As much as I love to travel, (un-)packing ranks very high on my procrastination list which means I usually pack in a frenzy about 2 hours before departure and unpack 7-13 days after my return. And despite endless trips to all climate zones I’m still far from a pro-packer even though I know the basic rules of a smart packing. In theory.
Not too long ago I ended up with a boxy 55 lb suitcase full of un-necessities on a roadtrip through parts of South America with a potential love interest. Let's just say he wasn’t particularly impressed with my floral summer dress collection designed for afternoons at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool.
Little did I know (or failed to consider prior), he’d be lugging the monstrosity in and out off a different lodge every single day. He was a real gentleman about it but my embarrassment level was still up there.
Other times I took the whole “travel light” idea a bit too serious and ended up in Sydney, invited to the city’s fanciest and most fashionable sushi restaurants looking like a hobo who only came in to use the restroom. Hence, it’s time I hone in on those packing skills, since free styling when stuffing my luggage clearly isn’t my strong suit.
Here are some tricks and tips to keep in mind:
- Stick to a color scheme that allows you to match all tops with bottoms and multiply your potential outfits. Outfit Square 2, for those who paid attention in Algebra...
- Three tops per bottom! This is not a frivolous gay sex position but a good rule of thumb to stick to.
- Shoes: Unless you’re headed to Fashion Week, one pair of sneakers, one casual and one dressy pair is all you need. Skip the heels on the Patagonia trek, because… well. Because!
- Have the essentials in your carry-on. Layers, toothbrush, basic cosmetics, medication, the family's heirloom jewels. The things that will tie you over if your luggage is delayed and the valuables you’d desperately miss, should your bag get lost for good.
- Especially when traveling with carry-on only, treat yourself to a packing cube. To some they seem a bit OCD but man they are space efficient.
- Roll vs. fold: I prefer to roll when I use a duffle and fold when using a structured suitcase. The lighter the material (silk, linen, etc) the flatter it wants to lie.
- Top heavy is NOT the way forward… place the heavy items at the wheels to prevent your case from tipping over.
- Invest in quality travel gadgets like noise-canceling headphones, adapters and portable chargers. You can find our top choices in the SHOP section.