Traveling is a favorite hobby of mine and with these 8 packing tips for organized luggage you’ll start to enjoy the process too!
I think of traveling as such a fun opportunity to experience new cities, states or countries and have come to enjoy every bit of the process from the planning to the packing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for a lot of people. I have learned along the way that with the right tools, a little bit of planning and a whole lot of wine, that packing for a trip can actually be quite simple and even a bit of fun.
Since I tend to already have a bit of Type A personality, it’s no surprise that I’m a very organized packer complete with a list in hand and an armful of packing cubes. It’s these 8 packing tips that have kept me stress free (well the wine doesn’t hurt) and ready for my next adventure!
TIP 1 — INVEST IN A QUALITY LUGGAGE SET
Luggage can be one of the most important purchases towards achieving an organized packing experience. They are so many countless options available, so you have to go with a style that fits your needs. A hardshell, spinner luggage is a great option in that it usually just has a “shell” of a case and then you can really get to work using packing cubes (more on that in tip #4) to maximize the space and of course it’s a breeze to walk through the airport with. A duffel bag style luggage is great in that it allows you to really use every crevice available and can expand to cram a few more items in there. I have a mix of both hardshell and duffel bag and it really just depends on the type of trip I’m taking as to which one I select. For my upcoming Italy trip, I am using a 26″ duffel style luggage from Eagle Creek. I love everything this brand creates, so for me I fell in love with the little details of this luggage as to how I can maximize it’s size and expandability. Plus, it’s designed for the adventurer so it can withstand being hauled from location to location and is only 5lbs by itself.
TIP 2 — BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE FOR YOUR TRIP
I focus on creating capsule collections for any trip I go on from a 3 day weekend in NYC, a 5 day jaunt through D.C. to a 17 day vacation in Italy. What I mean by a capsule collection is bringing pieces of clothing that all go together and can be interchangeable. This allows you to bring a limited amount of shoes (which take up a lot of space) and less clothing because you can get multiple outfits from the selection you bring. I share a ton more detail on how I’m packing for Italy, complete with outfit inspiration, what shoes and handbags I’m bringing, etc here.
TIP 3 — ALWAYS REFERENCE A PACKING CHECKLIST
This is a step that I never skip and guess what? I never forget anything on my trips. I created myself a packing list years ago and print it out each and every time I book a trip. I start off with the essentials, work my way down through the DO NOT FORGET items, bundle up all my tech gear and then get to work on building that capsule wardrobe. I have found that by writing down the items you plan on bringing per category you will quickly realize that you may be bringing too many black tank tops or you don’t need that 4th pair of jeans. It helps to see things in a clear, organized manner.
The best part, for all of my readers I have recreated the list just for you!! That’s right, click the download button and save a copy of the PDF to your desktop so you’ll always have it on hand and you’ll never forget another essential item ever again!
TIP 4 — UTILIZE PACKING FOLDERS AND CUBES
These Eagle Creek clothing organizers are the world’s greatest thing to happen to packing for a trip. I have tried COUNTLESS packing methods and always was frustrated with one thing or another. I’ve packed each outfit into a gallon size freezer bag (way too hard), rolled end over end (too bulky), the stack method (too messy) and ultimately gave in to purchasing these packing folders and cubes. Again, they are an investment into your travel gear but you’ll have them forever and they really do work! Not only do they create a seamless, organized packing situation but they help prevent your clothes from wrinkling and unpacking is a breeze once you get to the hotel.
P.S. They are on sale at The Container Store through the end of June so don’t wait and stock up now!
TIP 5 — TRAVEL UNDER GARMENTS (YES, I’M SERIOUS!)
This travel tip might seem a bit odd, but if you are going on a trip that is longer than 4-5 days, then I highly suggest investing in 3-5 pairs of travel under garments. Think about it, my trip to Italy is 17 days which means that I would have to bring roughly 30+ pairs of underwear. That’s insane! Instead, I purchased 5 pairs of Patagonia underwear and a few of their bras and will wash them in the shower. They dry really fast and are insanely comfortable. Look at it as an investment into extra space in your luggage for the things that really matter (like bringing home Italian wine).
TIP 6 — PACK YOUR SHOES IN REUSABLE BAGS
Shoes are disgusting. We walk all over cities, stepping in who knows what and then have to stick them in a very tight, closed in piece of luggage. Yuck! Over the years I’ve saved reusable shoe bags from past purchases and stick my shoes in these whenever I travel. It protects the rest of my clothing from nasty germs and keeps my shoes in good shape as well.
TIP 7 — YOUR CARRY-ON TOTE SHOULD WORK AS A HANDBAG FOR THE TRIP
Your large carry-on tote bag should be as equally stylish as you are so that you can use it throughout the duration of your trip. Why waste bringing a bag that has to sit in the hotel room the whole time when you could bring a fashionable striped tote like this one that would work great with all the outfits I packed? A few key things to look for when selecting a travel tote is that it (A) can zip closed, (B) has feet on the bottom, (C) a wipeable exterior and interior and (D) plenty of pockets.
TIP 8 — WEAR YOUR HEAVIEST OR BULKIEST ITEMS ON THE PLANE
I mentioned this in my post about creating a capsule wardrobe, but I like to wear my black sneakers with a pair of leggings, a simple tank top and throw my jean jacket over the top. This works great because my sneakers and jacket are the heaviest or bulkiest items I’m bringing, so it saves me extra room in the luggage and I still look stylish and comfortable all at the same time.
I hope these packing tips help you as much as they have helped my family and I over the years. A little extra planning in the beginning really goes a long ways towards having a pleasant, easy packing experience!