Today is a wonderful day because later tonight, I’m heading off on holiday! I always miss Asia after a while and I’m excited to be heading off to Bali for the first time for some relaxation and to see some friends (any tips from Bali experts are appreciated!). I’ll still be posting while I’m away but perhaps more sporadically (and this week there won’t be an interview). Thank you in advance for your patience!
In the spirit of vacation, today I thought I would show you all how I pack. I did an earlier post on this years ago and used a few photos from earlier for a more in depth post. I hope this helps some of you with your packing!
So first, let’s talk about bags.
This may be an obvious point, but a really important part of having an easy time packing and traveling is having the right luggage. These three bags are a few of my favorites and they’re all essentials. The black case is my checked baggage (rarely used), the red is my carry on (very often used), and on top is my easy, light, large tote which I bring as my handbag onto the plane. You can read more about my favorite handbags to travel with (and how I pack them), here. I do use my Birkin quite a bit as my carry on bag, though I have to say that sometimes I miss shoulder handles. A Birkin + a laptop inside can also reach weights that quickly tire my puny arms.
Now, onto how I actually pack. I will be upfront here and say that I am not a very neat clothing folder (despite some repeated experience working in mall stores during my teenage years). If you just give me all my clothes, toiletries, and what not, they’ll go into my suitcase in a huge, jumbled mess. That’s why I use lots of bags – especially for my clothing. My favorites are these excellent ones from eBags, I’ve purchased multiple sets over the years as friends keep stealing them on trips.
I usually roll up my dresses and tops, and store them in these bags. I use one for lighter knits, one for heavier knits (if I need them), and another for underwear and swim. These are fabulous because not only do they keep you organized, but in the rare event that your luggage gets searched, TSA agents will simply press down on the bags without opening them, instead of scattering everything around.
For clothes that I don’t want to wrinkle, I use a trick where I put them in old garment/dry cleaning bags, and then fold from there. This keeps them from getting wrinkled and works every time!
I also have separate bags for my cosmetics, shoes and various electronics cords, and at the end of packing, my suitcase usually looks like this. This is my actual suitcase for Bali.
The one clothing item I usually don’t pack in my little eBags cases are pants and shorts, since they fold flat so easily. Also, I try to only bring one heavy coat with me when traveling to cold climates, and always try to wear them onto the plane, rather than having it take up valuable suitcase space.
If you look at the top left corner, you can see a little empty Target plastic bag. I always bring an extra plastic bag with me when I travel – it’s perfect for storing dirty laundry, that extra pair of flip flops you picked up, and anything else.
My main toiletries related tip for packing is to collect little sample vials of all the various cosmetics and skincare items that you use and love. I do this obsessively and have created quite a nice collection for myself. I actually bring my cosmetics/toiletries bag on the plane with me in my large handbag usually, especially if it’s a long haul flight. I like to wash my face (I try and use bottled water, I’m a bit scared of the water in plane bathrooms), and heavily moisturize my skin whenever I’m on a flight. If I’m feeling especially brave and have a fairly private seat, I sometimes also venture into Asian paper face mask territory.
I also put my hair up during a flight, and at the end of it let it down and use a little conditioning cream on the ends. I like to use Fekkai’s Glossing Cream for that.
You can also read about my full beauty travel essentials list, here.
One final point I’ll make is that I usually try to select clothing so that each piece gets worn at least 2-3 times over the duration of my trip (except underwear). Some travelers I know go as far as making detailed spreadsheets with items of clothing and the days they’ll be worn, but I’m not that organized, and plus weather conditions can always throw a wrench in things. Rather, I do a rough swag of how many days I’ll be traveling, and then my dresses + tops count should be roughly half that amount. Also, I try to make sure that everything is along the same color scheme, and use scarves to add color and patterns.
How do you all pack for travel? Please share! Anything from tips, to favorite luggage, to how you pack luggage, and anything else – all and any advice are all welcome!