Ask any group of travelers for their tips on packing,
and you will discover that there is little agreement on the "best
way to pack a bag". In fact there are as many packing techniques
as there are types of bags. We have found, however, that we can
divide travelers into two basic camps:
- the lay 'em flat packers and
- the roll 'em and stash 'em packers.
Each technique has its devotees, and both techniques
work well with most travel bags. We will describe each technique
and leave it to you to develop a variation that works best for
Most people start with this technique for packing their clothes.
It's fairly intuitive, and they pack this way without giving
it a second thought. Their clothes are already folded flat and
stacked on shelves on in their dresser, and they just move the
stacks to their travel bag. Anything on hangers is also folded
and packed. Pack your clothes in neat stacks in your suitcase.
Fill in around the stacks with underwear, socks, and other soft
items. What could be easier? It is particularly well-suited for
foot-lockers, trunks, and flat hard-sided suitcases.
With the advent of soft-sided luggage, travel packs, and rolling
bags, travelers discovered that the flat stack didn't work as
well. The growing popularity of synthetic fabrics, especially
fabrics like tencel, gave travelers a new packing option: the
roll. It's a simple process. Instead of folding your clothes,
you roll them. For T-shirts and knit shirts, lay them face down
on a flat surface, fold in the sleeves, and roll up from the
bottom hem - the collar will end up on the on the outside of
the roll. Smooth out the wrinkles as you roll. For slacks, fold
them in half lengthwise, placing the cuffs together, and roll
them up from the cuffs to the waistband. You can even roll knit
skirts and dresses in the same manner. For more delicate dresses
and jackets, you should "pad" each item with plastic
dry-cleaning bags to avoid creases, fold them in half lengthwise,
and roll them from the collar to the hem. With practice, you
will be able to roll anything.
A popular hybrid is to fold dress clothes and to
roll everything else. Place the folded clothing in first, and fill
in with the rolls.
- Pack items snugly
so they won't move around in transit.
- To the extent that it's practical, pack
items so that the clothes you need first are on top.
- Pack light! Plan a wardrobe that you can
mix and match, that is comfortable, and that is easy to clean.
- Bring a sweater or jacket for cooler nights
and excessively air conditioned dining rooms.
- Carry a small, but sufficient quantity of
toiletries in disposable plastic containers, and pack all toiletries
in sealable plastic bags.
- Don't pack your shoes empty; stuff them
with fragile items, underwear, socks, or toiletries. Each shoe
should be packed in its own plastic or cloth shoe bag.
- Pack all medications (in their original
packaging) and an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses
in your carry-on bag, and bring a copy of each prescription with
its generic name.
- Don't pack any valuables in your checked
luggage; in fact consider leaving irreplaceable items at home.
- Pack with the expectation that security
personnel will inspect your luggage. Many travelers now pack
some of their clothing in clear plastic bags so it can be seen
by inspectors, but not necessarily handled.
- Attach a bright ribbon to each of your bags;
it will be easier for you to spot them on a baggage carousel.
GARRIS TRAVEL SERVICE