Carry On

My Top 10 Packing Tips

December 17, 2015
trip planning company chicago

Heading home for the holidays? Or maybe you’re escaping the cold with a tropical vacation? (If so, I’m jealous!) Wherever you’re going, you’ll want to maximize packing space so you can get through airport security lines quickly, not kill yourself lugging a heavy bag around, and most importantly, save room for souvenirs. Here are the packing tips I use whenever, and wherever I travel. Happy holidays and buon viaggio!

top 10 packing tips

Me before I learned the secrets of easy packing. Don’t let this be you!


  1. Roll your clothes. You’ve probably heard this one before, and for good reason. A serious space saver, plus it keeps heavier fabrics from wrinkling. I roll everything, then put jeans, sweaters, or anything heavy on the bottom layer. The only exception is dress shirts or anything extremely prone to wrinkling (which if you can refrain from packing, do!). These can be folded carefully and placed on top. If you have a piece of cardboard to fold them around and keep them in place, even better.
  2. Bags for everything. I throw electronics, underwear, t-shirts, shoes, and anything else that can be sorted in these bags.
  3. Stuff your shoes. Need extra space? Fill your shoes with socks, rolled up tank tops, or chargers. It keeps the shape of your shoes and saves space.
  4. Place your shoes and heavier objects near the wheels of your suitcase. Seems obvious, but still worth remembering.
  5. Pack around one color palette. I know this can be hard, but it really does make packing easier. I’m a fan of blues and black (as everyone who knows me knows far too well), but any color will do. That way, you can mix and match outfits to create a larger vacation wardrobe, and you only need one (ok maybe two) pairs of shoes.
  6. No matter where you’re going, always bring on go-to ‘nice’ outfit. You never know when something will come up where you need to be a little dressier. For me, it’s this standard LBD that I bring everywhere. 
  7. Use leak-free bottles. There is very little more annoying than arriving at your destination to find a lotion or shampoo has leaked through your toiletry bag. These GoToob bottles ensure that never happens again. I started using them about a year and a half ago and they will forever be one of my favorite travel items.
  8. ALWAYS bring a scarf. Scarves double as sarongs, blankets, picnic tables, and on and on. They can dress up an outfit or cover up a spill (if you’re like me and eat a lot of street food this is a huge plus), and they keep you warm on frigid airplanes.
  9. Get a jewelry travel bag. My mom got me one of these last year and now I can’t imagine traveling without it.
  10. Keep it all in a carry on bag. Obviously! 🙂 Nothing like lost luggage to ruin a trip.

Bonus tip for holiday travel: Wrap your gifts at your destination, not before. The chances they’ll still look intact on arrival is slim, and pre-wrapped gifts take up less space.

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