Learn how to travel wrinkle-free, every time. Based on our popular presentation at The New York Times Travel Show.
The primary goal of packing well is to fit everything you want to take in your bag, and have it emerge at your destination looking good. First, set aside the clothes you’ll wear on the plane—whenever possible, wear the heaviest and bulkiest pieces to save room in your bag. Open a suitcase you think will fit everything you need for your trip. Flip up any compression straps (these will be used in Step #10).
Start by placing the heaviest items on the bottom of the bag (shoes, toiletries, travel alarm, hair dryer, travel books, etc.). Stuff socks and other small items into shoes.
Pack woven shirts and other items that are likely to wrinkle into a Pack-It® Folder, which also functions as a divider, separating heavy items from more delicate items.
Next, lay long items (pants, dresses, etc.) horizontally across the bag, leaving the excess length hanging over the sides. Place the first item so it falls to the left of your bag, the second item to the right, alternating directions with each item.
If you’re bringing a blazer, fold it facedown into the bag, placing the arms on top and making sure not to fold through the shoulder padding. Place the blazer so the excess length hangs over the front edge of the bag.
Roll up knit items (T-shirts, polo shirts, pajamas and other items, such as underwear, that are unlikely to wrinkle) and place them on top.
Tuck any remaining small items (belts, rolled ties and accessory bags) into any unfilled space. Then fold the items hanging over the sides into the center.
Continue folding in the side layers, alternating from left to right until they are all in the bag.
If you’ve packed a blazer, fold it up on top.
Finally, use your bag’s compression straps to gently cinch down your clothes, smoothing as you go to ensure there are no wrinkles. This will prevent items from shifting.Voila! Your bag is packed.
Bonus tip: If, despite your best efforts, you unpack your bag at your destination and discover some unsightly wrinkles, don’t fret. Simply turn on the shower, set the water to hot, hang the item nearby, and watch as the steam makes the wrinkles disappear.
Wondering what to pack? Our expert outfitters can help. Just call 1-800-770-3387 or visit our Packing Guides >