I have been obsessing over the best way to fill a suitcase since I was a freshman in college. After traveling overseas with two large suitcases that I could barely get on the Tube (that's some fancy London speak for you), I knew there had to be another way. While my favorite method of folding clothes vertically helps quite a bit, knowing how to streamline the items is essential.
Here's what I took with me on a recent trip home for one week!
Wear On the Plane
Tips here are to wear your bulkiest items, especially shoes, and your most comfortable items! I like to ball up my jacket once I am on the plane to use as a pillow. I also like to take a lightweight scarf that can be spread out into a mini blanket.
Wear on the Plane
1 long blouse
1 pair leggings
1 pair boots
1 denim jacket
1 grey hoodie
1 light cotton scarf
In Your Personal Item
One of the best things about getting to know yourself is that you can carry less on a plane! What are you really going to do for those three hours? Be honest now! Are you going to sleep, watch a movie, or are you really going to get allllll that work done? I have found that once I admitted to myself that I will not get work done - that the best I can expect is to read a memoir or journal - I streamlined what I need beneath my feet. I take my Kindle, journal, and my Chromebook (to protect it), but those are all super lightweight. And that's it!
The purse I carry is usually one that is soft (not rigid), durable, and can hold quite a bit when filled.
Have in Purse
Passport (just in case!)
Kindle (with books loaded!)
Snack (usually a Larabar and chocolate!)
On this week long trip I was attending three special moments - a baby’s birth, a Mother’s Day lunch, and a Graduation! It was a summer trip, but there was PLENTY of room left in my suitcase had the clothing been bulkier.
First we have one suitcase, blue, bought the night before. As a newly minted minimalist, I rock the carry-on only. (It is not in excess of the American Airlines standard of 22 x 14 x 9 in.) This saves time at the airport AND money!
So what's in the suitcase?
Here's the goods, in all the gory details!
I believe in taking one of everything. I bet you didn't expect that! This is mostly because I have a mental block when it comes to imagining other weather, but also because as a small young woman I am ALWAYS cold. At the same time? I HATE to be hot! Taking one of each type of clothing (within reason) means I always have SOMETHING to wear when I encounter an adverse temperature. Layering is my friend! It also helps for unexpected activities. ("You want to walk by the river? Sure just let me grab my casual sneaks!)
I also believe in the accessories rule of packing. Usually with accessories it's "get dressed and then take one accessory off." With packing I decide how many outfits I need and then remove one. I also like to wear separates for events rather than dresses. This way you can re-purpose them into new outfits during the trip!
Finally, ask yourself a few questions about your destination. Can you do laundry? If so, that should cut your packing in half. Also, will there be a hair dryer? It's worth the time to call ahead and find out! This also goes for things I use as toiletries, like apple cider vinegar and baking soda, which can be easily purchased and left behind.
1 coral pink accordion pleated skirt
1 pair pajama pants
1 pair jeans
2 neutral off the collarbone tops
2 pair shorts (one fun, one neutral)
2 graphic t-shirts
2 neutral tank tops
5 pair underwear
1 pair sandals
1 pair keds-style casual sneakers
2 gold necklaces for layering
1 pair gold heart earrings
1 baby gift (picked something from the registry that was lightweight and foldable!)
1 Mother’s Day card (purchased a lunch as a gift)
1 Graduation Day card (purchased a gift once I arrived)
Jojoba Oil (multi-use)
Vitamins and Supplements
Notes for traveling with a full carry-on through security:
Bars of soap and razors will get flagged, as well as jars even if they don't have liquid. You will save time by putting those items in bins going through the scanner rather than having them packed in your suitcase.