Organization · Travel

Suitcase Packing 101

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Hello, friends!  Wow, it’s been a crazy few weeks!  Every year, it never fails – April and May are sooo busy.  There’s so many birthdays and holidays back to back along with other things that always pop up.  I went on a girls’ trip to Napa which I will share all about – we had so much fun but man, I missed my baby!  I spent not even 24 hours at home and then had to head back out on a work trip and luckily get to spend a nice long weekend at home before heading back out on another work trip.  All this traveling makes me glad that I have a routine down for packing – I’ve also fine-tuned my packing so that I don’t end up with a lot of extra things.  I hate UNPACKING after a trip so having just what I need and nothing more makes that process a little more manageable as well.  There’s several ways I pack depending on how long I’m going to be gone but since the trips I’ve been on recently have been shorter (2-4 nights) I thought I would share my tips for packing for that length of trip.

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For one of our wedding gifts, we received the nesting Samsonsite spinner luggage.  Pictured is a 25″ size bag for reference (similar bag).  I pack my clothes and shoes on the bottom (in cubes) and toiletries on top.  I always throw an umbrella in my bag, just in case!  I love opening my bag to a nice, neat site.

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Here’s a close up of the opened bag – the only “loose” items are my slippers and hairbrush which I just tuck into the open space at the top of the suitcase right before I zip it up.

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These two bags hold my toiletries and make up.  I’ve had the light pink bag from Victoria’s Secret for probably 10-15 years.  It opens up to three plastic lined sections and contains any leaks that may happen mid-travel!  I don’t always use this particular bag for my toiletries but it’s the most convenient just because it’s so large it can hold everything I need.  I typically don’t use this bag when we travel to our parents since I have duplicates of our must-have toiletries at both houses (another packing trip for places you visit often!).  The purple and pink Vera Bradley bag is a favorite – it’s the Vera Bradley Blush & Brush Makeup Case.  There’s a narrow section on one side for brushes and then everything else goes in the bigger section.  Another tip – I bought an eye shadow palette that I keep in this case so that I don’t have to remember to bring specific colors with me to coordinate with outfits.  I also leave an eye pencil sharpener, q-tips, bobby pins, hair elastics, extra contacts and cotton rounds in the clear zipper part of the bag inside the brush side.

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Here’s a look at everything that was packed in the suitcase.  A few years ago I purchased the Eagle Creek packing cubes and definitely have gotten my money’s worth.  I love being able to keep like items together and they compress to pack neatly.  They really work great for packing Carter’s items as well.  The big clear Zip-Lock bag is my all time favorite way of packing dirty or wet clothes.  It’s the Ziploc Space Bag, Travel Bag. Depending on how long we’re gone and how many of us are going, I’ll bring 2-3 of these bags.  You can also re-use these travel bags.  I’m always amazed at how much you can put in the bags and then you just roll them down and press the air out of the bottom vents to have a nice and compressed bag to pack.  I’ve also packed clean clothes in these and am always wow-ed that they’re wrinkle free when we arrive at our destination.

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Here’s a close up of the label on the Ziploc Space Bag.

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I use the Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube-Medium for a variety of things – they’re great for underwear, swim suits, pajamas, shoes – anything!  This trip, I just popped two pairs of shoes in them and tossed in the bag.

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Here’s the cube by itself in the bag to give you an idea of size and how much space it takes up.  I could easily stack another cube on top of this one.

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At first, I wasn’t so sure about the Eagle Creek Pack-It Garment Folder but now it’s a favorite packing item.  You can pack SO much in this and it keeps clothing from getting all wrinkled in the bag.  I love that you just undo the Velcro and everything is still neatly stacked!  I hit up my favorite clothing store on my most recent trip and added all my purchases to the envelope and it easily closed back up!  Packed here are 2 dresses, 3 pants and 7 tops!  I often pack Adam’s clothes in the envelope and it works prefect.

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One other thing I have to mention that’s been a travel game-changer — downloading shows/movies on Netflix!  It’s so awesome to not have to pay to download something to watch while on the go and it makes travel time not seem to take as long when you have a good show to watch.

What are your must-have travel items to make being on the go as easy as possible?

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