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Forget about packing problems or stuffing your suitcase sloppily the next time you're headed out of town. Strategy and simplicity are the keys to a carry-all that contains the essentials, keeping you looking great and feeling comfortable throughout your trip. From mix-and-match ensemble ideas to turning a few staples into weekend- or week-long wardrobes to packing with professional-level precision, these ideas will even leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs to take home!


Make one basic piece of clothing the focus of your fashion. With a standard staple, you can work in a few additional pieces, perfect for mixing and matching as well as keeping your collection concise. For instance, choose a basic blouse or button-up, a T-shirt if your trip is casual, or a tank if you're headed someplace beachy, and the rest of what you pack will be the “supporting cast" to the “star" of your selections. Use this center piece as the focal point and bring along just a few extras to swap in and out over the days of your trip. A pair of shorts, jeans, slacks, or a skirt that all coordinate with the top lets you leave your other shirts at home. Perhaps a light jacket or a blazer can make for a layered look. Same goes for what's on the bottom. You can choose a pair of pants, shorts, or a skirt that is versatile and trip-appropriate, and all you'll need is a few shirt options to match. It's like packing half of what you'd normally bring.

Roll With It

Are you tired of arriving to your destination to find your clothing crinkled and wrinkled? It's likely due to poor packing protocol. Roll rather than fold and you'll unpack to find smoother shirts and near-perfect pants. Because no one wants to look disheveled while a distance from home. Along with keeping your clothing looking crisp, Packsmith notes, “One of the most popular reasons people give for rolling your clothes over flat packing is that it saves space." To roll most effectively, Travel + Leisure suggests, “ Fold one end of the clothing, and that will hold the roll in place until long after you land." Watch this informative how-to video on rolling clothing as well as some other compact ways to pack your clothing, keeping your suitcase neat and as roomy as possible and your clothes crease-free.

More Space-Savers

If you are traveling with a companion (or more), only one person needs to bring toothpaste, air freshener, hand wipes, lotion, etc. When you all stuff in the extras, nobody has wiggle room. And forget the excessive footwear. One casual pair and another for nights out is all you need. Choose comfort over chicness…you'll save significant space and yourself from the pinching and pain. Remember you can launder your items at the hotel too. So, leave a week's worth of socks and undergarments at home and wash as needed. Same goes for workout clothing, sleepwear, and clothes for the kids. Plus, most hotels have hairdryers and all have towels, so leave those getting ready, space-sucking items back home. Your bags will be lighter, less-cramped, and roomy enough for gifts to bring home to friends and family.

Packing doesn't have to be a pain. Lighten up and load up logically, and you may not even have to check any luggage on your next vacation!


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