6 Crazy Packing Tips

How to make it all fit in a carry on. You got this!

How to make it all fit in a carry on. You got this!

I’ve been thinking that I have needed to write this post for awhile now. I recently had a few people ask me for my packing tips, since we always pack so light, and they can’t seem to do the same. So I decided it was finally time to make my wacky secrets known to all. I did warn one girl (a friend of my daughters) not to make fun of my tips, since they aren’t typical, or at least I haven’t seen anyone post these things, but then again I have not read every single travel blog.

We like to move around as we travel, which means getting in and out of our suitcase almost daily and repacking it daily. The longest trip we have done is 3 weeks and we take enough without having to stop for laundry. We have learned to travel light because it just makes life easier. We recently traveled to the UK and we ran into mulitiple people that were carrying 2 very large suitcases, with carry ons and backpacks/personal bags. Honestly, I don’t think I have enough clothes in my closet to fill that much luggage, but as you watch these people struggle, you learn that you NEVER want to travel like that, even if you were going for a month.

One my 6 Tips when trying to pack it all into a carry on

One my 6 Tips when trying to pack it all into a carry on

So here are my 6 Crazy Packing Tips

1. Pack in ziplock bags “Are you crazy, that seems so trashy?”

I roll all my shirts then stuff them into a ziplock bag. Rolling your clothes makes them wrinkle less (I didn’t believe it until I tried it) and it also takes up less room, plus once you put them in the ziplock you take out all the air creating even more space in your suitcase.

I pack shirts in one, socks in another, and underwear in another. Ziplock bags are super helpful if you are moving a lot because they keep your suitcase organized.

Make sure your liquid bag is all liquids. I get many people that cram in deodorant and mascara. These things are not liquids and don’t need to be in that bag. You don’t get much space so double check that everything in there is indeed a liquid.

2. Take your most comfortable shoes you have. “Are you crazy I need to look nice?”

We tend to do most of our walking in Nike Frees. I choose a non descriptive neutral color and worry more about comfort than looks, because there are days we will put on 10 miles just wandering through a city. Truth is, these shoes are worn by everyone so we never feel out of place.

3.  Pack things to dress up your outfits “You aren’t so crazy on this one, I like it!”

I like to throw in a cardigan and a scarf. These are the 2 things that take a jeans and t shirt outfit and make it look much nicer. Swap those Nikes for a pair of Toms and your all set.

6 Packing tips you won't want to miss. All packed and still room for more if I wanted too.

6 Packing tips you won’t want to miss. All packed and still room for more if I wanted too.

4. Pack clothes you can throw away.  “Seriously? Are you crazy?”

I know this one seems crazy, but sometimes you have that t-shirt that just doesn’t hang quite right, but you still kinda love it. It just so happens that you never wear it at home because….it just doesn’t hang right. Take it along and leave it. This makes room for things you find that you want to bring home.

I have also been known to take old underwear that is about ready to be thrown out and socks that are on their last leg. Seriously, who wants to carry these things around dirty anyways. So before you start donating clothes maybe think about future trips. And yes, hold on to that old underwear….for now anyways.

5.  Pack your stuff, then take out nearly half  “What are you crazy?!?!?”

I figure I can wear each shirt 3 times. Which means on a 3 week vacation I need 7 shirts (including the one I wear.) Jeans can be worn over and over multiple times, but I usually pack 2 pairs (+ wear a pair) and a skirt. Different color jeans really mix up the outfits too. Dark denim, light denim and black or even a color if you have it.

Make sure your cardigan goes with nearly every shirt you pack. I love my sweatshirts and never leave home without at least one, so again I make sure it matches everything too.

I also throw in a button up that can be nice for dinner, but also work as a very light layer when the weather is a bit chilly. I also make sure that a few of those layers can be worn together just in case I missed the forecast and I really have to layer up.

6. Wear and Carry on the big stuff. “I would be crazy not too.”

I wear my biggest shoes and I carry my jackets with me. You can have your carry on suitcase, backpack and your jacket all with you when you board the plane.

Honestly I don’t mind sharing many of these tips but when I tell people I take old underwear that’s when I feel like a crazy traveler, but hey, it’s been working for us. You also have to remember we are not full time travelers, we take vacations and only a few a year. If you are a full time traveler throwing things away won’t be a good tip for you. Unless you really hate that shirt, then go for it.

Here is one final tip that I must share. My favorite bra to wear is Handful. They come in all kinds of fun colors and neutrals. They are super comfortable and a great travel piece. Each bra comes with removable pads. I save space by packing just the bras and only bringing a few sets of the pads. They take up way less room and provides space for more color options. I have even used these bras as a swimsuit top in a pinch.  I just went to the Handful site for the link and accidentally bought 2 more bras. Don’t judge me, I saw a sale and went for it.

What are your favorite packing tips?


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