There was a time, many moons ago, when I was a haphazard packer traveling with too many rolled-up clothes and always forgetting some little thing. With more travel experience, I’ve gradually developed my own method for packing well, and today I can prepare for a trip almost mindlessly with the help of these five essentials. Here’s what I use to keep everything in order, from pajamas to charger cords:
It might not seem like the material of your suitcase would make such a big difference, but I promise that it does. Hard-sided luggage gives a bit of resistance that helps you to pack more, keep things in place, and protect what’s inside. And – unless you’re opting for vintage-style leather luggage – these bags tend to be more lightweight than their soft-sided counterparts.
I get enough questions about these that they may need their own post, but here’s the gist: packing cubes > rolling your clothes. The zippered cubes effectively turn your suitcase into a dresser, with each cube acting as a drawer. I fold most of my travel capsule wardrobe into packing cubes, freeing up tons of space and keeping my suitcase super-organized throughout the trip. I have and love this set, but have you seen these pretty ones by Paravel?
You may already have a dedicated makeup or toiletry bag for travel, but do you dart to and from the bathroom to re-pack it for each trip? I found a vanity case that has plenty of space and pockets, and I keep it packed with travel-sized versions of my daily products and makeup brushes. It’s always ready to toss into my luggage, and I don’t need to worry about leaving anything behind.
If you never seem to have a ‘quart-sized zip-top bag’ around – or simply don’t want to burn through plastic bags each trip – get one that you can use over and over. Pre-packing your vanity case goes hand-in-hand with this one: keep your travel-size liquids ready to go in their reuseable bag.
P.S. If you don’t need to remove liquids at security (i.e. TSAPreCheck or GlobalEntry), you can put one bag of liquids in your carry-on suitcase and sneak another one in your ‘personal item’ or tote bag. Shhh, it’s one of my best packing secrets!
With all the technology we’re carrying these days, it’s helpful to have one place for all the accessories that come along, too. My earbuds, portable charger, and cords of every kind travel together in a tech case. You can use a regular cosmetic bag or one that’s specially designed to keep cords and electronics organized. I’m adding this one to my wish list!
my free printable five-step
guide to packing light &
traveling in style