I can pack for any trip, any length of time, in a single rolling carry-on suitcase.
Don’t believe me? I recently packed for a 10-day winter trip for two adults and one child in two rollaboard suitcases. Jeans or pants were worn twice. Everything else was worn once.
How is this possible? Rolling.
I heard about this trick from a flight attendant. She swore that she could pack for any length trip in her rollaboard simply by rolling instead of folding. I was a good packer back then, and a total skeptic when she told me, but the rolling technique was an epiphany.
Let’s backtrack and discuss my trip preparation. The first thing I do, with about a week to go before my departure, is set aside any and all travel items in a laundry basket. This includes everything from clothing to umbrellas to my TSA-approved quart size bag of toiletries. Anything and everything that I can think of goes into this basket to prevent the last-minute scramble. Some items may be weeded out at the last minute, but I’ve found that it’s better to have too much set aside than too little.
When it comes time to do the actual packing, I lay everything out on the bed in day by day outfits to make sure that I haven’t forgotten anything. Then I start to roll.
Tees, tanks and pants roll smoothly and tightly, but what do you do with dressier clothes? Roll them around smaller items, like tees, to prevent creasing. Pack and stack in every available crevice. Stuff your socks into your shoes to maximize space. By the time you’re finished, there won’t be even a millimeter of unused space.
Can’t fit everything into your carry-on bag? Don’t give the airlines your hard-earned money just to lose, break or otherwise mishandle your luggage. Here’s a better trick: pack everything in a box and ship to your destination via FedEx Ground. This takes up to a week in transit, so it does require some advance planning. But they pick up from your front door and deliver right to your destination. It costs about the same as a checked bag, is infinitely more convenient, and saves you the hassle and delay of waiting at baggage claim.
Do you have any packing tips to share? Let me know in the comments.