dress because you never know.” Stop. Don’t invent imaginary scenarios. Pack for your actual plans. Pack smart.
Multi-task and accessorize
Pick items that can be mixed and matched and accessorized for different occasions. A simple black sheath dress can be paired with sandals during the day, jazzed up with a pair of heels and some statement jewelry for nighttime or matched with different color tops to result in multiple looks and styles. A simple black sheath dress is every woman’s friend. If you can afford it, splash out on a dress that’s really good quality and a timeless style. It’s the gift that keeps giving.
Be top heavy
Pack more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip with a carry-on, a good clothing ratio is five tops, one dress, two pairs of jeans/one pair of jeans and one pair of pants, one skirt/pair of shorts, a bikini and underwear. With items like bikinis and underwear, even T-shirts and other light clothing, you can always wash them in the hotel room if necessary.
Save any bulky or heavy items for traveling in. Airline security regulations make it a pain in the ass, but this rule especially applies to boots. Sure, you’ll hold up the entire line while you struggle to take the damn things off, but hey, who cares? You’re going on vacay. If you have to take boots with you, then don’t waste suitcase space on them. The same goes for coats and jackets. If it’s too hot to wear one then carry it. Just make sure you don’t leave your brand-new Vivienne Westwood peacoat hanging on the back of a Wetherspoon’s bar stool at Heathrow airport (speaking on behalf of a friend. Ahem).
Rollin’, rollin’ foldin’
The roll or fold debate is as divisive as pouring milk or hot water first when making a mug of tea. Well, let’s settle the argument. Roll and fold. Roll all and any soft fabric items to reduce wrinkles and creases and allow for more space. Roll undies and stuff them inside shoes. Fold heavy fabric items and place them on the top. Shove belts down and around the outside.
The shoe decree
If space is your enemy then when it comes to footwear you have to be ruthless. The packing pro decree is three. One set of heels, one pair of sandles and some sneakers/flats — whatever’s your thing. Any combo, but stick to three. Stuff undies, chargers, and bags of coke (JOKE) inside shoes then place them in one-gallon plastic zip bags and pack them along the sides of your suitcase.
Personally, I’ve always vowed to never be one of those people who fly with their own pillow. However, Tik Tok shows that you should never say never. Airlines don’t count passengers’ pillows as a carry on item. So carefully fill an empty pillow case with soft clothing, making sure there’s no lumps or bumps visible, place it inside of another pillowcase (preferably one that zips up) and Bob’s your uncle, you’ve got yourself a whole load of sneaky extra baggage — and something to rest your head on during the flight. A twofer!
Keep it creaseless
Whenever possible, pick clothing items that are made from fabrics that don’t wrinkle. Leave that gorgeous linen dress hanging gloriously crease-free in the wardrobe back at home. If any clothing items do wrinkle or crease then whack on the shower to full temperature, close the bathroom door, wait until it resembles a Swedish sauna inside and then hang the offending item from the shower rail. Leave the water running and close the door again, wait ten-fifteen minutes then turn the shower off and retrieve your wrinkle-free (or their about) result.
Always pack an extension cord/power strip. Trust me. I can’t believe that everybody doesn’t do this already. It’s life-changing.