How I pack my suitcase for a trip

I’m that person that, if I don’t plan ahead, will pack the entire house with me.

When I need to hop a plane, I’m a mixed bag. I’m so into the challenge of packing a suitcase, because it’s just one big game of Tetris to me. What I’m not into is trying to get everything I need to fit into my bag, despite how organized I think I am stuffing outfits into it.

We get on planes at least twice a year, so here’s how I like to pack my stuff. For the record, we can often get away with one suitcase for the two of us, but because most people don’t tend to do that, I’ll be showing you how I pack my suitcase for myself.

A little bit about my suitcase

I have a purple 19″ Delsey suitcase, which you can link to here. I never get my suitcases at full price and always wait for a sale to grab them. I got mine for $90 — the regular price is usually $300! It’s insane to me how much stores mark up suitcases, so if you can wait for a sale and you don’t travel too much, you can easily save yourself some cash.

The week before: start with a list

I get my packing list done two weeks ahead of schedule, but it’s been a busy month so this time around I’m doing it the week before. I’m not picky about where I make my packing lists, though my favourite app to use Google Keep. It’s right on my phone so if I need to go shopping for stuff I need to bring, I have the list on hand to refer to, and I won’t need to take my bullet journal with me everywhere. I try to have everything ready to go in my suitcase the day before I pack.

The night before travelling: pack as much as you can

I don’t actually like to search around the house for everything. I put everything on the bed and start from there, because I’ll have an idea as to how much space I need to create.

Once I’ve put everything on the bed I do something called nesting. Think of it the way you would with a matryoshka doll: can I fit something into something else. Usually, I can — every packing experience is different, but I can get pretty creative when it comes to maximizing space.

My Dyson hair dryer case is a great example of this. I like to travel with it in the carrying case so I’ll put smaller items in there, like the pouch for my earrings or the comb I use to straighten my hair. Things that I keep loose at home, such as my glycolic acid or my face wash, become a part of my make-up cube. If I have the room to take runners or sneakers with me (usually I do have the room) I’ll roll up pairs of socks into the spaces of my shoes until there’s no more room.

If there’s stuff that needs to stay out of my suitcase for whatever reason, I put a post-it note on our apartment door to remind myself to make sure it’s packed. It’s tough for me to miss the reminder if it’s staring me in the face when I’m about to head out the door.

Roll it, don’t fold it

I prefer to roll my clothes for a number of reasons: I find I have more room for my stuff, it all doesn’t get as wrinkly, and I can better utilize space by rolling instead of laying clothes flat. If it calls for the trip, I will roll clothes into my boots when packing them. This is also great for keeping the shape of my taller boots, though I generally wear those while we’re plane hopping.

Take dual-purpose or travel-sized items with you

Jon has a great travelling kit from Fossil that he takes with him: in it he keeps a small body wash, our deodorants, toothpaste floss, and a travelling toothbrush, among other things — that we know is ready to go at a moment’s notice. I will check these in the week leading up to travel to make sure they haven’t expired (things like deodorant and toothpaste tend to expire) and if they have, we toss them and replace them. We also share a shaving soap and brush so that we’re not toting around two kinds of soap/cream to use to shave.

…and there you have it. All packed for our trip to Toronto! It’s been almost 15 years since I’ve last been to The Six, so it’ll be neat to see how much the city has changed. (I would assume probably a lot!)


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