How To Pack A Bag For Vacation To Maximize Space

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Let’s learn how to pack!

how to pack for vacation

I pack more than enough for vacation, but always manage to have ample space. To all my over-packers out there I want to share some of my best tips for packing so that you can do the same!

As the summer season is in full swing traveling plans are picking up for many people. Myself included. You can read all about my most recent vacation to Denver, CO here. Where are you traveling to this summer? Let me know in the comments below! I’m always looking for travel recommendations.

Anyway, when it comes to travel I enjoy going places that allow for great pictures. That’s just my thing. Good food, drinks, and plenty of photo opportunities will keep me happy for days. My boyfriend, which is who I usually travel with, would argue that I enjoy doing these activities on vacation because of the fashionista I am. Which isn’t too far off! I love an opportunity to wear a cute outfit.

Like this one I wore to the Wonder Space during my recent trip to Phoenix, AZ.

Side note: If you haven’t shopped Brandon Blackwood yet, you should. I just got mine and it’s already one of my favorite purses.

Since I tend to bring a lot of outfits with me on my trips i’ve mastered the art of packing. This didn’t happen overnight, but I picked up tricks and tips here and there and tweaked them to my liking. So, lets get into it!

How to pack clothes in your suitcase

My last trip I took was to Phoenix, AZ. Before going I had never been to Phoenix, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I knew it was hot, but i’m also someone who gets cold very easily which left me unsure of what to pack exactly. Because of that I ended up packing 12 outfits for a 4 day trip. It may sound like a lot, and it is, but everything fit!

Here’s how I pack my clothing items in order from first to last.

Packing bottoms – Jeans, shorts, skirts, and jogging pants often take up the most space in a suitcase and that’s why I pack them first. I lay my pants at the bottom of my suitcase with the pants legs hanging outside of the suitcase if they’re long enough. I brought shorts with me on this trip, so you’ll see below that I didn’t do that in this case.

packing pants and shorts in a suitcase

If you are packing pants in your suitcase laying them flat at the bottom with the pants legs hanging outside of the suitcase will save you a ton of space. Once you’re done packing everything in your suitcase fold the pants legs over to tighten everything up. Gone are the days of folding pants and taking up more space than necessary!

Packing shirts – Shirts take the most amount of time for me to pack because I try my hardest to be strategic with how I lay and fold them in my suitcase. The best way i’ve found to pack t-shirts, tank tops, and blouses is to roll them up. This takes up less space than traditional folding and allows you to fit your clothes in tight spaces.

how to pack shirts for travel

If you’re traveling somewhere cooler and are packing sweaters, jackets, and/or sweatshirts I recommend laying them flat similar to how you’d pack pants. Again, this will save a ton of space!

Packing shoes, purses, etc.

Packing shoes/purses – There are two different ways I pack my shoes. If i’m packing new shoes i’ll turn them on their side and pack them in free space or along the perimeter of my bag. I show this in the photo below.With sandals i’ve worn before i’ll pack them around the perimeter of the suitcase as well with bottoms facing my suitcase lining. If they are sneakers or boots i’ve worn before i’ll wrap them in a plastic bag just to keep them safe. I also do this because I don’t like the fact that the bottom of my shoes could touch other items in my suitcase.

My purses are either packed in free space I have in my suitcase or on top of my shirts if i’m running low on space. In this case I was able to pack them in free space near my shoes.

how to pack shoes and purses for vacation

Packing undergarments/swimsuits – These are the last items I pack because they take up the least amount of space. It’s also the quickest thing I do. I pinpoint a corner to pack my underwear, bras, socks and swimsuits in and stack the items on top of each other. Then I fold/ball them up and place them in the corner. It may not be the neatest thing to do, but it works!

packing swimsuits in a suitcase

My vacation essentials

Now that packing is out of the way lets get to the fun part! I have a few things I can’t travel without that i’d like to share with you all. Feel free to check them out for yourself and share items of your own in the comments that you can’t travel without!

  1. My hardshell suitcase

2. Travel laundry bags for dirty clothes

3. Travel cosmetic bag

4. AirPods (music is a MUST)

5. A water bottle (can’t live without it!)

I hope this post helps you with your packing ventures. As you’re planning your next vacation remember that packing smart is always the way to go!