1. Make a practical list
You can’t really trust your brain to remember everything you need to bring. Plus, a list filters out unnecessary (or redundant) things you might otherwise throw in your luggage because you were in a hurry. Most importantly, be honest with yourself about what you’re really going to be doing on your vacation–avoid packing for “what-if” scenarios.
2. Stick to the 1-2-3-4-5 rule
This is really arbitrary, and you get to decide which items you need the most. But once you create your own 1-5 rule, stick to it. A practical sample list would be:
1 hat/scarf (depending on the weather), 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of bottoms, 4 tops, 5 sets of underwear.
3. Decide on a color palette or theme
If you stick to a specific palette (only neutrals or only bolds, for instance) or a theme (subdued classics or athleisure, for example), you’ll find it much easier to bring only what you need. Mixing and matching key pieces and shoes from your chosen palette or theme will expand your suitcase mileage.
4. Start with the right luggage
It’s time to retire your trusty old bulky luggage with the broken zippers. Modern luggage designs have divided sections for easier organizing, 360-degree wheels, compression straps, and lightweight materials that won’t give you back pain. This TUMI 19-degree aluminum luggage is both chic, compact, and sturdy.
5. Organize clothes according to activity
Use smaller bags/packing organizers within your suitcase to arrange clothes by use: fine dining kit, exercising kit, swimming kit, lounging kit, walking-around-the-city kit, just to name some.
6. Big, heavy items should go at the bottom
Shoes, jeans, heavy coats should go at the bottom–it makes looking for stuff inside your suitcase easier because you don’t have to dig through, and prevents wrinkles on lighter items.
7. Do the military roll For shirts, jeans, casual clothes, and cotton anything, the rolling method saves space and makes it so much easier for you (because who loves folding clothes?).
8. Bring a compact travel makeup kit
An extensive, but oh-so-small, travel kit is your best friend. Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Chanel–take your pick, everybody’s making these little babies.
9. Wear big, heavy items on the plane
Finally, wear your bulkiest shoes and coats onboard. Not only will you save precious luggage space, you’ll also look like a celebrity at the airport.