Whether you are packing for a month-long road trip, a sociable city break or a busy business trip, here are some tips to ensure that you can efficiently fit what you need in your suitcase.
Take a capsule (wardrobe)
Now is not the time to get experimental with your travel wardrobe. You’re looking for trusty basics that work together with other items in your suitcase. The aim is to put together many outfits from a few pieces. You may find limiting your colour palette especially useful here, as well as only taking pieces you love and feel good in. Simple black trousers can be dressed up or down. Avoid taking dry clean only items, so you can wash-as-you-go, saving space. Of course, if your destination is Paris Fashion Week, please ignore this section.
Roll, and fold your clothes
General rule of thumb: roll softer, easily wrinkled clothes, and fold stiffer, bulkier ones, like jeans (although we suggest minimising the denim in your travel capsule as it’s heavy and takes a long time to dry when washed). If you have them, consider using compression packing cubes. These zippered, fabric boxes help you squeeze more in, they’ll keep things organised if you’re living out of your suitcase for a while.
Use every bit of space
For example, what could be folded to fit the long, flat skinny spaces created by the telescopic handle? These could be perfect for a couple of t shirts, a paperback, a pair of jandals… Shoes are perfect for packing efficiently. Don’t let the space inside your shoes go to waste. Stuff socks, jewellery, or plug adaptors into your more robust shoes or sneakers. Shoes and socks can also help to protect delicate chotchkes and souvenirs purchased on your travels.
Wear your heaviest items
This tip applies especially when travelling to a cold destination. For example, instead of trying to pack your heavy winter boots in your suitcase, could you wear them on travel days? The same goes for outerwear like coats and jackets, heavy jeans (see point 2) or thick knits. Instead of trying to pack your puffer jacket, wear it over your travel outfit, and pop it in the overhead locker once you’re on the plane.
Go travel size
If you’re like us, you’re probably not keen to entrust your tresses to the hotel shampoo. There are a few ways to pack your favourite hair and skincare and still save space. Find travel-size versions of your products (under 100ml for carry on). Buy reusable travel-size toiletry containers (we recommend either GoToobs or LiquiSnugs). Or clean and reuse containers you already have. Tip: if you’re doing this with prescription medicines, keep a copy of your prescription with you. Cosmetics and meds aren’t the only essentials that can come in travel sizes. Transforming an anonymous greige hotel room into a welcoming sleep sanctuary is as simple as packing a comforting, yet compact memory foam pillow and silk pillowcase, lightly misted with aromatherapy spray.
Pick your suitcase carefully
If you already have a suitcase you love, take that. But if you’re shopping for a new suitcase, consider these tips. Avoid built-in technology, like battery packs. These add weight, take up space, and will be obsolete long before the suitcase enters retirement. When looking at a few similar models, take into account these numbers. The capacity: usually expressed as litres, is how much usable space there is inside. The size: a suitcase’s outer dimensions of length, height and depth are usually measured in centimetres, with height listed as the size (e.g. a 55cm carry on). The weight: try to find the lightest suitcase for its size, although it may cost more.
One more thing to add…
See if you can pack intentionally and take only items with multiple uses, like a Go Pillow. Designed by a frequent flyer, the super versatile Go Pillow will take you wherever you want to go – from long haul flights to poolside yoga – in style and comfort.