Vacation Travel Tips: Packing For That Winter Getaway


Growing up, along with telling you how you shouldn’t stick your tongue to icicles and what boys you should never bring home, your mom may have taught you how to pack a suitcase for a vacation. Maybe she wrote checklists for you and your siblings, so you didn’t forget anything, complete with color-coded highlighters. Maybe she taught you the roll technique…or maybe she sighed with laborious exasperation, gave up, and did it for you.

Now you’re on your own and you don’t know what the hell to do; you’re going on vacation and you don’t really want to unpack a suitcase full of what looks like dirty laundry, or find out you accidentally rolled your teacup poodle into your beach towel. Short of flying your mom in to organize and plan your Samsonite situation, you could always follow this step-by-step survival guide on how exactly you should pack…so you’re not stressed out before the vacation even begins.


1. You must go to the Universal Packing List. Go here if you have ever felt lazy in your life, because it will tell you exactly what to pack based on where you’re going, what time of year it is, and what you know you want to bring. Once you have that, simply gather all those items.

2. Attempt to master what is called The Bundle Approach. This was invented by Judith Guilford, author of The Packing Book. Yes…there are books entirely devoted to packing. Then, you need to create a soft “core” in the shape of a rectangle that will eventually go inside your luggage. Using a pouch of underwear or socks here is prime, since they don’t wrinkle.

3. Take your most wrinkle resistant clothes, and place them against the bottom edge of the bag and drape the rest of the garment over the opposite side of the bag. Take another garment and place it in the opposite direction, flattening and smoothing out both garments in the bag and draping the remainder over the side. If you have pants or other narrow items, do the same with them in the narrow direction of the bag. Keep alternating your items, ending up with the most wrinkle-resistant clothes you have.

4. When you finish, place your “core” in the middle. Now you’re going to start folding the garments over the core and each other in the reverse order you put them in. If you fold something over and there’s excess draping over the sides of the bag, tuck it underneath the bundle you are creating. When you’re done you will have a big pillow that is resistant to anything. Think of it like a fashion bullet.

Crazy, huh? And this is how I will be packing next time I venture home. Beats the “Stuff Everything Into A Bag, Then Sit On My Luggage For 10 Minute Method.”