Most people pack for travel using roughly the same technique they use to “pack” their bureau draws at home: they simply fold the items they think they might wear on their trip into 2-D rectangles, and stop when they can no longer close their case. Unless you've given packing more serious consideration—you likely haven't found a better routine. Even more likely: you aren’t even close to packing the wardrobe and grooming items necessary to really maximize your travel experience.
We collected packing insights from Melissa Rosenfield, Director of Vibe and founder of the PR and Brand consultancy, THIS VIBE LIFE and Bruce Starr, Partner at experiential marketing agency BMF Media. They travel over 100K miles a year, and somehow fit—in just one carry-on—personal belongings for one (or even two) weeks away from home!
Rosenfield has really gotten the content side of packing down to a hard science. Here are her favorite packing tips:
- “Stock up on your favorite beauty brand samples, which take up a lot less room than even the travel sizes. Visit your local Blue Mercury, Sephora or Ulta (or wherever you shop for beauty essentials), and see what pre-packaged samples they have from your favorite brands—or ask them to make you samples for your trip! Also: sheet masks are key. They’re flat (so they travel well), and they’re also perfect to get your skin back to 100% after what feels like 100 hours in flight.”
- “Do your research, and pack a very selective wardrobe palette. When I am packing for trips, I usually look at the landscape and colors of the destination. I then plan a wardrobe that complements that destination’s unique tones. That way, all the pieces I pack also complement each other, so I can easily mix and match—and also look great in photos :)”
- “Bring your favorite multitasking pieces. Your beach bag (hey @poolsidebags) can absolutely double as a day bag, and sit nicely on top of your Arlo Skye Carry On. I actually just took my Carry On to Guatemala with me, was so impressed that I managed to pack 8-days-worth of clothing in it (PLUS gifts)!”
- “Take three things out of your bag before you close it. After packing, I evaluate my decisions, and then take out the three items I absolutely know I won’t use. Don’t sacrifice too much, though: three items is reasonable, and chances are you won’t miss those pieces from your wardrobe. But you will miss out if you over-pack, and wind up having less room to bring home new finds from your trip.”
Starr is a globetrotting packing savant when it comes to space optimization.
Says Starr, “I always pack my t-shirts, shirts, and sweaters on the larger side of my Carry On. That way, there’s usually a small amount of space left that’s perfect to fit in all of your underpinnings, including socks. Also, along the side of the shirts, there’s room for a bathing suit, gym shorts, and tank tops. That leaves the entire other side for three pairs of jeans, two pairs of shoes, medicine kit and dopp kit. With everything in its proper place, I’m good for a week!”
And that, dear traveler, is how the packing game is won.