Top 10 Packing Tips of All Time… Honestly

As travelers, the best feeling in the world is sliding through customs and in to your plane seat just in the nick of time for take off.

The worst feeling?

Finally having a moment to process, only to realize you forgot to pack your underwear. Sure you can buy underwear wherever you go (if you cant maybe you need to reconsider where you are going) but more importantly no one wants to start a trip with doubts and stress of what has been left behind.

Look no further because the packing queen is here to save the day. I use the term packing queen lightly because even though I have learnt the trials and tribulations of packing everything but the kitchen sink, I do have moments of weakness and pack that extra handbag or two.

Next time you are running around like a headless chicken, stop, breathe and follow the list.

Color Control

  • Packing all your clothes in a color scheme will save you time and stress while on the road. Pairing grey, blacks and whites with a bold color is a great way to make multiple outfits without packing your whole closet.


  • Some say to have a pre-packed suitcase ready to go at a moments notice. This I don’t necessarily agree with due to the fact that your future location is unknown. Toiletries on the other hand. YES! Ain’t nobody got time for struggling with pouring crèmes and liquids into TSA approved bottles in the heat of the moment. Have a packed toiletry bag prepared and stashed away to use only for trips. It has two benefits, one less thing to think about when packing and it’s a great back up when you run out of anything from your usual stash.

Electrical Saver

  • The first thing I always pack is a power strip. This has to be the most obvious but smartest tip I have picked up along the way. Turn one power outlet into six. I have an iPhone, iPad and camera that all need equal love and attention.

Carry All

  • If I have learned anything from travel within the United States, it’s that checking luggage is the worst idea ever. After countless horror stories of lost luggage and delays at baggage claim, I would ultimately choose to carry and run. There’s nothing like passing the sea of travelers as they wait and hope their personal possessions magically appear on the baggage belt.

Roll AND Fold

  • The age-old debate that no one will ever agree on. From past experience rolling simply makes it easier to find things as well as give more space. With that being said there will be items that take up more space rolled. A combination of roll and fold is the way to go.

Take a mental picture

  • The best way to guarantee your underwear is packed is to dress mentally. Start from the head and work your way down confirming you have the right socks and underwear for each outfit.

So Fresh and So Clean

  • Pop in a dryer sheet on top of your luggage right before closing it up and let your nose enjoy the sweet scent when you arrive at your destination. More importantly, it will do the same job after a couple days on the road.

Lock it up

  • I love Ziplocs! I put everything and anything in there. It compartmentalizes and makes digging around the bottom of a suitcase somewhat less painful. Its great having all the charging cords in one place when you desperately need to juice up the phone.


  • No matter what the climate, a scarf will double, triple and quadruple in uses. Forget lugging a bulky beach towel in summer and an extra sweater in fall.

Edit, Edit, Edit

  • Whatever you think you want to take, halve it! Sure you may regret not bringing that extra pair of jeans (and the rest of your closet), but at least you don’t have to haul it.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

Connect with her on the web, Facebook and Twitter.