How To Pack A Month’s Worth of Clothing Into A Carry-On

Almost every week, a client brings me in to pack, plan, or shop for their travels. Their trips range from business trips and conferences to short getaways and month-long adventures. With travel becoming a larger part of my service, and tourism doubling in most destinations, V-Style is officially moving forward with more travel content. To celebrate, I have created my first V-Style video in over 10 years.

How To Pack A Lot Into A Carry-On

To fit a lot of clothes into your luggage, stuff t-shirts, underwear, socks, pajamas, workout wear, and any other non-delicates into shoes and extra handbags. This not only saves space, it also preserves the shape of the shoe or handbag. If you don’t want to put clean clothes in your shoes, first put them into a plastic bag (like a Target bag) and then stuff them into the shoe. Be careful when using a plastic bag that initially held food, like groceries or takeout, as it may have some residue that could stain your clothes.

How To Pack Your Shoes To Save Space

Sneakers, boots, and heels should be the first things you pack. Place them like puzzle pieces at the bottom of your suitcase. See how to do this in the video above, or on my Instagram under the How To Pack highlight. If you want to use shoe sleeves, use a single sleeve for each shoe instead of shoe bags that fit both shoes (large shoe bags create bulk). After you line the bottom of your suitcase with your shoes, stuff any open crevices with non-delicate clothing, like socks or workout wear. After you fill the suitcase with most of your clothing, sandals and flip flops can then be slid down the sides of your suitcase, or into the suitcase’s pockets.

How To Pack Delicate Items

After you have placed your shoes on the bottom of the suitcase, stuff and place other non-delicate items to create an even surface in the suitcase. On the flat surface of clothes, lay down delicate pieces like silk, structured dresses, and leather. See how to do this in the video above or on my Instagram under the How To Pack highlight.

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What To Wear To The Airport To Save Space

When you only have a carry-on suitcase and a lot of clothes, the goal of your airport outfit is to get as much bulk out of your suitcase and onto your body as possible. Start the outfit with comfortable pants, as this is important for a pleasant plane ride. If all your pants are “airplane” comfortable, wear the bulkiest option. Then put on your bulkiest shoe. I then put on a t-shirt, another top over that, and then my bulkiest outerwear option that I am bringing. Often I pack a scarf, so that is the last addition to my airplane outfit. Yes, you will be overly warm at points, but airplanes are cold, so there’s that.

Washing Clothes While Traveling

A month’s worth of clothing that can fit into a carry-on needs to be washed at some point on your trip. Panties and small stains are easy to hand wash or treat in any sink with standard hand soap. But t-shirts, socks, workout clothes, and pajamas need to be fully washed every week or two. I personally don’t want to waste vacation time on laundry mats or wait for my clothes to come back from a hotel’s cleaners. I prefer to have a washing machine at my fingertips that I can use at my leisure, so for my recent trip to Europe, I planned for us to alternate between Airbnbs with washing machines and hotels. This way, we got the pampering of hotels as well as the convenience of a home when needed. Here are some tips on booking an Airbnb with a washing machine:

  1. Not all Airbnbs have washing machines. When looking where to stay, make sure you use the washing machine filter.
  2. When booking your Airbnb, confirm that the washing machine works and that they provide laundry detergent. (So many Airbnbs forget to provide this.)
  3. Very rarely do Europeans have a dryer, so confirm that everywhere you are staying has a blow dryer. If you are in a hurry, this will help dry items that are still damp. It works like a charm. (We obviously need this for our hair as well. I never stay anywhere that doesn’t provide a blow dryer.)

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