We are 4 weeks and 5 days away from heading back to my favorite state of NJ for the holidays which means I have two things on my mind: Christmas and packing for our trip (and the state of our country but I just can’t with that today). In her 5 years on this Earth, our daughter has flown on over a dozen planes. On our last weekend getaway, our son packed himself. I’d say we were pretty, stinking good at this traveling, expat, packing thing before and then I came up with a new technique for packing my bags. I now biasedly (not a real word) believe is one of the best ways to pack a suitcase, especially if you’re going to be living out of your luggage. (Bottle of Henny not included… but suggested.)
For some time now, I’ve been organizing my drawers like this because it’s a space saver and also the best way to see what you actually have in your drawers. No more fogotthen about shirts, lurking underneath your pile of clothes. So, when we were packing for Rancho Baiguate, I thought, Why not pack my suitcases like this too? If I pack my suitcase like this, I won’t have to unpack because it’ll all be right there. And if I pack my suitcase like this, I won’t have to dig through my suitcase for what I need. Plus, if I fold my clothes and put them back the way it came, I won’t have to repack at the end of my travels either. It’s like a traveling dresser drawer! Good Lord, I’m smart.
From here, and because I’m slightly OCD (like 98.9%), I turned my focus to our toiletry bag. We do a lot of quick pickup vacations so having a ready-to-go bag is always a good idea. Here’s ours:
It’s a pretty typical hanging toiletry bag that you could find anywhere – nothing fancy – and here’s what I have inside inside:
But, here’s where it does get fancy. I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty annoying when I go to take out toothpaste only to remember we ran out of it last time and I never restocked. So, to keep extra organized I created an inventory on my phone of all the things I have in our toiletry bag; when one of those things needs replacing, I put an X next to it. Then when I’m packing next time, I know what to look for at home, and for the things I don’t have replacements of, I note it on a post it and stick it to the bag as a reminder of what to buy. It may sound complicated but it really takes no extra time other than the initial setup.
But there’s more…
Because I love discovering new ideas that make traveling life easier, I took to the streets (well, not actual streets but, like, Facebook Street and asked around for more. The responses were smart and fresh and I got so many that I’ve broken it down into two posts (so check back later this week). For now, here’s a few more 🌟 ideas on the best ways to pack a suitcase.
BEST WAYS TO PACK A SUITCASE
“Mesh collapsible hanging shelves! Fold your clothes into them while they are hanging, then take it down with clothes in it, collapse it gently. Place it directly in your suitcase. fly, arrive, pull out the shelves and hang it up. BAM!!! Clothes put away.”
– Julia H.
“If you’re travelling as a family, try to pack in one bag. Use color-coded packing cubes for each family member. Also pack like items together (i.e. pack everyone’s swimsuits in one packing cube, everyone’s pyjamas in another.)”
– Bethany Davies from Flashpacker Family
If you are traveling with a family member or significant other and are both checking luggage, pack half of your clothes in their bag and half of theirs in yours. That way if one of your bags gets lost or delayed, you still have some clothes to wear on your trip.”
– Matilda Ge via The Travel Sisters
Do you have any ideas for easy or organized packing?