How To Pack – Our Best Tips!

TravelGearDepot is an independent review site that prides itself on unbiased reviews. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more luggage to review.

Does it really matter how you pack your stuff into your suitcase or carry-on? There’s still that much of space each item occupies, right?

WRONG! The way you pack can mean the difference between using both a checked bag and a carry-on, or just using a carry-on. Or perhaps, if you’re travelling with a travel buddy, using one checked bag for the two of you instead of one each. We’re not kidding!

How To Pack Like a Pro!

Watch the video to find out how the  experts do it!

Think of how much easier it will be when you’re in transit and only have the carry-on and can walk straight out of the airport after landing. You’ll be on your way to your hotel or meeting point when the others are still anxiously watching the belt for their bag to turn up.

Or if you are two sharing a suitcase you can take turns rolling (wheels are a must for checked luggage!), and will feel so much safer and happier.

Roll? Fold? Discard? Help!

There’s a ton of advice and tips on how to pack out there, but what you need to focus on is what you want to achieve with your packing. We figure this is what it all boils down to for most of us:

  • Weight of your luggage
  • Wrinkles on your outfits
  • Bringing what you will actually need and use

When you decide what clothes and other stuff to bring on your trip, try to think in terms of what you must have, and what you can actually do without. If you start thinking ”well this could be handy if…”, that’s the signal to discard it from your packing. And this goes for the vacation as well as the business trip!

Packing Step-By-Step

When you’ve managed to decide what to actually bring (more about that further down), you can start packing:

Roll up all of your socks and put them inside the shoes. Then pack the shoes first, toe to heel or around the edges of your bag.

If you’re packing a belt, you can either roll it up and put it inside the collar of a shirt you want to keep upright, or you can let it run along the inside walls of the bag.

Roll all your t-shirts, pj’s, sweathers, underwear, pants (or do as below) and other soft clothes. Put them in beside and between your shoes.

Put all your toiletries in double plastic bags (so you can be sure your clothes wont be soaked in shampoo when you arrive at your destination), and then put them in the middle of the bag, or if the bag has pockets in the lid or in the divider put them there.

Sometimes you get the advice to put small squares of cling film underneath the lid of bottles to prevent leakage, but we don’t fancy that. It’s fussy and the little film pieces folds and sticks and are hard to put back once you’ve opened the bottle.

So, what’s left outside the bag? Dress pants, blazers, skirts, dresses and shirts are still in the cold longing to get in with all the other clothes. Now this method may seem a bit odd, but it works like magic in keeping your best skirt as wrinkle free as possible:

Start with putting one garment on top of what you have have already packed, but leave like half of it hanging outside of the bag. Then take the next, and do the same thing but in the opposite direction, and continue with the rest of the garments in this manner, letting them hang out on opposite sides of the bag. Leave your shirts though! We’ll get back to them. Now fold one garment at a time into the bag, so they will kind of lock each other in place.

Hard to get what we mean? Quite understandable, we’re perhaps not the very best at visualising the procedure. But watch the excellent video at the top and you’ll get the hang of it!

But hey, wait a minute! The shirts! Oh gosh, sorry, almost forgot those! This is easy though, you just fold them very neatly and then put them on top. Remember the belt thing? It’s now you can put a rolled-up belt inside the collar of a shirt if you like. Connect the straps, smooth any wrinkles, and close the lid. Done!

How to Choose What to Pack

Speaking of clothes to pack, there’s a few tips to be shared here as well for your vacation trip:

  • For staying warm, think layers rather than a thick jacket. Bring a windproof and water resistant shell jacket with a hood that you can wear as many layers you need under, depending on temperature.
  • Think light materials that don’t wrinkle that easy, and that dries over night if you need to wash them in the hotel room at night (if you’re on a longer trip). Microfiber underwear, bamboo socks, or some other fast drying and light material. The same goes for tees.
  • Think basic oufits that you can vary with accessories to be casual or more dressy. A nice comfortable dress, a pair of capris, a skirt with a comfy waistband, a pair of pants in a light material.
  • Avoid packing jeans, they are heavy and dries very slowly if they get wet. Instead, pack one or two pairs of lightweight pants, perhaps those convertible ones with zip-off legs that convert into shorts. Perhaps bring one of those, and then one pair that are more dressy.
  • Going somewhere cold? An investment we recommend is buying silk undergarments that will hold you truly warm and dry. Very light, fast drying and soooo smooth against your skin. Not the cheapest buy, we have to admit, but they will be your best friends for many years. You can also use them as luxurious feeling pj’s… There are also undergarments made of bamboo that have the same feeling to them.
  • Pack two pair of shoes. If it’s summer, pack one pair of walking shoes and one pair of sandals. Your feet will thank you for being able to breath when you walk around on a sunny day. If it’s winter or at least cold, pack a pair of boots and a pair of walking shoes that can also pass as dress shoes if you need that. BUT! Most important of all when it comes to shoes: make sure they are well broken in! A sore blister can really ruin your journey.

Personal items, toiletries, electronics , mending equipment, first aid…

Apart from clothes, there are of course a lot of other stuff you might need on your travel, but we will get back to that in another article very soon! One thing we want to point out though: in your carry-on, all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters), and they must all be packed in a single quart-sized plastic bag.

For details on TSA regulations and security screening please visit the TSA website.