Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or limit yourself to one trip a year—there’s no amount of airline miles that can save you from putting off packing. Maybe you’re a classified over-packer, or perhaps you just throw the outfits you’ve worn most recently into your suitcase and call it a day. Either way, we’re here to provide you with a whole new approach to planning and packing for your much-deserved getaway.
As we’ve pointed out before, the one way to alleviate pre-packing stress is to come up with a strategy, or in today’s case adopt our savvy hacks. Find out how we ease the packing process below.
• Take photos of all your outfits you plan to wear on your vacation. This will prevent over-packing and ultimately save space in your suitcase. You’ll also save time on your trip because you already have your outfits planned.
• Follow Kourt’s hack and keep all your toiletry and makeup bags packed so you can just grab and go.
• Use packing cubes. Our editor, Michelle Scanga, swears by packing cubes. “They come in different sizes, so I’ll use them to organize my clothes—one for tops, one for bottoms, etc. Since I started using packing cubes, I’ve noticed I also stay more organized once I get to my destination.”
• Prevent clothing from wrinkling by rolling instead of folding.
• To consolidate space, pack small items like socks and underwear in extra purses and inside hats.
• Keep a travel-size steamer in your suitcase at all times so it’s already packed.
• Pack things you know you’ll wear later on your trip at the bottom and the items you’ll wear first on the top.
• Choose one color scheme—bring one pair of heels in that color and one pair of flats, then you can mix and match the outfits and use the same shoes every day and night.
• Bring neutrals and basics and then one patterned separate that you can wear with multiple basics.
• Pack a collapsible bag like this stowaway from Paravel inside your larger luggage and use it to carry extra items you purchase on your trip.
• Kourt keeps all hanging clothes on hangers and everything separated by day, night, coverups, and so on, which helps with wrinkles and makes it easier to unpack at the hotel. She does this for Penelope’s clothes as well. She also packs clothes on one side of her suitcase and all shoes and bags in the other to stay organized.
• If you’re in a pinch and need to fit a ton of stuff in your suitcase for a move or an international trip, use a space bag. Kourt’s assistant, Rachel Godfrey, shares, “You can avoid using a vacuum and just sit on them to get all the air out. When I moved from Miami to LA, I only brought one suitcase, so I packed a ton of clothes in space bags and that was all I had with me for over a week as I tried to find an apartment, go to interviews, and get my life together.”
• Wear your heaviest shoes to the airport or keep them in your rolling carry-on to avoid overweight charges.
• Always keep at least one outfit (and swimsuit, if you’re going to a beach location) in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost (God forbid).
• Last but not least, never underestimate the power of creating a packing to-do list before your trip.