Packing Tips

Your Clothes

  • Gather all the Garments you Anticipate Needing. Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, youll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt.

  • Choose Knits, Wools, and Cottons. These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas.)

  • Roll Softer Garments and Fold Stiffer Ones. Underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knitwear wont wrinkle when rolled tightly. Stiffer fabrics, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants. And skirts should be carefully folded.

  • Arrange Rolled Items in the Bottom of the Bag. Think of your suitcase as a three-layer cake. The Suitcase is the icing, the rolled items make up the first layer.

  • Place Folded Garments Next. For your (cream filling) middle layer, start with the longest items, like skirts and slacks. Stack the garments on top of each other, alternating waists with hems. Position the pile flush with the suitcase, draping leftover fabric over the opposite end (This conserves space since thick waistbands wont be piled on top of one another). Wrap the draped ends of the pile into the center. Next, lay collars of shorter items, like shirts, at the hinge with the ends over the handles. Fold the collars over once and fold the arms in.

  • Cover the Pile with a Dry-Cleaning Bag. Its like Botox for your clothes. Because of the bags slippery surface, folded clothes dont stay in one place long enough for creases to set. Easy upgrade - place a bag between each layer of clothing. To get to a certain layer easily, simply pull the ends of the bag up on either side.

  • Top the Pile with the Clothes You'll Need First. Anything goes with your top layer a bathing suit or pajamas.

  • Snake Belts Around the Perimeter of the Bag. This cradles your three layers.

Your Shoes

  • Follow the Rule of Three. Consider one casual sandal or loafer, sneakers and an evening shoe to be your holy trinity. Wear the heaviest pair and pack the rest.

  • Stuff Shoes. With sunglasses and electronic chargers or socks.

  • Slip Shoes into One-Gallon Size Resealable Bags. Then set them along the sides of the bag.

Your Valuables

  • Never Pack Your Valuables in Checked Bags. Since 9/11, all checked backed must be unlocked. These bags go through an X-ray machine for inspectors to see what's in your bags and at their discretion open your bags. Unfortunately, there are some dishonest screeners who steal valuables from bags they are screening.

  • Stow Jewelry in Small Containers. 35-millimeter film containers or seven-day plastic pillboxes make good jewelry containers. Line them with tissue paper.

Your Cosmetics

  • The New TSA Rules Limit Liquid Carry On. 3 ounce bottles or less (by volume) must be put into a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag and placed in screening bin. The one-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring on to 3 oz. The rest of your cosmetics must be in your checked bags.