My $5 Secret for Packing Like a Pro & Friendship Friday Link-up #2

This week we took an impromptu 4 day trip to South Carolina to attend a family member’s annual July 4th party and visit with other relatives.  We also spent one night in Savannah at the Andaz with a Hyatt free night certificate, which I’ll review in a separate post.  As summer is a prime time for a getaway, I thought I’d share with you my packing technique and $5 secret for packing like a pro!

The Pack Like a Pro Technique

Initially addressed in this post, below is a more detailed demonstration of my heavily road tested packing method.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

Step 1: The Basics

I use TravelPro luggage and Samsonite packing cubes.  The Amazon Basics cubes look good too.  In a pinch, gallon zip-lock bags will also work.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

Step: 2: Packing the Lower Level

I place my packing cubes, shoes, toiletry bag, make-up bag and jewelry roll on this level.   One packing cube contains undie stuff, the other has my cover-up and swimsuit.  My suitcase comes with two side pouches that I slide my shoes into but, if they don’t fit or if you don’t have that option, put shoes in to a shoe bag first to keep them from dirtying up the rest of the items in the bag.  A small, bathroom size garbage bag will also work as a shoe wrap.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

Step 3: The $5 Secret

Yes, it’s a place-mat!  I use this as a packing tray.  A slightly thicker foam place-mat like the one shown is perfect as a packing tray.  The roughly 13 by 18 size works well for a carry on bag.  It’s very lightweight, yet durable enough that it doesn’t flex too much when loaded up with clothes. Other options for packing trays include very thin cutting boards, cut to size sheet plastic and foam core.  Some of these items are available in many sizes and can be bought to fit larger, checked bags.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques
Reverse – use this side for stacking clothes
Step 4: Packing the Upper Level

Use the white side of the place-mat for packing as it’s slightly grippier and will prevent clothes from slipping.  How I pack this level, depends a bit on what I’m taking. For this trip, most items are wrinkle resistant so I just folded items with as few folds as possible and stacked them onto the tray.  For more wrinkle-prone items, try placing them in a dry cleaning bag first.  You can also stack all pieces in a single layer, alternating the hangover end on each side and then alternate folding each piece over each other which results in fewer hard creases.  I haven’t tried it but, if you are a roller, I think that could work too.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

Below is a brief visual of the alternating fold method:

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

Step 5: Place Upper Level on Top of Lower Level

And just like that, you are ready to go!  Forgot something that needs to go in the bottom?  No problem, just lift off your packing tray and put it in.  No need to go digging through layers of clothes.

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

pack like a pro, packing tips, how to pack, packing techniques

In the Bag
  • Toiletry Bag
  • Minimal Makeup Bag – If you travel often, consider buying duplicates to keep in your bag so it’s ready to go.  I stock up on travel sizes of some of these products near the checkout counter at Sephora.
    • (Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Laura Mercier translucent powder, Nars orgasm blush, Urban Decay primer potion, Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Whiskey , Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant mascara, lip balm, Bobbie Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in English Rose)
  • PJs
  • undie stuff
  • swimsuit (1)
  • cover-up (1)
  • lounging/house outfit
  • Eileen Fisher black dress
  • Striped tee dress
  • Rebecca Minkoff Monica dress for July 4th party
  • J. Crew chino shorts
  • ana cold-shoulder ruffle tee (saw on another blogger & got for myself)
  • Banana Republic embroidered top (last year from this post but in black)
  • Olukai beach sandals
  • Sam Edelman gigi sandals
  • Denim fringe sandals – hated to take an extra pair but they looked better with my July 4th outfit!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  For full disclosure policy, click here.

Author: Betsy Ramsey

Betsy Ramsey is the author of Natty Gal. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she now lives there with her husband and Bichon-Frise, Dolce. A mindful fashion & capsule wardrobe enthusiast, she travels extensively, visiting 56 countries to date. Betsy is committed to helping others live their most fulfilling life!

4 thoughts on “My $5 Secret for Packing Like a Pro & Friendship Friday Link-up #2”

  1. Betsy, you seriously may have just solved all of packing woes! I am the worst packer ever and I pack too much every single time. Only to discover that didn’t even pack what I really wanted anyway. Traveling is a like a nightmare for me because of this. I am going to try your method on my next trip! Thanks for sharing this fabulous secret!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. Thanks so much Shelbee! I sometimes pack too minimally but, hey, part of the fun is shopping when you get there, right?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Splendid