The ultimate 1st world dilemma: trying to fit one month of outfits for a fabulous European adventure within the one free checked bag the airline gives you. The second bag goes from 0 to 100 real quick (literally, it was $100 for a second bag!) so you want to utilize all the resources you have to make sure you can bring every item you need (and want) without breaking the bank.
It's All About the Roll
It's hard to imagine that the way you put your clothes in your suitcase can really make a difference. It's the same amount of clothes! But it was really amazing how many more items I could fit into my suitcase from traditionally folding my items to rolling them up like a burrito. It made such a big difference! Plus my clothes were less wrinkly when I arrived. Win!
Utilize Your Carry on
With all airlines I have flown, you are allowed one carry on item along with one personal item (purse, laptop bag, etc). To allow for more space in my suitcase, I packed my Hunter rain boots and all my coats in my carry on. For my personal item I utilized a big laptop bag to hold all my electronics and camera. I also stored a small cross body purse with all my carry on essentials in this laptop bag as well so everything is easy to access and to maintain compliance with the airline rules.
Stick With Classics
While it would be great to bring along our entire wardrobes (you never know what you will be in the mood to wear!) it is just not feasible with one suitcase. I always try to stick with neutral, non-trendy items because they are easier to mix and match. You will get a lot more out of your suitcase if items can be worn across different outfits. Trendy pieces are fun but only taking up scarce space if you can only where this item for one event. Similarly, stick to your basic black, nude, and white underthings. Not quite as fun, but easier to coordinate and less space is taken.
Skip The Toiletries
It can be difficult when you have a set beauty routine, or products you can't live without, but I try to only pack for trips items that are either very expensive or will not be available in my destination (which is rare). These items can add a LOT of weight, so bring only the minimum and plan to buy shampoo, lotion, contact solution, etc., once you've arrived.
Weigh Before You Go
No one wants to be the sad soul at the airport with their suitcase open and clothing exposed, trying to play the rearranging game to avoid additional fees for an overweight suitcase. My husband got a free suitcase scale from his work as a promotional item (strange) but we have used it so much! Here is one from Amazon for under $10. For our latest trip it took some creativity and rearranging to meet the weight requirements, but I was glad to play this game at home and not in front of strangers at the airport.
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
Join the fancy free journey as we seek the
finer things in life, sans millions.
- Marie Claire, September 2016