Thursday, April 25, 2013

92 UHeart Organizing: Travel Tips that Pack a lot of Punch!

Spring break must have brought out the travel bug in everyone, because it's been a hot topic lately, which I looove.  I shared earlier this week how we have decided to keep the car stocked when traveling with the kids.  And today, Chelsea, from Two Twenty One, is here to share how she packs her suitcase, with all sorts of savvy tips and tricks that anyone can use! 


Hey, IHeart readers! I don't know about you but I've never been known as a light packer. It seems that every time I fly I let out a "yesss" when I put my suitcase on the scale at the ticket counter and it weighs in at 49 pounds. Today I'm sharing some packing tips and tricks with you to stay organized while traveling and maximize the space in your suitcase.


Let's start with toiletries. I use two different travel toiletry bags my in-laws gave me a few years ago. One bag is for my morning and evening products-- contact solution, contact case, eyeglasses, face wash, moisturizer, eye makeup remove towelettes, floss, etc. The other bag is for my hair, shower, and miscellaneous items-- wrinkle release, lint roller, antacids, static remover spray, shampoo, conditioner, razor, hair gel, hairspray, etc.

Tip: I use empty prescription bottles for my shampoo and conditioner. Why waste money on the little travel size bottles? If needed, label the bottles with a permanent marker.

 
I also have a jewelry organizer. Because let's face it, it's always hard to decide which accessories to bring on a trip. A girl needs options.

Tip: Keep your necklaces with thin chains from tangling by stringing each necklace through a drinking straw. You can kind of see how I did this with my anchor necklace near the bottom of the photo.


I keep my longer, more intricate necklaces protected and organized in a rolled up placemat, tied with a piece of ribbon.


Read more about my DIY roll up necklace organizer here.


I love this little undergarment pouch I picked up at Gap Outlet last summer. It has two zippered compartments-- one for clean clothes and one for dirty clothes. If you're good with a sewing machine you could make one for yourself. I've seen these on Etsy in case you want to buy one.


My curly hair is high maintenance, thus the hair brush, hair gel, two kinds of hair spray, and hair dryer with a diffuser attachment. Whew. Did I mention I'm not a light packer?

I like to keep my hair dryer in a tote bag while traveling to keep any hair styling product residue off my clothes.


In order to keep dirt off my clothes, I put my shoes in grocery bags. Not fancy but still effective. To save space, I put my shoes together how most shoes come in the box you buy them in-- putting opposite ends of the shoes together.


I'm a big fan of the rolling technique when it comes to clothes. It saves space and helps minimize wrinkles.


Packing a suitcase is like Tetris to me. I typically start my putting my largest item in first, which is always my biggest toiletry bag. Then I put in my clothes, followed by my shoes, hair dryer, other toiletry bag, roll up jewelry organizer, and undergarment pouch. I store any additional accessories, like my clutch, pashmina, and scarf in the zippered top portion of the suitcase.


Since it's kind of hard to tell from the photos, I thought I'd take everything out to show you how much I fit inside my 26" x 17" x 8" suitcase. I ended up with enough clothes for at least 5 days: 3 dresses, 2 tops, 3 bottoms, 1 blazer, 1 sweater, 1 pair of pajamas, undergarments, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 clutch, 2 pashminas/scarves, and all of my toiletries and jewelry.

Some of you may ask where my makeup bag is. I completely forgot to throw it in the suitcase for these photos because I tend to put my makeup bag in my carry-on, but it could have fit in my suitcase.


I hope you found some of these tips and tricks to be helpful when packing your suitcase. Happy travels!

Do you use any of my packing techniques?  Do you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share?




"Hey friends!  I'm Chelsea from Two Twenty One!  I'm a twenty-something living in Indiana with my husband, Brad, and our crazy mutt, Jack.  My loves are photography, travel, DIY projects, baking, wine, sarcasm and my iPhone.  The husband and I are attempting to make our home a little less cookie cutter and a lot more awesome.  My little slice of the internet, Two Twenty One, is where I share my latest home improvement projects, furniture makeovers, crafts, recipes and home & seasonal decor ideas.  I am beyond excited to join Jen and the rest of the IHeart Organizing team!"



92 comments:

  1. Excellent! Thank so much for your tips! Your posts are always so helpful!!

    Rebecca from http://thewestmanfamily.blogspot.ca/

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  2. Great post! Well done fitting all that in your suitcase!

    I'm a huge fan of carrying on my luggage to avoid the fees and not have to wait for my bags at baggage claim. My rule is if I'm traveling for less than a week, I'm only allowed to pack a carry on. (This forces me to be super organized, too!) Anyone else crazy like me?

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    1. I also carry on. Any ideas on mous bottles
      small enough for airport liquid guidelines. I cant find mous in 3 oz. containers?

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    2. I've always bought my hair products for travel from Target in their travel size section. Lots of options!

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    3. while the prescription bottles are a nice tip, TSA is technically not allowed to let it through. If you get lucky and get someone who doesn't care, then you're good, but if you get someone who goes by the book, they will throw them out. They have to be 3.4 oz. in a factory labeled bottle. just fyi...

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    4. I don't think it has to be in a factory labeled bottle... You can buy the tiny bottles at Target/WalMart in packages that say "TSA Approved."

      "3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure."

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    5. Hi, I am from Belgium and I absolutly LOVE the bags you used for your toiletries and jewels.
      I have not seen anything like that here! Do you have any idea where one can buy them internationally?

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    6. I bought one similar at IKEA

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    7. Mine look just like hers and came from QVC. Travel organizers by Lori Greiner. Happy travels!

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  3. I always pack a clean pillow case to put the dirty clothes in. It keeps me organized, and then I feel better about putting my remaining clean clothes back in the same bag with the dirty ones. :) Ashlee

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  4. Love the travel tips! The placemat for chunky long necklaces is brilliant =) I've started planning outfits in advance and putting the ensemble into it's own ziploc bag -- it saves me so much hassle during short trips where I live out of my suitcase entirely!

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  5. Yikes! That is a WHOLE LOT of stuff. Makeup? Hair dryer? Wrinkle release? This sounds like so much work and so little relaxation. If you need a lint roller and static remover spray, you're taking the wrong clothes.

    I take a different approach to travel. I take it as an opportunity to simplify -- wardrobe and "beauty" routine.

    If I were going away for 5 days, I'd probably pack two tops and two bottoms, undies, and a t-shirt to sleep in. I MIGHT pack pair of shoes. I can travel for that length of time with all my stuff in a day pack.

    I just don't see the point of dragging my whole closet along with me. So what if I wear the same outfit twice? Really, people don't care. If your stuff needs laundering, there will be laundry facilities at your destination; everywhere in the world people clean clothes.

    The notions, "I don't know what I'll want to wear," and such make no sense. Pull up your big-girl panties and decide. It's really not that important to anyone but you what you wear. Truly.

    I have a friend who made her first trip to Europe a few years ago. She packed a formal gown -- in its own suitcase! -- to wear at the Casino at Monte Carlo. When she got to Monte Carlo, she learned that people simply wear street clothes in the Casino. She never wore the dress, but she dragged the suitcase all over Europe, for nothing.

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    1. I agree with your post entirely! I usually wear a T-shirt to travel in and that is the one I then sleep in. I would try to get rid of all the bits in the suitcase, like hair gel and hair dryer. I think I am being extravagant when I take foundation with me!

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    2. At the end of the day, I think Chelsea has brought to us a lot of really smart tips that can be utilized no matter how you travel. Something to note, Chelsea has amazing curly hair which she has mentioned is more maintenance than typical hair {seriously, it's fabulous}. Also, many woman travel for business and for conferences, which means that t-shirts and same outfits for days in the row just won't work. I think that Chelsea has provided great options and solutions for those that need to carry more items based on the need to dress for multiple occasions. We all travel for different reasons and scenarios, and I know I appreciate her tips, even if they don't all apply to me. :)

      xoxoxo!
      Jen

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    3. I travel for business, and I agree that way I pack for business is very different than how I'd pack for a personal trip. That said, I'd still lose the full size bottles of anything. You can get travel size containers of contact solutions, deodorant, etc. They are definitely the right size to pack for a 5 day trip. Secondly, I'd lose the hair dryer (though I can understand taking the diffuser if you you've got curly hair). The diffuser I own will fit on any hair dryer, and most hotels (or even friends houses) will have one that you can use.

      Clearly, Chelsea's system works for her and perhaps for others, so I won't knock it. However, I think beyond organizing what we have or think we need, we need to simplify and downsize too, which is what I'd do if I was packing. If you forget something, most places have stores and take credit cards - or you live without it for a week.

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    4. I think Chelsea ideas are great. I to have curly hair and even when I travel I like to look nice. So yes, the serum cream, gel and hair spray travel with me. I forgo my straighteners but can totally understand why she takes her own hair dryer, as the diffuser is a girls best friend when it comes to curls! And most places supply a hair dryer but not one of these.
      I have travelled a lot in the past and with two children in tow and I think I am pretty good at packing light but adding my luxury items as well. BB cream is great as then you don't have to pack all the extras! But I am always amazed at the 'little' ideas that other suggest on this site. Thank you Chelsea as love the straw idea as mine always get tangled up!

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    5. Wow, Dorothy, that's kinda harsh. :( I don't wear makeup or jewelry, and I usually only take jeans and tee shirts, so I travel super-light, but I'm not going to criticize someone who feels differently for not having on her big girl panties. People have different traveling styles, just like they have different living styles at home. I think it's awesome to see how people adapt!

      In the end, she showed some useful ideas about how to fit more things into less space, which I think is helpful no matter what you're packing.

      Hilarious yet unfortunate story about your friend at Monte Carlo, though. Must've been a heckuva dress to get her to drag it all over like that. Sorry she didn't get her Moment in it!

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    6. Lucia I agree with you....It amazes me how people will come onto a "pin" and belittle people that are trying to help others.. Big girl panties???? really.... I personally love Chelsea's ideas. And Jen is correct. We all travel for different reasons. Not all of us can wear the same shorts or tshirts for days on end. Chelsea....Keep bringing the wonderful tips and ideas!!!! They have helped me:):):)
      Joyce

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  6. This is great. I have one extra idea to share - it's another way to take your jewellery 'to go' while still keeping it nice and organized :)
    http://visualmeringue.blogspot.ca/2012/09/jewelry-to-go.html

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    1. Love it like crazy! Thank you for sharing!

      xo,
      Jen

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  7. Those are awesome ideas! I really like how she packs her jewelry! The straw tip is so smart!

    I just wrote a post about how I like to pack my bag. I put my outfits together in ziplock bags to keep them organized. You can see pics of what I mean here at the post http://www.thisyellowhouse.com/2013/04/how-to-pack-organized-suitcase.html

    Thanks for sharing those great tips!

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    1. Love that! I do something very similar with my outfits! Thanks for sharing!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. I love all these ideas - I'm always looking for ways to improve my packing. I went to your blog and we think a lot alike! I like to put an entire outfit together so I don't end up with red panties or bra with white pants or top!! I use 2 gallon size ziplock bags and label each day's outfit. Unpackng at a hotel is easier too.

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    3. Smart idea, Mona! That would definitely save time when getting ready too.

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  8. I love the idea to use empty prescription bottles for shampoo/conditioner. I bet it would work for hair gel too, for my hubby. I'm always at a loss for what to put his gel in because I don't want to take the whole big bottle. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Oh it would definitely work for hair gel, Diana. I'd do it if my hair didn't require so much gel. :)

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  9. great post!!
    since I live in a boarding school and travel home each weekend, this is really, really helpful! thanks :)

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  10. Love Chelsea's style and packing tips. Funny that the two pairs of shoes she is bringing are my absolute fav. that I wear daily.

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    1. Thanks, Emily! Aren't those shoes great? I also bought the nude flats in black-- love em!

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  11. The straw suggestion for the necklaces is pure genius! :)

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    1. I know right!? Wish I would have thought of that one, so smart!
      xo,
      Jen

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  12. How fun! I especially like the jewelry packing tips-that's what my weakness is. And BTW, I LOVE these necklaces:)

    Great post!

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  13. No kidding I was packing a suitcase for six weeks in Europe this morning, and I found myself thinking, "Man. I should go check out I Heart Organizing to see if they have any suitcase packing tips and tricks." And voila, just like that, here it is. Super cool! Thanks!

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    1. Love that! Have an amazing trip! So jealous!! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  14. We use little travel toiletry bags from LL Bean that work wonderful! As for the necklaces, that is a good idea. Also the Dirty and Clean undergarment bag is nice, now I have to find one!

    -Crista

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  15. What excellent tips thank you for taking time to share

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  16. We are preparing for a trip as we speak and I think I am going to make me a garment bag like that one. It's super adorable. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Some good tips - I like the one about using prescription bottles for shampoo etc. Don't forget to take the labels off though - could be interesting going through customs in some countries.
    I put my underwear etc in my shoes to save space.
    I also just use a plastic bag for my dirty washing, and usually wash some clothes by hand when I am away so I don't need to take so much.
    We try to take as little as possible on holiday with us and have one toilet bag for all three of us. I really agree with Dorothy above - do you really need to bother taking wrinkle release (I thought that was a face product at first, honestly!) lint roller, static remover, hairdryer, hair spray etc? I don't even use any of those things in everyday life. Thanks for the tips!

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  18. I have one pop up hamper in every suitcase we own. They fold up to the size of a dinner plate. But with kids especially, it gives the dirty clothes a place to go when they peel out of them after a long day enjoying vacation. THen I repack all the dirty things in a large garbage bag when it's time to go.

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    1. Great idea, Julianna! Such a smart idea to stay organized while on vacation.

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  19. I agree with Dorothy. I can't imagine taking so much junk on a trip. Simplify to 1/4 of that stuff and your whole travel experience will improve. And yes, I wear nice clothes and makeup!

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  20. Such a pretty packer you are, Chelsea! I need to use your prescription bottles tip! I usually take my regular-sized shampoo bottles with me, and they take up a lot of space. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

    ~Abby =)

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  21. I pack with spacebags! I LOVE them! They make the kind that you can 'roll' the air out of - instead of using a vacuum. I packed clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc. for 1 month in China in a carry on bag. I never check bags anymore!

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    1. Spacebags are great! I love using them to store seasonal linens. Major props for fitting all your things in a carry on bag for 1 month in China!

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  22. simple same story HERE http://susunatursioca.blogspot.com/2013/04/kemas-beg-travelling.html

    =)

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  23. Such a great idea about the shoes in grocery bags! I always think of how gross the bottom of the shoes are on my clothes!!

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  24. I tend to just travel light, which some people don't do. I do have a bug-out bag in my entry closet at all times (something else it'd be good to do a feature on someday, maybe!) with extra clothes, meds, first-aid supplies, emergency toiletries, trash bags, toilet paper, a towel, bottled water, some spare cash, and so forth. Tons of stuff, and I have to make it fit into something that's about the size of a duffel bag. This crazy level of preparedness is in case I have to leave quickly in an emergency, so I'll always be able to spend at least two days away from home with no worries, and pay for a cheap hotel. Serious peace of mind.

    My challenge when packing comes in placing items in the bags so that the things I need will be easiest to reach! I need small stuff most, but that migrates to the bottom of the bag, and when you're traveling in a car (I usually do), you don't want to be rooting around with your arm twisted behind you for half an hour trying to dig out the aspirin. (There is a term for the way small items settle: the Brazil nut effect. Not kidding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_nut_effect How cool is that?!) Inner pockets, sturdier zip-pouches, and outer pockets are my salvation.

    So, I always like tips on how to pack for maximum accessibility.

    Oh, I love my ugly tan bag with the nine bazillion clip-closed pouches on the outside. Sharpie-labeled, not fancy, SO VERY not pretty, but it's saved my behind more than once!

    Chelsea's tip about the straws is brilliant. And the rubber mat for the larger necklaces. I'm going to have to combine both of those to protect my paintbrushes next time I have to transport them! Fantastic ideas.

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  25. My family of 6 (4 kids) travels all over Europe with just 3 backpacks (one for diapers, one with a travel bed, and one with all of our clothes/toiletries). Packing light is the best way to go!

    http://momineurope.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/backpacking/

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  26. I think the beauty of the whole thing is everyone is different. No one way is "right" or "wrong". There are some fabulous tips here, but if it doesn't apply to you -or you don't want to travel with your hair dryer- then don't do it! Business travel vs. camping trip - yes, different. Resort trip vs. staying at a friend's house - yes, different. Be flexible and not judgmental! (ps. i'm a curly girl too and carry my diffuser ... bulky but necessary!)

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  27. I love the packing bags from Ikea. They come in a set of four with a special bag for shoes: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30235115/#/80235113

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    1. I used to use Ziploc bags for everything, but discovered packing cubes from both e-Bags and Magellan travel a few years ago. Different colors and sizes help us keep everything nice and tidy in our bags. When I'm not traveling I use a few to organize my yarn and sewing projects.

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  28. Love the straw idea! I always have trouble with necklaces tangling. I don't think this amount of clothing/accessories is out of line at all. Honestly, I'd probably have more.

    I am not a light packer. Even when I think I will be, I like to have options. Just a matter of preference, as I think there's no right or wrong way.

    I love the commenter's idea to have a hamper in the suitcase. I'm totally doing this next time.

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  29. I appreciate tips from someone who admittedly does NOT travel light. I happily pay the fee to check my bag, with MY hairdryer, curling/flat iron and products. I have curly hair that is impossible to style with those crappy hotel dryers. I also need more PJs. :) Yep...I could live out of one carry on, but on the flip side if I'm paying for a vacation, I want to ENJOY it and FEEL good.

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  30. Hi Chelsea! I am wondering, where did your in-laws get the hanging travel bags that have such great tall and deep pockets like that??

    I'm leaving town in a little over a week and have been searching for just the perfect bag I could purchase and get two so I could do the same set up as you actually! I have my eye one at Target if I don't find anything. They have a bagillion out right now!

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    1. Hey, Sarah! I'm not quite sure. I know they came in a set with a tote bag. I'll ask and let you know. Hopefully my MIL can remember because she bought them like 5 years ago (they've held up well!).

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    2. The travel bag set is by Lori Greiner-- from QVC.

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    3. The travel organizer set is by Lori Greiner, found on QVC.

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    4. I've seen things like that at Marshalls, I need to get one too!

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    5. I have recently purchased a similar travel organizer at TJMaxx...they have great travel items!

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  31. Love the prescription bottle tip! I've never thought to use those for liquids before . . . I've always bought the little travel containers, and then I lose them after each trip, and end up having to buy new ones for the next vacation . . . vicious cycle. No more. Also love the idea of bringing bags to put shoes in to keep clothes clean--why have I never thought of that myself?

    Although I tend to pack lightly (more to avoid having to pay to check a bag than out of a true preference for light packing), I always enjoy trips more when I bring along my own amenities from home! It's always nice to use my own things--hair dryer, straightener, etc.--and makes my trips feel more comfortable and mornings go more smoothly while getting ready, so whenever I have the space, they come along, too!

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  32. I like the straw-necklace packing idea.

    I always pack my clothes on hangers (the slim velvet kind) in garment bags inside my big suitcase. I'm not into feeling like I am camping. I plan outfits that go together with accessories but I don't wear the same clothes twice (except jeans). I bring my makeup in my purse and I have a separate small travel tote for magazines I buy at the airport, ipad, chargers, germ killer, travel pillow and hand cream that I hang over my rolling carry-on suitcase.

    I always bring my shoes in cloth pouches to put them in my suitcase (they get washed after each trip). I "could" stuff everything into one large *checked* bag but that would make me feel messy. I like having my clothes as wrinkle-free as possible. I have purses, shoes, accessories and toiletries in my small carry-on suitcase and my larger suitcase is just for my clothes.

    One the last day I put all my travel clothes back in one garment bag (excluding hangers) and then everything including the garment bags get washed when I get home. The hangers go in a cloth bag and it is faster to unpack that way.

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  33. Great post! I always enjoy packing tips! I have never been a light packer, but work very hard now to minimize and be efficient where I can, while still being able to look nice wherever I go. I have 5 kids and we have travelled the US, Europe and Asia! I often don' t bother with accessorizing when I am home all day with my kids, but when I travel looking nice, wearing a matching scarf, etc is part of the fun! I also love being prepared for any emergency, even static! Makes me feel organized!!
    I had to ask, since air travel can be so hard on toiletries, do you ever have leakage from using the prescription bottles? This seems like a genius idea, but I hate getting to my destination, opening my toiletry bag and finding something gooey all over everything else :) . Thanks again for the great tips!

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    1. I've never had an issue with the prescription bottles leaking. I told a friend who asked to try it out with her kid-- fill a bottle with some water and send the kiddo outside to shake it up and see if it leaks. :)

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  34. Thanks for the great ideas! Where did you get the jewelry travel bag? It's perfect!

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  35. I am a reformed over packer and now travel almost exclusively with carry on after I did some soul searching (not to mention closet searching,) when it came time to pack to come home and I realized that I really didn't wear as much as I thought I would. For me it was a former fear that I might need something and in reality, I rarely did. And even if I did need it, I could buy it while away. My just in case items are now limited to first aid and OTC meds and even those are removed from their boxes so that they fit into a ziplock bag. I cut out the dosage info and keep them with the blister packs of meds with an elastic band.

    I usually fly and have to take any liquids in a ziplock bag which I pack in the top portion of my suitcase so it is easy to retrieve when going through security. I bought some empty, legal sized toiletries containers and decant my favourite brands; they are often slightly larger than the premade toiletries anyways. These get topped up when we get back and are ready to go for the next trip.

    When packing your suitcase, put the heaviest and least wrinkled items, usually shoes, non liquids toiletries (toothbrush etc.) or jeans, at the bottom end of the suitcase so that when your suitcase is standing up, they won't be gravitating to the bottom, crushing and wrinkling the rest of your clothes. Use the outer pockets for things such as socks or undies (be sure to put your good ones inside your suitcase just in case, but if you aren't checking your bag, no one should have an opportunity to root through the outer pockets anyways.) Don't roll up belts, but lay them out around the outside edge of the suitcase and stuff socks or other small items into your shoes to help them keep their shape.

    Happy travels!

    Nancy

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  36. Some great ideas in the blog post and comments!!

    I've just returned from a 12 day trip to Australia from the UK (still jet lagged, but let's not talk about that right now :-/ ) and I spent a LOT of time researching packing/capsule wardrobes etc before I went as I'm always over-packing. My case weighed about 13kg's on the way there and a tiny bit more on the way back.

    I found eBags packing capsules (small ones and narrow ones) REALLY helpful for packing clothes, especially when you roll everything too. Socks and undies were stuffed in corners and in shoes to stop them getting flattened. In the end most of my suitcase was taken up with other stuff like a travel towel, shoes, toiletries, makeup, jewellery, chargers etc. I wish I'd taken a photo to show how much I got in such a small case!!

    I also planned my clothes in advance around a colour scheme (black, purple and green) so that everything could be worn with everything and accessorised with scarves and jewellery. I also tried on clothes before to make sure they looked ok. I still took too much though :-) I would suggest only taking items you wear a lot at home, as you will feel comfortable in them. Holidays aren't the best time for trying out new fashions. I used buttons to store earrings so they're easy to find and keep together but I need to organise my jewellery better for my next trip.

    I use mini toiletry bottles/tubs from the Body Shop that I've received in gift packs (or you can just buy them) and re-fill them with whatever shampoo/conditioner/shower gel/face wash I'm using at home. I also decanted makeup and face moisturiser into sample bottles that I've collected over the years. In the UK most supermarkets and pharmacies like Boots and Superdrug have a selection of mini toiletries, especially at this time of year. I like the idea of separate toiletry bags as mine is huge, but as it's filled with mini bottles, I don't need such a big bag.

    What else??? I always pack a complete change of clothes in my hand luggage and take mini basic toiletries in case my checked luggage doesn't arrive with me.

    I'm sorry that doesn't flow well. I've been awake since 3:30am and I think I lost a few brain cells on the flights home.

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    1. Your trip sounds like it was awesome! I learned many years ago to lay out all the clothes I want to take. Then put away half. Even still, you will return home with some that you never wore on your trip.

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  37. I love this post, especially as I find ,myself traveling more and more for work. The lint roller is a must for me as I have pets at home and without fail they find a way to send a little of themselves with me...

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  38. prescriptions bottles, never occured to me, nice...no exploding problems? ...I have just tested out a tip i stole off of Alejanda Costello... shower caps (as in the freebies from hotels) as shoe covers. Awesome for a pair a flats or flip flips u only need one cap.. for a pair of sneakers 1 each shoe. Worked wonderfully! I was in some messy locations too... i actually found a pack of 8 or 10 at the dollar store to stock up for the future trips :)

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  39. oh, one more tip! ... those teeny ziplock bags you get with spare buttons for blouses, etc... great for corraling small items :)

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  40. Very inspirational! I absolutely fell in love with the garment bag and already startet making one of my own :D

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  41. These tips are fantastic!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    :) rebecca

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  42. This is perfect, I'm looking for this information and I found your blog. Already bookmark it and will share it to my friends. We're planning to visit Boracay next month with my friends. thanks for this wonderful post.. :)

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  43. I can say that this is very organize and I would love to implement those tips that you've shared on my next travel outings with my family in China.

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  44. Great tips! instead of a plastic bag for shoes, you should use a shower cap, so that the shoes don't get squashed together, and the shower caps take up less room.

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  45. This was a great post. I really want to either find or make the undies wash/wear bag. I was in the Container Store the other day watching hoardes of people frantically buying all these travel related items. I kept it to myself, but couldn't help thinking of the last 8 years of my life, travelling in and out of the Middle East with just a back pack. If I can take multiple 14 + hour flights, with just a back pack, what is it we "really" need in these 55 pound suitcases? And one carry on bag really and truly means ONE carry on bag. Yesterday when I was returning from a short hop, I saw people gang together against a woman who had three bags lashed together and was claiming it was one. I love the neatly packed suitcases in this post and look forward to a trip I can take with more than just clothes that double as pajamas AND work out clothes LOL!!!!

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  46. I'm a bit late to the discussion, but I had an interesting revelation recently. It may be just the bags I had, but when I went camping a few weeks ago, I took a large maxpedition duffle bag and a smaller tote bag containing a few odds and ends. Throughout the week, I stuffed the dirty clothes in the tote bag. When it came time to pack up, I just put the tote bag where my clothes were in the duffle and it fit perfectly without having to fold them up nicely again.

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  47. In theory, I love the idea of packing cubes, but, in practice, it's not so easy to always have one that's just the right size for--whatever. Instead, I use small mesh laundry bags. They're great for undies, etc. Very foldable and stuffable--as in stuff them in nooks and crannies in your suitcase, especially those indentations made by the handles. Also, when not flying, I like to pack toiletries and makeup in little tackle boxes with changeable dividers. When flying, you can use them for the non-liquids and gels. By the way, I love traveling so much that I stalk packing tips on the internet. Great ideas here!

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  48. You do get a lot into that suitcase! You know what I always do? Put the biggest/heaviest pieces at the bottom. Try putting the toiletry bags down there and things will be less smushed/wrinkled. Also, the bag will be easier to handle and less prone to tipping.

    I'm lazy, so anything making it easier to carry/pull something makes me happy.

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  49. *through not THREW lol THREW is as if you threw a ball... through is for when you go through something or put something through something such as those necklace chains through the straws. ;)

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  50. If you ask your dry cleaner for several dry cleaning bags and then roll your ironed clothing pieces, once unrolled you will find wrinkle-free garments!

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  51. great tips! I use different sizes of plastic bags for jewelry sets; I put the earrings in a small plastic bag- actually hang them on a board from Pottery Barn on my wall- then put the necklace (or bracelet) in a larger plastic bag, with earring bag inside that. Sometimes I pack that bag inside the outfit I plan to wear it with, sometimes I pack all in a jewelry roll. I also use plastic garbage bags for dirty clothes, zip locks for some shoes (I like flats and they usually fit). As for electronics, like hairdryers, flat irons, and sound machines, I pack them on top, knowing that they are a red flag for someone going through bags, and may make it less likely for TSA agent to mess up my clothes. I put underwear in zip locks or sometimes the bags used in washer- putting in a couple,for clean/dirty or dark/light makes it easier when you get home.

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  52. The only reason I read your blog post was I was hoping for tips on packing a makeup bag! Then found out at the end it wasn't included in your tips. It's the toughest thing for me to pack compactly and completely! Darn!

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  53. I take a small empty travel size hairspray bottle with me when I travel and when I hang up my clothes (there is always a wrinkle or two) I fill the bottle with water and lightly spray the wrinkles and they un-wrinkle perfectly every time. Then I empty the bottle when I leave. No time wasted ironing! I also never stress about packing my clothes. I do use XL ziploc bags and pack clothes separately by style, eg, tank tops, exercise clothes. The bags also fold flat nicely, and I don't worry about them getting damaged from anything leaking.

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  54. Where did you get your black jewelry case?

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  55. To keep patent leather shoes from scuffing while they are packed together, I slip a sock over each one. Ankle socks work perfectly! Put them on the shoe with the heel of the sock on top (it stretches over the opening of the shoe).

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  56. A few years back, as I was packing for a trip I jotted down everything I packed. Every little item was accounted for. Then, when I had time I typed out a list for myself that I have used ever since. Keeps me from thinking and ruminating on what I need to take. There are also great lists you can download and use too. And wow, does it help to only pack the travel size in any thing I can. I do wish someone would invent a high powered hair dryer that was light weight. Those motel dryers are pathetic. Happy Travels!

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  57. At last! Someone mentioned about packing. I always see reservation tips, travel tips and others so it is really a relief to find some packing tips for traveling. I'm having a hard time packing our things and the stuffs that we should bring.

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  58. Some really fantastic suggestions - both in the article and the comments.
    My husband and I get away sometimes on his motorbike. Me as pillon, so only one gear sack between us.
    We always try to fit in a change of 'good' or 'neat' clothes for going out to dinner - nothing worse than living in your bike gear nonstop for a week or two - even just a weekend! And my hairspray is essential - all help is needed for 'helmet hair'.
    As to buying whatever you need - try buying a warm jumper in Australia in January because you're freezing when travelling on the bike! I prefer to take my own rather than buy something/anything to keep warm. And never leave home without wet weather gear!
    So I'll be leaving my 'big girl panties' at home and squeezing in as many of my essential non-essentials as I can!

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  59. Great tips. I also use old prescription bottles to carry and store jewelry. Packing shoes and larger toiletries are the best tips to effectively use packing space.

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  60. You have amazing packing ideas! I should pack all of my stuff for about a month because I am moving to another apartment. I am so excited and hope that I will have enough packing time!

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  61. Lay your jewelry out flat between two sheets of plastic wrap. It’ll save space and prevent your baubles from getting tangled mid-flight. A weekly pill container also works wonders.

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