If you want to travel light, you need to pack right. Cramming all your stuff into one suitcase is a bit of an art, and Travel + Leisure and Real Simple teamed up to offer you expert packing tips. Five expert tips on how to pack a suitcase:
1. Pack less clothing.
Three is the magic number. Here is a simple formula that really works: Pack three tops for every bottom. You can wear a pair of pants or a skirt several times. Also, pack three pairs of shoes: sneakers, casual and formal.
2. Roll and fold.
If you’re using a duffel bag, roll everything. If you’re using any other type of luggage, only roll knits, such as T-shirts. Fold everything else that has more structure, such as blazers and pants.
3. Fight wrinkles.
First, choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle, such as blends containing nylon, Lycra and polyester. Textured fabrics and busy prints can hide wrinkles. To help prevent wrinkles, line the bottom of your luggage with a plastic garbage bag. After you have packed, add another one on top. The slippery surface keeps creases from setting.
4. Arrange contents strategically.
Pack shoes and other heavy items near the suitcase’s wheelbase; this will prevent it from tipping over. Then layer the rest in this order: packing cubes, rolled garments, folded clothes and bulky sweaters or jackets. Anything that is easily crushed should be placed on top.
5. Maximize every nook.
Line your belts around the bag’s perimeter. Stuff socks into the shoes. Place underwear into the molded cups of bras, which prevents the foam from crinkling. Jewelry and ties should go in the side pockets. Store earrings in pill boxes and thread delicate necklaces through drinking straws, taping the clasps to each end.
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