You’ve made your reservations. You’ve booked your hotel. You’re all pumped and ready to go!
All that’s left to do is pack your suitcase. If only it were as easy as it sounds.
Arguably the toughest part of any trip, packing luggage like a pro takes the decision-making wisdom of King Solomon, and the organizational touch of Marie Kondo.
But we’ll let you in on a secret: anyone can pack a suitcase well — including you!
Read on for your stress-free guide to packing everything in your luggage.
Pro tips for How to Pack a Suitcase
Before we get into your luggage options, follow these tips.
- Lay everything out before you pack. This way, you can clearly see what size luggage you need to bring, and you get a second chance to leave some items behind.
- Avoid bulky items if possible. These take up precious space.
- Pack durable, bigger items on the edges of your suitcase, with more fragile, breakable items in the middle.
- Invest in travel accessories. Toiletry bags, clothing cubes, and different sized luggage are all designed to lighten your load. Let them!
- Stay calm! Everything will fit. If it doesn’t, we bet you can find something to leave behind.
How to Pack Everything
Once you’ve decided on which suitcase to bring, it’s time to figure out how to make everything inside it fit all neat and nice. Here’s where to pack what.
How to pack your clothing
Get ready, because we’re about to change your life. The KonMari folding method, pioneered by Marie Kondo, offers the benefit of saving serious space (giving you room for that one extra outfit) and making your clothes easier to find and pick out once you’ve arrived. You can find instructions here.
Once you’ve folded your clothes, level up your suitcase organization with packing cubes. Again, these help you squeeze more in, but you can also use them to organize your clothing by type or outfit. We love this 6-piece set from AWAY.
For your fancier clothes (we’re talking your jumpsuits and dresses), keep them wrinkle-free with a garment bag. You can find great options at Nordstrom and Macy’s.
If you’re traveling during the winter, some bulk is unavoidable. Limit yourself to one coat or heavy jacket that looks good with anything, and a fab pair of boots. Then, wear them on the plane to free up space in your luggage and avoid going over the weight limit.
How to pack your shoes
Sure, you can throw shoes in at the bottom of your luggage, but don’t blame us when you find random dirt on your favorite tee. Instead, pack them in a zippered shoe bag or drawstring dust bag. Grocery store bags and large ziplocks can work in a pinch.
Nicer shoes sometimes come with a free shoe bag in the box. If yours didn’t, you can find them on travel sites like TUMI, Amazon, or The Container Store:
Pro Tip: Roll up your socks and stuff them inside your shoes to help them keep their shape. You can use any extra dust bags to pack your bras.
How to pack your toiletries and make-up
You guessed it: this is what toiletry bags were made for! We’re not talking about generic pouches. Toiletry bags have different compartments for different toiletries, with plastic pouches and zippers to keep your lotions and creams in, instead of exploding all over your clothes.
Big box retailers like Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond sell these, but you can also find one from your favorite travel, accessory, or home furnishing brand, like this one from West Elm:
Don’t forget a smaller bag for the toiletries you’re carrying with you on the plane. A ziplock will do, but a clear one that’s sized just right is a lot sturdier (and cuter).
How to pack your jewelry
Your jewelry belongs in a travel jewelry case. Whether they’re big or small, they’re designed to keep your jewelry safe and secure, instead of bouncing around in your bag. Plus, chic ones can double as a purse when you’re out and about sightseeing.
We’re partial towards The Wanderer, our vegan leather travel jewelry case at Roam Often. Available in three classic colors, this sleek 5x7-inch folio has space for all your rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and more. Read this guide for packing your jewelry tangle-free.
For even more ideas on how to pack everything in your luggage, check out our Pinterest board!
Roam often, stay stylish.