Pack Like a Pro

Pack Like A Pro

Another trip, another bag to fill. Here are some handy hints to get what you need in your carry-on.

By Darius Amos

There are some travel tricks that might never be solved, from getting around long security lines at the airport to avoiding baggage check-in fees. But a trip with less stress is indeed possible, and it begins when you’re packing at home—because whether you’re away for business or pleasure, you don’t want to get stuck ironing a dress shirt in the hotel room or discovering that you need another pair of trousers.

How do you avoid those conundrums? With careful and thoughtful packing, you can fit everything you need into your suitcase without overstuffing it.

SMART CHOICES

Start with a great bag, then think about what you’ll actually use. Are you going to meetings all day and dinners at night? What will the weather be like? Sort out the outfits that you’ll be wearing each day, choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched in case plans (or moods) change. Another just in case: Add an extra pair of socks and underwear.

Now comes the fun: maneuvering and fitting your pieces into the bag. Shoes go first, taking their proper place at the bottom of the bag. The heaviest items should go above the wheels, if your suitcase has them; otherwise, they should be next to the hinge that attaches the lid. And use those Gallo DiBianco shoes to maximize space—before slipping footwear into their protective shoe bags, fill them with small things like socks, belts, ties and jewelry.

WHAT’S YOUR METHOD?

Of the three most popular clothes-packing methods—rolling, folding or bundling—none is the hands-down best option. Regardless of which you choose, each has its pros and cons.

Tightly rolled clothing is the best way to maximize your suitcase’s real estate, and it works best for items like T-shirts, shorts, pajamas and sweats as well as those made of synthetic fabrics such as nylon. But alas, rolling can create unwanted creases in some of your garments. So if you’re packing a couple of Taccaliti dress shirts or PT-01 pants, consider folding them along the creases they’re supposed to have. Folding is also the easiest and most familiar method but not necessarily the most space efficient, as it might leave gaps between clothing stacks. That brings us to bundling—which is the strategic folding, almost origami-like, of all your garments into one package. The trick is to put pieces that wrinkle easiest on the outer layer and those you don’t mind being crumpled on the inside. For example, lay a jacket flat face down and arms extended, then place dress shirts and trousers flat on top of it. Finish the pile with sweaters, T-shirts and a core item in the middle such as a toiletry bag. Now the fun: Work backward tightly folding each item around the core until you have, ta-da, a completed bundle. If you’re a bundling rookie, you’ll likely need some time and practice before mastering this method.

STASH THE SPORTCOAT

There is a way to effectively pack a sportcoat in a carry-on. Fold the sportcoat in half, shoulder to shoulder, then turn one shoulder inside out over the other so the lining is facing outward. For a suit, place the folded jacket in the middle of the outstretched pants and fold trousers around it. Voilà— you’re ready to go!