Packing in a carry-on bag for a month? It can’t be done, you say? YouTube is full of videos demonstrating how you can do just that. Some show the rolling technique, the bundling method and others use space-saving bags. But, which is the best? Really, a combination is the best strategy and all methods seem to agree on one point: Keep even layers. Shoes, clothes, toiletries — it doesn’t matter. They all have to be level in your bag (the same height and the same thickness).
Rolling method: Small, like items such as socks, underwear and t-shirts roll up nicely and fit inside shoes (place them in a zip top bag beforehand to keep them smelling fresh). This is a great space-saving strategy. Keep the rest of your clothes clean by inserting shoes in bags and then lining them along the edges of the suitcase. T-shirts and underwear make the perfect center for your bundle.
Bundling method: Layering in opposite directions assures that the bundle will remain level. Imagine your clothes are a plus sign. Pants form the horizontal line; skirts, dresses and shirts form the vertical line.
Pants go first; horizontally position the waistband of one pair at one end of the suitcase and let the legs hang off the edge. Repeat with the second pair at the opposite end. Continue this pattern for as many pants as you have.
Skirts and dresses are next, except place them vertically, centering the garment so that the top and bottom parts extend over the sides (like the pants legs). Place shirts with the collar up against the edge of the suitcase and allow the arms to extend over the sides. Don’t forget to keep the bundle level; reverse direction for every piece you add.
Once all clothes are laid out, begin folding them in beginning with last items first, until you have a bundle. If your trip involves making overnight stops along the way, you might want to make smaller bundles so everything you need for each stop is altogether.
Space-saving bag method: Roll and/or bundle clothes and then insert in a space-saving bag. Follow the method shown in the video and squeeze out the air. Warning: This method does not produce wrinkle-free clothes, but it can potentially give you more space so you can have room to bring home souvenirs!
To prevent breakage or mess, carry on fragile items and toiletries in a quart-size zip top bag in a tote or backpack or cushion in the center of your luggage.
Weigh in on the conversation. Which packing method do you use? Please comment below.