Packing 101: It’s a game of Tetris
The countdown to my trip to California is well under-way and I get on a plane in TWO days. I usually LOVE to leave packing to the last minute, but this time I did it with two days to go and I am very proud of myself.
As a girl, the biggest struggle of travelling anywhere is getting everything to your destination. If you’re anything like me, you probably feel the need to take your entire closet with you. Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid that since I never seem to wear half the stuff I bring with me anyways. I’m going for just shy of two weeks and I managed to fit everything into a rolling carry-on and a personal duffle bag. Yes. All this made it in and more. So here are my tips on packing right and packing smart.
CLOTHING TIP: Coordinate your outfits.
Bring things you can mix and match for different looks (Jeans and t-shirts are great for this) and “plan” some outfits you know you’ll wear so you don’t bring the useless stuff. Dresses are also a great space saver. I’m kinda lucky since I’m heading to San Fran and it will be relatively warm, it’s easier to pack light. In cooler climates, I recommend mixing and matching layers to create different looks and stay warm.
SHOE TIP: Shoes make great storage
All that space in your shoes where your feet go? Yeah, that’s all lost space if you just dump your shoes into your luggage. Especially if you’re anything like me and bring lots of shoes. MAKE USE OF IT! Socks and belts are great shoe stuffers. They’ll help keep your shoes in shape and maximize your space. Always roll up your small items and put them inside to save space. This is particularly helpful for boots
I also really like to keep those shoe /dust bags that sometimes come with your shoes for travelling. They’re great to keep the rest of your stuff clean inside your luggage.
SHOE TIP #2: Always bring flip flops
Regardless of where I’m going, I always bring a pair of my Havaianas with me. Flip flop’s take little to zero space (I just stick them anywhere), and have so many benefits. They’re easy to wear and easy to clean. If you’re going somewhere warm, this all seems kinda obvious. However, I still bring a pair even if I’m headed somewhere cooler. They make great slippers for those less than clean hotel floors and showers, or if you need to quickly slip on shoes to step out to the front desk.
(Side note: How cute are those Zara lace-up flats I picked up. Super cute and comfy without breaking the bank)
MAKEUP TIP: Clear bags are your friends
Clear makeup bags make travelling with makeup and toiletries so much easier. You can see what’s inside and because they’re water proof, you don’t need to worry about that perfume spilling on everything inside your luggage. I hate putting my makeup in my check-in baggage because I love to touch up before I land. However, because liquids are only allowed on board in small quantities, sometimes I find that airport security will make you take it all out of your luggage to run it through the machines separately. With clear I can easily pull out the one or two bags and slip it into those bins. If you put your carry on liquids into a non-clear pouch, it becomes a huge hassle to transfer it into the clear bags they require.
Personally, I love the Sephora clear makeup travels bags. I have several of the $5 Beauty on the Fly bags and I think they’re fantastic. Not the best quality (I’ve had one break), but does it’s job. I use this size to store my solid makeups. I also have this 3-piece Gallivanter To Go set , and the large is perfect to condense all your liquids. I use this for my foundations, creams, toothpastes etc. Since I discovered theses pieces, I’ve never travelled with traditional makeup bags again.
JEWELLERY TIP: Use a sunglass case
Old sunglasses cases are a great way to travel with your jewellery pieces. Keeps your stuff in one place, and they don’t get squished or damaged along the way.
PACKING TIPS: It’s a game of tetris tbh
Hate to break it to you, but packing is never going to be easy until you get a private jet with unlimited luggage allowance and an assistant to pack it for you. BUT I’ve figured out a few ways to make it easier over the years. It’s definitely a game of Tetris and you need to be smart to make it all fit.
- Pack heavy items at the bottom near the wheels.
- Roll items that are wrinkle-sensitive, and heavier in material
- Pack side-to-side NOT bottom-to-top
- This is important because you can see almost all your items at-a-glance so you can easily find what you need when you get to your destination
- Place smaller and softer clothing items in last to fill in extra spaces
- Fold things in different shapes and sizes to minimize empty space
- Shoes and appliances go in the middle to avoid damage (not at the sides of the suitcase)
- Save some clothing for your duffle
- Only relevant if you’re like me and take a duffle. These items will cushion things like cameras and laptops you might keep in the bag under the seat.
Anyways. I’m super pumped to get out of the city for a bit. I hope this helps anyone who struggles with packing or just gives you some insight into how I get my stuff from Point A to Point B. Stay in touch to hear all about my adventures in San Fran!