Packing Tips, Part 1

Hi all! I’m finally back from all my travels! For those who forgot or haven’t been following, I was in St. Louis for about a week for a NARTS conference and immediately after that I flew to Ireland for a two week trip with my college roommate Hannah. We recently graduated, so this was our last big adventure together before venturing off to our jobs (well, job hunting for me).

Packing can be a little stressful, so I decided to document my Ireland packing process and create a little how to for you. Today I’ll show you how I actually PACK my suitcase and what I bring in my carry-on, and tomorrow I’ll show you what clothes I packed and give you some tips on packing light.

I know summer is already halfway over(!!!!), but hopefully this will still be helpful for your next trip.

1- Jackets and other lightweight items go at the top of my suitcase because they wont crush any fragile or easily wrinkled items (this is a rolling suitcase and when set upright, the jacket will be at the top). To pack this rain jacket compactly, I folded it in half (along the zipper) and rolled it, squeezing air out as I rolled.

2- Pants, and skirts go at the “bottom” of my suitcase (it’s technically the side when set upright). I fold the pants in thirds and the skirts only as mush as I need to lay them over the pants so as not to wrinkle them too much.

3- my shoes go at the bottom of the suitcase (the real bottom) since they are heavy. I stuff them with socks and other small items so no space is wasted.

4- cosmetic bags, waterbottle, electronics (I have a small case with all my chargers, batteries, etc.), and other heavy items are also placed at the bottom of the bag so they don’t crush and wrinkle my clothes.

5- I pack an extra bag and wallet in the zipper compartment so I’ll have options on my trip.

6- Undergarments and swimsuit also go in the zipper compartment. Things in the zipper compartment are the things that probably need to be easily accessible.

7- Next, I add tops and pjs. I lay about 3 shirts flat on top of each other, fold them in half (the long way) and roll them. I stack the rolls on top of the pants and skirts and in any remaining spaces along the sides of the suitcase.

Next is my carry-on. I brought a small backpack to Ireland that I also used while exploring.

8- Cell phone goes in the outside pocket.

9- Small things to do, like friendship bracelet making supplies, also go in the outer pocket so I can easily grab them if I’m bored in the airport or airplane.

10- Comb, mirror, lip balm, and other small things you made need on your journey go in the outer pocket so they don’t get lost in the depths of the bag.

11- I also pack a small zipper pouch with things like sunglasses, toiletries, etc.

12- I bring a small crossbody purse with usual purse items – money, credit card, etc. This bag is nice because it easily fits into my backpack so I only have to carry one bag through the bustling airports, but I can pull it out if I needed it.

13- The large compartment of the backpack also contains books and sketchpads (time killers!).

14- Pens and pencils are packed in a little zipper case so I can sketch in my sketchpads.

15- My camera (protected in a nice formfitting neoprene case) takes up the rest of the space in the larger compartment.

16- Airplanes tend to be chilly, so a nice comfy sweater goes on top of the other things.

And there you have it – my two bags, one to check and one to keep with me. And still room for some souvenirs. :D

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  • Hey! I'm Maggie, a graphic designer, crafter, devoted secondhand shopper, Doctor Who fanatic, and dog-lover. Stick around and explore!

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