Packing Like A Pro
I have taken a pretty good amount of trips on airplanes and quickly felt ridiculous paying and waiting for a checked bag. Having a checked bag didn’t last long on our adventures. I became determined to fit everything in a carry-on and a personal bag for all my trips here on out. Now, I want to share my packing skills with you too so that you never have to pay for a checked bag again!
First Things First…
The first important thing about packing is having the right suitcase. The suitcase needs to have areas for packing on both sides of it. Extra pockets are always a plus too. I found my Olympia suitcase at Ross for under $50. Having wheels and a handle is also a must for easy mobility and zooming through the airport. As you can see, I am able to put clothing in both compartments on each side. This is crucial for long trips.
When I know I have a big trip coming up, I like to start a pile of things I know I want to bring. So the week of or the week before, once things start coming out of the washer, I begin setting them aside in our guest room. This can be clothing, shoes, accessories, or anything that you know you want to bring and not forget.
Some Things I Always Pack
- A bathing suit is always in my suitcase. You never know when you’re going to need one and it is always nice to check out the pool and spa at the hotel your staying at.
- Workout clothes are also a must. My workout usually doesn’t stop just because I’m traveling. Some hotels even have loner shoes and workout clothes you can borrow for your stay.
- Tennis shoes are important for those days exploring the city. Plus, when you want to do something adventurous like ATV riding or ziplining, tennis shoes are required.
- A dress that I can dress up or down is always nice to have too. You might have a nice dinner one evening but if not, you can wear it with a little cover up to make it more casual.
- A denim button-down shirt is so versatile that it’s absolutely needed. I love pairing it with a dress or tying it around my waist with other outfits. It also works great all by itself too.
- Belts are usually a no-brainer but it does suck when you forget one. One time my husbands’ zipper broke on a bag that he got free from a cologne purchase (those are usually cheap, believe me, I tried to tell him that) and we used a belt to keep the bag closed until we got home. Talk about multipurpose.
Now The Packing
Down to the nitty-gritty, the packing. The key to packing is rolling, rolling, rolling! Roll everything. From your underwear to your jeans, rolling them lets them take up the least amount of room possible. Don’t just do a loose roll, roll those clothes tight. For my jeans, I roll them from the top to the bottom. My socks are fully tucked into each other and then stuffed into my shoes. Now as to your packing your rolled up clothes, make sure “pack and push”, meaning put one article in the suitcase and when you put the next one in, push that previous article in there as tight as possible. Again, this will eliminate any extra space that wasn’t used before. Once you have the bottom layer in, feel free to make another layer on top of that one if needed.
My toiletry bag usually stays packed. It has a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, a shower cap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (because you might not like the ones at the hotel). My bestie Jess got me the cutest Maid-of-honor makeup bag and its pretty big. It holds all my makeup as well as my face wash, serum, and hair supplies. I put these two bags on the opposite side of my clothes when packing. When I leaving from an American airport, I never have to take out the liquid bottles at the TSA lines. However, when traveling abroad, they have been a little more strict and I would have to put some in the see-through plastic bag. No biggie though.
You Can Do It!
I have used this bag for a two-week trip, to travel to 4 different countries and attend a wedding, all in a carry-on. It can be done! I was even able to buy some souvenirs and some clothing that I just had to have. Just remember to use all the unused space as possible. Fold and roll everything as small as possible. Don’t worry, you will be able to iron or steam out any wrinkles and if you want to get really fancy you can use the hotel’s laundry service and get items pressed or washed. Packing shouldn’t be a hassle. Stay calm and know that you can bring a backpack as your personal item and stuff your purse in there too. Try to stay away from over packing and never bring anything you haven’t worn before because chances are that you’re not going to wear it on this trip either.
Do you have any packing tips? What do you hate or love about packing? Share with us.