packing strategies

Master the Art of Packing

packing 101Do you have pre-trip packing figured out?

I don't think I'll ever have packing fully figured out. Every trip I take reminds me there's always room for improvement. But I'm up for the challenge, are you?

A Good Packer a) doesn't take much time to pack b) always packs for the climate c) brings the right---and appropriate---amount of clothes

Packing Tips Go Odorless

  • Bring a plastic bag or reusable laundry bag to stuff dirty items into throughout your trip
  • Pack dryer sheets to place between clothes to keep them laundry fresh

Be Efficient

  • Know the weather at your destination, and pack accordingly
  • Write a list before you go (and make a note of what you wear and don't wear for next time)
  • Assemble and keep a travel toiletries kit in a clear plastic case so it's always ready to go...or send toiletries to your destination

Your Right Foot Forward

  • Keep shoes in clear plastic bags so your other items don't get dirtied
  • Slip items like underwear, socks and electronic chargers into shoes

Use Your Suitcases's Real Estate Wisely

  • Wherever possible, unstructured or soft garments should be rolled instead of laid flat
  • Leave out socks, underwear, ties and scarves until the end to fill in packing gaps
  • Place belts around the perimeter or your bag

Preventative Maintenance

  • Wrap items you don't want to wrinkle in a suit bag, dry cleaning bag or tissue paper
  • Don't just throw in combs, brushes or spiky hair dryer attachments, cover them with socks, bags or tissue paper to prevent snags

Related Content High Rolling :: To Roll or Lay Flat? A Summer Weekend Packing List Go-To Carry-On Toiletries Choosing the Best Type of Carry-On Travel iPhone Apps :: PackingPro The Art of Carry-On Travel Going Away? Packing and To Do List

[photo by Drew Coffman]

High Rolling

rolling clothes for packinglay garments flat while packingSome people swear by rolling their garments to maximize space in their suitcase, whereas others fold items flat. I've tried both, and have never noticed a sizable difference, so I decided to find out once and for all.

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The Mission Using the same garments, I packed my suitcase twice. The first time by rolling my garments, and the second, by laying them flat.

The Background This weekend I'm headed to Newport and Laguna with a one-day stint at Disneyland. Since I'm only bringing a carry-on, finding out which packing method uses the least space is an important consideration---hence this A/B test.

This trip is a good reminder that insane travel deals still exist: I booked my $9.99 (each way) flight during Allegiant Air's 3-hour sale when they announced service from Bellingham, WA to Long Beach, CA. Fifty-six dollars later, my entire flight including taxes was booked. I can't even drive from Vancouver to Seattle for that little!

The Prep Garthering garments with the help of my Summer Weekend Packing List, and making sure I've packed everything I'll need thanks to my Going Away To Do List, I'm ready to select what I'll bring on my extended weekend trip to Cali. The goal: bring a little, and mix and match so it looks like a lot!

Rolling VS Folding Result I ended up having much more space in my suitcase when I......drumroll please.....ROLLED garments. I'm not sure why, but I hate to admit this. Deep down, I think I was on team fold. Based on the pics below, you'll hopefully be able to see almost 25% more space in the rolling versus folded example. I'm now a converted roller. suitcase with garments folded flat {Suitcase with garments folded flat - not much space to spare}

suitcase with items rolled {Suitcase with garments rolled - notice the extra space. Now there's the flexibility to shop or pack more.}