Pack, Pack, Pack It Up
I am the queen of the carry-on. After all, in the past few years, I’ve gone on many a long weekend trip by plane, train and automobile.
This weekend, my boyfriend, dog and I will be heading to Ohio to visit my family, and as I was planning outfits and filling my bag, I realized just how doable it is to pack for four days with ~plenty~ of room to spare. (In fact, it’s possible little Melody will technically have more items than I will.) Here are my top tips for packing big style into a small bag:
Pick The Perfect Bag
Your luggage of choice might change based on where you’re going, what your bringing and how long you’ll be there, so take stock of all the variables before you start slamming things into any old bag.
I am obsessed with my Diane Von Furstenberg four-piece luggage set. With a laptop bag, large duffel-like weekender and two large "checked" bags, I can mix and match what I need to customize my trip. Plus, they’re cloth, which both gives more leeway for those who over-pack and minimizes the appearance of wear and tear than hard plastic luggage does. I'll be using the carry-on bag over Memorial Day Weekend (similar HERE and HERE).
No matter how cute those adorable wedges are, if you can only get one use out of them, they probably aren’t worth the space. In fact, the more multi-wear items you can bring, the better. I extend this rule to clothing, sweaters, jackets, accessories, purses, and even hairstyles (since they all might require a different curling iron or hairbrush…).
For this upcoming trip, I am bringing a pair of flats that translate well between casual and dressy outfits, which will let me wear them every day. I’m also wearing my bulkiest items on the plane to save more space (think jeans, a jacket and a scarf) and planning the same wavy hairstyle every day.
Lay It Flat
Lots of sites might suggest you roll your clothes within your bag, but I find that laying garments as flat as possible is the best way to utilize space.
Steam or iron your pieces before folding as flat as possible — aim somewhat for the shape of the bag, too. Wrap any shoes you’re packing in plastic bags and layer in between clothes. If you put them all at the bottom, they end up wasting quite a bit of space because your other items can’t quite form around them. Fill the gaps with undergarments, toiletries and beauty products, then you’re good to go!
Maximize Your Personal Item
If you’re traveling by air, pack your small purse, wallet, phone charger, or even jewelry, hairbrush and makeup within one larger bag. I use my laptop bag, which can hold my magazines, laptop and charger, and light snack so I can reduce the space needed in my ~actual~ carry-on AND decrease the changes I’ll have to open that top compartment and break into my bag for something in-flight.
Plan, Plan, Plan
It might not be the most fun and spontaneous course of action, but literally planning out everything style-wise is the ultimate saving grace when it comes to keeping your possessions within a carry-on container.
I like to check the weather and make a general itinerary each day before planning accordingly. I don’t get down to the second or control every hour, of course, but this way I know roughly what to expect and how dressy or casual I need to be. Doing this days (or weeks!) in advance lets you craft outfits around similar accessories, shoes, or even hairstyles, ensuring you’re still maximizing style while bringing the bare minimum.
Stay tuned for my tips for flying with your pet next week (lookin’ at you, dog