My parents live up in the upper-peninsula of Michigan and every year I make a week-long trip to escape the heat and spend much needed time with them. Sometimes I make the 14-hour drive, sometimes I opt to fly instead, either way I have to pack a carry-on. With this trip and the many times I’ve traveled for work, I’ve really gotten my packing techniques down to a science. No matter where I go, or for how long, I always make sure to fit all my things into a single carry-on and a small tote that can be thrown under my seat.
Because I’m cheap and refuse to pay the airline’s extra luggage charge, I always try and stuff all my things into a small carry-on bag. If you’re like me, hopefully, these tips can help you the next time you need to pack for a week away and you can’t be bothered to bring more than a carry-on.
Organize in pouches
Separating my small items into pouches and baggies just makes my organization-loving heart happy. Have a pouch for socks and undies, toiletries, electronics and chargers, and any other bits that would be loosely disorganized in your suitcase otherwise. This not only keeps like items together, it makes all other processes easier like checking through TSA and unpacking after your trip.
Transfer large liquids into smaller containers
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten up to the bag-check process and realized I had a full 8 oz of makeup setting spray or bottle of shampoo. Avoid having to throw away your products and transfer them into travel sized bottles. This will save you some sanity, but also make your luggage much lighter and easier to pack.
Create a capsule wardrobe
You’ll want to get the most use out of each item that fits into your small suitcase. Only bring items that will easily work with one another and can make a multitude of outfits. Neutrals like blacks, whites, denim, and creams are a safe go-to for trips because they can be interchanged to make new outfits. Of course, consider the weather and occasion to determine if you need something like a winter coat or little dress.
Use packing cubes
If you haven’t heard of these, they’re basically cloth bags that compress your clothes as small as possible. I don’t have these, but I might have to make a last-minute prime order. You can stuff all your bulky things like jeans and sweaters into a bag and then zip them down.
Put shoes in a plastic bag
Would you like to wear clothes after dragging them across the dirty sidewalk all day? No? Then keep those shoe germs off your clothes with a simple plastic shopping bag! Even if you think your shoes are clean, they probably aren’t.
Bring a small trash bag for dirty clothes
On this plastic bag trend, tuck another baggie for all the dirty clothes you accumulate over your trip. Most hotels will have a bag in the room for this reason. But if you’re not staying at a hotel or for whatever reason they don’t, bring your own. It keeps all your stank off the clothes you don’t wear and makes tossing the dirty clothes in the washer a simple task when you get home.
Live out of your suitcase one day in advance
Probably my favorite tip out of them all–pack early and live out of your suitcase the day before you leave for the airport. Pack your suitcase with all your toiletries, makeup and other needed items and do a trial run to make sure you’ve packed everything you need to get ready. It’s much better to realize you’ve forgotten your mascara or a hairbrush before you leave on a plane than after. Just make sure you pack everything back in if you used it!
Hopefully, these tips were helpful for you and you remember them for your next getaway. Do you have any packing tips that you live by? Let me know in the comments below! I love to learn new ideas about productivity and organization!
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