Packing Tips & Tricks

Whether you’re a travel minimalist or veteran over-packer, you’ve probably questioned what extra measures you could take to improve your packing game. How can you pack lighter, smarter and better than you did the last time you went away? There are many simple steps you can take to prepare for your trip that'll make your life so much easier as you leave for and arrive at your destination.

Because travel is kind of our thing, we consider it a fun challenge to elevate packing to an art form. We’re always first in line to try out the latest packing hack, and equipping our bags and accessories with travel-friendly features and functionality is our specialty. As busy moms, working women and students ourselves, we know these 20 tips and tricks can make all the difference in the world when you’re away from home and on the road. So, why keep them to ourselves when we can share them and help everyone improve their packing game?!

20 SMART PACKING TIPS AND TRICKS

#1 Choose your bag wisely

In addition to considering things like weight, durability and functionality, choose a bag that’s readily identifiable as your own. The basic black suitcase can be easily confused for someone else’s basic black suitcase. Make yours work hard for you ... and express a little of your personality, too.

#2 Think like a weather forecaster

Let the weather be your guide. Always check the forecast of your destination and think about the climate you’re traveling to. Is it rainy season? Will it be hot and humid? You can save yourself from under or overpacking if you pack and dress the right layers and fabric weights.

#3 Make a list and check it twice

Starting with a list or overview of all the things you’ll need on your trip is a smart first step. It will help you to plan the contents of your bag, keep you from overpacking and ensure that you haven't left anything important behind. Once you have a good comprehensive packing list, you can use it for future trips, with a little modifying as needed.

#4 Use travel organizers

Organizing your packables by category will help you pack and unpack much faster. Keeping items like toiletries, cosmetics, jewelry and accessories in their own designated cases will keep you organized throughout your trip and help you locate whatever it is you need that much faster.

#5 Adopt the rolling method

If your goal is to take fewer travel bags, rolling instead of folding clothes actually takes up less space in your luggage. It also offers the added benefits of keeping garments from wrinkling and making things easier to see and locate inside your bag when you arrive.

#6 Use your bed or dining table as a staging area

Designate a large area for laying out everything that’s on your packing list. It will help you stay on task by grouping things together and will be a good visual overview of what must stay and what can go. If you prefer to pack by outfit, having a big area to plan your head-to-toe looks can be a big help.

#7 Edit like a boss

Once you have everything laid out in your staging area, take a critical eye to what you’ve chosen in your first attempt. Ask yourself if there are any items that you’d like to have but don’t necessarily need, or that you only might wear. Those items can stay home. Do the same for accessories, jewelry and toiletries.

#8 Pack complete outfits

An alternative to packing by clothing item is to pack by outfit or the activities you have planned. If you have a great skirt you’d like to wear on a museum day, make sure you have the right top and shoes to pair with it so you know you have a complete and polished look ready to go.

#9 Keep shoes to a minimum

As much as we love fancy footwear, a trip isn’t the best place to showcase your extensive shoe wardrobe. For a weekend trip, we try to pack no more than two pairs and for a week, three pairs should work for most everything on your agenda. A comfortable running or walking shoe is a must, a flat that can be dressed up is a smart choice and a higher heel for evenings out if you know you’ll wear them.

#10 Pack solids and mixable patterns

An age-old travel tip, packing neutrals and solids like khaki, black and navy, and maybe a simple print, ensures you’ll get multiple looks out of just a few articles. This tip is especially useful for longer trips and traveling overseas.

#11 Think layers

Start with base layers like tank tops and tissue-weight tees that go on first and build out to thicker layers, sweaters and jackets in the appropriate weight for the climate and season.

#12 Keep it fresh

Pack dryer sheets in your luggage to keep your tightly-packed clothing smelling like a daisy when you arrive. We even put a few extras in a zipped, plastic bag to use for the return trip so unpacking isn’t nearly so unpleasant.

#13 Collect samples throughout the year

Whether it’s skincare from the cosmetic counter or a laundry soap packet in the mail, stashing away samples as you receive them throughout the year can eliminate the need for full-sized and even travel-sized bottles in your toiletry case.

#14 Keep travel-size toiletries on deck

Since you don’t use travel-sized bottles when you’re home, keep them all in your travel toiletry case so they’re right where you need them when it’s time to pack — one less item on your packing list to think about!

#15 Pack a wet-dry bag (or two)

Bags with a PVC lining that keep damp items separate from dry items are indispensable. They’re great for toiletries that can leak, shoes that collect mud and dirt, and even drinks and snacks that could create a mess in your tote bag.

#16 Pack a scarf (or two)

A single scarf has the power to stretch one look into two in seconds flat. Scarves are lightweight, they pack flat and they can add a stylish touch to a travel wardrobe full of solid colors.

#17 Pack a sarong if heading south

Much like a scarf, a sarong is a wardrobe workhorse that multitasks as a scarf, a bathing suit cover up, even a tropical sundress. If you’re headed somewhere warm and trying to keep the packing light, a sarong should be at the top of your list.

#18 Fill empty spaces

When you start packing your things in your duffel or suitcase, start with the larger bulkier items and fill in open spaces with delicates, accessories and travel cases. If you think of it like a puzzle, you’ll be amazed at how space-efficient you can be.

#19 Make your carry comfortable

The operative word when choosing a travel tote or carry-on is comfort. Choose a bag that’s not only lightweight and easy to carry, but comfortable against your body. Hard cases are great for business trips and packing electronics, but nothing beats a soft tote on a long trip with a lot of walking.

#20 Keep essentials in your carry-on

If you have a dedicated travel tote or carry-on bag that you don’t use for other occasions, there’s no reason to unpack it every time you return from a trip. Instead, keep your stocked toiletry bag and any other travel essentials like a mini hairdryer packed and ready for your next great escape.

We hope you find this list to be helpful and that you’re one step closer to becoming a packing prodigy. If you’re looking for more innovative ways to raise your packing IQ, check out this Blog on our Iconic Lay Flat Collection. With a soft exterior and lay-flat design that opens like a suitcase, it will forever change the way you pack ... and outfit pick when you get there!