Our Top Packing Tips for Travel

We tell you how to pack for a trip the smart way, from fitting it all in to packing faster and easier where you can find everything easily.

We share our tips for packing a carry on including folding techniques, what to put in your carry on, how to fit alcohol souveniers in your carry on after you already packed it completely full on the way there, and how to save money on checked bags and overweight fees! We have used these carry on packing tips for a two weeks trip to Thailand, a week-long cruise to the Caribbean, and an 8-day trip to China and countless others.

On top of our packing tips for travel we also debunk packing cubes and reveal the one thing we cannot travel without.

Episode 34 covers our top travel packing tips:

  • When to bring a carry on vs checked  luggage
  • Luggage recommendations
  • What to pack in personal bag
  • What to pack in carry on or checked luggage
  • Packing advice for knowing what to pack for the trip
  • Planning outfits for your trip

And we share some of our favorite packing techniques:

  • Just make it fit
  • Roll and stuff
  • Marie Kondo fold
  • Splitting a checked bag

Packing Tips for Travel – Episode Transcript

5 (37s):
Hello fellow travelers. Welcome to this weeks episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we are giving you the lowdown on how to pack like a professional traveler.

3 (1m 5s):
When we were going to Arkansas, I posted a story on our Instagram about how to pack and how I pack, and we got a lot of comments back on it. So I knew you guys were going to love this episode. You know, Packing is a necessary evil of traveled. One of my least favorite things about traveling, and it can be a lot of work, but you can’t screw it up and forget something important. You can’t pack too much or too little. You don’t want to have to lug around too much luggage or pay extra a lot to think about, but we’re here to help.

2 (1m 35s):
I personally have forgotten many a things, so you know what, Hey, it happens. That’s okay. I buy it as I go as I need it. If I need it or I just go without, so this is going to be a good episode for myself as well.

4 (1m 49s):
Yeah. We’re here to make sure you’re not like Zaina because if you’ve listened to any episodes in the past, we always do rag on Zaina and terms of her packing and forgetting things. So we’re going to discuss when to pack a carry on versus a check luggage, What to pack in your personal bag versus a check luggage and give you many more tips along the way. And hopefully Zane is paying attention this time to,

2 (2m 13s):
You know what, Brittany always text messages me like two weeks or maybe a week out before the trip. And she’s asking me, are you packed? And I’m like, it’s like two weeks. It’s a week away. Of course not. And she’s like, oh, well we already finished last night or two nights ago. And I’m like, whoa,

5 (2m 28s):
Well, I like to lay out my luggage, but we’ll save that for later. So the first thing that we’re going to discuss is When to bring a carry on vs checked Luggage.

4 (2m 37s):
One of the first things is to see if your airline does allow free checked luggage. And that can definitely dictate on, are you going to check it or are you going to take a carry on? But even so one of the most annoying things I see is when I know people are going away for weekend getaways, and yet still can’t manage to pack it in a carry on. I don’t understand that

2 (2m 59s):
Because Southwest does offer free checked luggage, but just because they offer a free checked luggage doesn’t mean we take advantage of that. So this is in terms of like, do you really need to check it? Even if it is free,

3 (3m 11s):
I have a story of, So when I went home for Christmas, I was bringing a ton of gifts and I have this giant luggage that someone left at our house. Like I didn’t purchase this thing, but I kept it just in case I needed it. One day. It’s fucking huge. Like three of me can fit in it. So, because I had all these gifts, I decided to bring this big luggage and Southwest checks for free. So I pack all the peasants into one side, all my clothes into the other side, and it’s really fucking heavy. And I can barely like push it around, pull it around, like I’m struggling. I had to pull this thing down the stairs at my house. And it was like, I was like falling down the stairs with it.

3 (3m 54s):
I’m so glad that I could check it. Cause I couldn’t even wheel it around if I wanted to. And because it was so big, I was like, oh, I have all this room. I’m going to Sacramento for like three days. And I was like packing all kinds of stuff. Cause I had the room. And then when I got to the airport, it was pounds over. So I had to take stuff out and then carry in my purse with me. So yeah.

5 (4m 14s):
How much over was

3 (4m 14s):
It going? It was four pounds over coming home. It was 10 pounds over. I don’t even know, but I was like, I have all this room. I’m bringing it. Don’t be like me.

5 (4m 27s):
Good tip.

2 (4m 28s):
You know, when I was in Europe years ago, I was traveling by myself and I had boughten a one-way ticket. And I over-packed because I didn’t necessarily know what I was going to need. So when I was leaving Denmark, I too was pounds overweight in my luggage. And so I was so over it that I said, fuck this. And I actually threw away clothes. And I figured I’m just going to buy as I go. I don’t necessarily recommend doing that, but I’ve done it

4 (4m 52s):
Too. Those are in your early years though.

2 (4m 54s):
Those are, those are,

3 (4m 55s):
Yeah, this was just the other day for me.

5 (4m 59s):
So one other thing to check is if your airline does charge money for checking Luggage, maybe consider sharing Luggage. For example, when we went to Denver, Colorado, if you want to listen to it, episode 15, the airline charged to bring checked luggage. So Zayna and Kim split a luggage and Jamal and I split a luggage and we checked it together. And you know, we only paid half the price that we would have had to

4 (5m 23s):
Because they even charged to bring on a carry on. That’s why we were forced to check it. So we said, if we’re going to have to pay money to check the luggage, we might as well do that and then share,

3 (5m 34s):
Right. And that’s pretty common for those more budget airlines. They will charge you even for a carry on more for a check luggage, but all the airlines are a little different,

2 (5m 43s):
But you know, it was so great is I had such a huge Luggage line around that. She had all her stuff packed in one and I had all my stuff packed in together, but she didn’t actually have to take it out of her bag because my bag was so big that we could just squeeze her bag in there. So get creative,

3 (5m 60s):
Fucking them hard,

5 (6m 2s):
Hard. So depending on what you’re going to be doing on your vacation, kind of dictates if it’s feasible for you to bring a carry on or bringing check luggage, because some places you aren’t really able to move around with a large pack Luggage. I remember when Jamal and I were in Europe for the first time and it was in the winter months. So it’s much more difficult to pack light because you’re wearing all your winter layers. We learned quickly that it was so cumbersome to have a large checked bag to lug around, through all of the train stations, the airport, because in Europe they don’t believe in like elevators. It’s a ton of stairs that you’re walking.

4 (6m 40s):
And even if they do have elevators, they’re not made to carry you and your luggage in there. If we had to put our luggage in the elevator, send it up and then take the stairs up ourselves because we all couldn’t fit in there. So places like Europe, definitely a little bit more cumbersome to have those bigger luggages. But again, those were back in the early days of traveling before we gained our experience to know better. Now

2 (7m 1s):
I’ve never seen an elevator that tiny, where you can’t fit in. So every time I hear you guys tell that story, I just, I wish I could see the elevator because I can’t picture an elevator that small.

5 (7m 13s):
Yeah, it was so tiny. I think I went up Jamal then loaded the luggage, sent the luggage up. Then Jamal got in and then went up himself.

2 (7m 21s):
I just can’t see that elevator. That’s crazy. I love it. I wish I could see you.

5 (7m 24s):
And when we went to the Philippines, one of the stops that we went on, we had to bring our luggage onto a boat. So you don’t want to have to be bringing this big ass Luggage for these porters to carry on to the boat for you. You know, like that’s such an inconvenience or when you’re in Venice. So just keep that in mind on where are you going? What are you going to be doing? How much Luggage do you actually need to bring?

2 (7m 45s):
You know, we love our gate one gateway

5 (7m 47s):
Get one.

2 (7m 49s):
And when we went to China, I took a checked luggage. Whereas Jamal Kim, Brittany did not. And so the night before a flight, they would make us put our luggage out. But because the other three did not bring a check to Luggage, they got to keep their bags since they could carry it on as a carry on. And I remember being so frustrated because it’s like, dude, what am I supposed to do with my makeup bag? And just my pajamas. So then I was forced to throw that in my backpack. So just things to think about. So

5 (8m 19s):
Let’s talk a luggage recommendations. I know Kim, you have a hard Luggage, right? Even Xena, both do

2 (8m 24s):
It depends. So my carry on is a hard Luggage and my big bag is a soft Luggage.

3 (8m 31s):
Best of both worlds. I have a hard for

5 (8m 34s):
Both checked and

3 (8m 36s):
I certainly do.

4 (8m 37s):
So you have the hard shell luggages that I knock on it and sounds like I’m knocking on plastic.

3 (8m 42s):
Yes. And I like the hard shell for one specific reason. And that is because whenever I go on an international trip, I like to bring back a bottle of liquor and a bottle of wine from the country. And it’s really easy to wrap it up and close and then stuff it in there. And I feel like the hard shell protects the alcohol, the important stuff, you know, the

5 (9m 4s):
Glass. I don’t want the glass shattering near

3 (9m 6s):
Exactly. And you know, priorities,

5 (9m 8s):
Any other, any other pros for the hard Luggage?

3 (9m 13s):
I just think it’s more durable. It just protects what’s in it better.

5 (9m 16s):
Any cons to the hard Luggage.

2 (9m 18s):
The thing that I like about soft luggage that you don’t get with hard luggage is you can expand the soft one. Whereas the hard one, you, you just can’t. It is what it is. Yeah.

3 (9m 28s):
I know my hard ones have a zipper where you can expand and it can get like two inches bigger. Oh,

2 (9m 33s):
Oh, okay. I see. I haven’t seen that on the hard luggages.

3 (9m 37s):
I have to use that sometimes.

4 (9m 38s):
See, but that’s what I was going to say. I know your a hard shell Luggage person, Kim, I know Xena has hers, Brittany and I definitely are not. I like to have just the normal style luggage that have my zippers to go back to what Zaina was saying, how they can expand. Apparently now those hard shell ones have expansions, but I like on the soft ones, how one they can expand if need be, even from a carry on size to a checked luggage size, they both can expand. And they have the side pockets to put little extra goodies, maybe dirty clothes, side of socks or something to that effect. So I like the soft Luggage.

5 (10m 16s):
I mean, I’ve only had the soft Luggage, but I do like it. I love all the extra little pockets to help separate things.

2 (10m 22s):
Yeah. I do like the extra pockets of the soft one, but I agree with cam on the fact that the hard shell is really durable. Like my soft ones. I’ve had one since I think 2005. I mean, it’s not in the best shape, but I’ve used it and I’m probably gonna use it for another trip that we have upcoming.

4 (10m 40s):
We’ll say this though, about the hard shell. I’ve never really had one either. I see Kim use it. I see other people. And I always think like, Hmm, could that be useful? And one of the last times Brittany and I were in Europe, we actually did bring back a bottle of wine myself. And I was freaking out the whole time, even though I put the wine in the middle and I insulated it, if you will, with wrapping my clothes, putting it in the middle, I was still thinking, man, something can crush this. Whereas I feel like if you had the hard one, you wouldn’t have that concern, but I don’t bring as much alcohol back from my trips as Kim does. So that’s a one-off for me. But I did think of it that one time, like, wow, that could have been useful. Yeah.

3 (11m 17s):
Yeah. And I think the one con that I can see that would be better about the soft are those pockets you were talking well, cause there aren’t as many pockets in the hard shell. One,

4 (11m 25s):
The pockets are clutch.

3 (11m 26s):
Yeah. And I think either way you go, whatever you have will be perfectly fine. Just the one thing that I think is like mandatory on Luggage is that it has the wheels that you don’t have to drag it behind you. You can just push it right next to you. They turn off all the four ways. Exactly. That’s a game changer.

4 (11m 44s):
The four wheel swivels. Yes.

3 (11m 46s):
Because like you can be pulling your luggage behind you and it’s twice as heavy as it feels when you’re just pushing it next to you with the swivel wheels.

5 (11m 54s):
I agree.

4 (11m 54s):
Love it. I do too.

5 (11m 56s):
So When to bring a carry on, you should bring a carry on for weekend trips or a long summer trips because you’re packing really late clothing or smaller clothing. Typically, if you’re going in the summer, bring a carry on if your airline charges and they don’t charge for the carry on. Or if you’re taking a trip, like I said before, where it’s very cumbersome to bring a large Luggage.

4 (12m 17s):
Yeah. Like I was saying earlier, and I just want to say it again. I’ve seen people who are going on weekend trips and I don’t understand how they can not carry a carry on a need to check a luggage. Even if it’s free. It’s the burden of now I have to get there early to the airport to check it in. I have to take more time after I land to pick it up for it to come out. So definitely avoid doing that. If you can, for a weekend trip, those long summer trips that Brittany are talking about. I agree with that because when it’s summer, you’re going to have lighter clothes. So your lighter clothes, t-shirts shorts, et cetera. They don’t take as much space in your

3 (12m 53s):

4 (12m 54s):
Right? So you have less stuff to put in. So you definitely can make it happen. It might seem daunting, but you can’t.

5 (13m 1s):
When should you bring a check to Luggage?

3 (13m 3s):
Well, if it’s free, I’ll consider it. If I have a lot of stuff I want to bring

4 (13m 7s):
Even for a week and get away, I know what you just said with your story starting out, but that was Christmas. So that’s an exception, but in general,

3 (13m 14s):
No, not a, not a weekend trip. I can’t imagine needing that PO luggage for a weekend trip, but if it was a long summer trip and it was free, I may consider it.

4 (13m 23s):
I’ve considered it sometimes too. And I haven’t even when it’s free, if I’m flying internationally, because yeah, it would be nice to not have to worry about it. But I think to myself, if I’m going internationally and I could fit everything in a carry on, why do I want to run the risk of God forbid something happens to my logins.

3 (13m 41s):
One of my biggest fears with checking a bag is that it doesn’t make it to my destination. I have nightmares.

4 (13m 48s):
And so that’s why I don’t believe me. It is easier sometimes to go through an airport and not really have your carry on luggage,

3 (13m 56s):
But have to put it above you.

4 (13m 58s):
I rather have that burden. If I can then run the risk of potentially. So I only check and worst case scenarios.

3 (14m 5s):
I will not mind as much checking on the way back to I’m like I’m done lugging this thing around the trip is over it. I don’t care if anything gets lost. I mean, I do, but I’m more likely to check on the way back if it’s

5 (14m 15s):
Sorry. I’m really likely to check luggage. If we’re going on a trip in the winter and it’s over like a week long, because it’s so difficult to pack into a carry on with winter gear boots, scarves, hats, beanies, jackets, sweaters, everything.

4 (14m 32s):
Yeah. I agree with Brittany 100%. I usually only check if it is going to be winter because those bulky items, as I said earlier, definitely hard to fit into a carry-on size. So you do need to usually check those, especially if you’re going to have multiple pairs of shoes or a couple coats or jackets, those are really, really bulky. So definitely takes a lot of space. And those are the situations where you’re probably going to be. I have to check a lot,

3 (14m 59s):
Right. Or even if it is in summer, but you won’t have access to a washer and dryer or a laundry service, then you may need to bring a few extra things. And then it might not all fit in a carry on bag. But I will say if you’re thinking you won’t have access to a washer and dryer, most touristy places that you go to will have laundry service places or your hotel does, or you’re at an Airbnb. They possibly will. Where you can ask your host if they know somewhere or if they do it themselves, sometimes they charge a fee and they’ll do it for you. I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a trip where it wasn’t accessible if I was looking for it. So know that you can wash some stuff that you bring and rewear it again.

5 (15m 38s):
That’s a good tip. So let’s just add in a little fun fact guys, what’s the longest you’ve gone on a trip with just a carry on

3 (15m 44s):
My longest was my trip to Thailand. It was 13 days and I did a little bit of laundry. One time. It was like a very small load while there, other than that, it was all Anna carrier.

4 (15m 56s):
And why were you able to fit all that into a carry on?

3 (15m 59s):
Because I wore a swimsuit the whole time

4 (16m 2s):
Swimsuit shorts, tank tops, right? Yeah. So that’s that hot tropical weather I was talking about, you know, more summer destinations. You definitely can fit a lot in there. Cause if you have the smaller items, what about USANA

2 (16m 13s):
Eight days to Peru? You

3 (16m 15s):
Bougie ass bitch.

2 (16m 16s):
Eight days. I know, I know. You know, I feel like I’ve gotten better as I’ve gone along. I think back to like my early twenties and I always had a huge Luggage. And so I was just used to that. But I think traveling with you guys has opened up my experiences to be able to use the notch, checked luggage in my ability to do it

4 (16m 43s):
For Brittany and I, our longest was two weeks. So 14 days when we went to the Philippines.

5 (16m 50s):
Yeah. We’ve actually been to the Philippines twice. And for both trips, we spent two weeks, each time and we were able to use a carry on luggage both times. And again, the same thing, swimsuits shorts, tank, tops, dresses, very light, very easy clothing for girls. Like underwear is so easy, like tiny, tiny little thongs. What not you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops so you’re not having to pack socks and all of that. I think the first time we went to the Philippines, my family does live there. So they did do a small load of laundry for us. But I think the second time we didn’t need to do laundry.

3 (17m 25s):
Nice. Usually when I go on these big trips and I just have a carry on, I will have a backpack as well, a regular sized school backpack. And it’s usually pretty full too.

5 (17m 34s):
Yeah. Whenever I travel, I bring a backpack. So whether I’m traveling with a carry on, in a backpack or a check luggage and a backpack, I typically always bring a backpack

3 (17m 43s):
And I don’t really wear backpacks any other time. I’m not like a backpack person

2 (17m 49s):
I use a backpack is when we traveled.

4 (17m 50s):
Neither am I. But yes, my backpack has always my personal bag that I have when we travel, which is a good segue into our next topic. Because here we’re going to be discussing what to put in your personal bag versus your check back.

3 (18m 3s):
So when we talk about a checked bag or carry on for, carry on, you have to stow those in the overhead bins. You’re a personal bag you could have at your feet. So this is stuff you want to put in there that you’re going to be using throughout the flight, whether that’s just an hour flight or if you’re on a long haul flight, you’re going to want some things in there that are within arms, reach water, got to have water snacks. Don’t leave the snacks out. What else? Medicines chapstick. It gets really dry on planes. Headphones,

5 (18m 32s):
Phones, ear plugs,

3 (18m 34s):
Three pens. Why do we need three pens?

2 (18m 37s):
I have three pins on the show notes. Yes, that was me. And it’s because I always lose a pin. And I don’t even know if I’m losing it or if I’m just misplacing it. And someone is always going to see that you have a pin and they’re going to ask if they can use your pin. And it’s not always guaranteed that you’re going to get it back. And then when you finally do need to use a pin, you’re going to be like, ah, shit, I let so-and-so borrow it. And I never got it back.

3 (18m 59s):
You always need a pen while traveling. They’ll make you fill out paperwork. If you’re flying internationally, that needs to be filled out. When you get off the plane or there’s just random things that come up that you always need a pen

5 (19m 8s):
For sometimes in customs, you need to fill out a form

4 (19m 10s):
Or if you want to play any of the games and the magazines and the seat back pocket. So always, definitely do have a pin. Zayna recommends three. I don’t carry three. I usually carry two, but it’s so funny to see Zana being the one to come over, prepared you with three.

2 (19m 26s):
You know, I just, I like to write a lot too. I like to journal. And I just feel like if you have a pin, it is so clutch because there’s nothing worse than not having a pin. And it makes you the person who is pretty much the one that has the lighter

3 (19m 39s):
In a power.

2 (19m 40s):
Yeah. You know, like you think of about a group of smokers. And if you have a lighter for that group of smokers, you are going to be like, yay,

3 (19m 46s):
You’re going to get a free cigarette.

2 (19m 48s):
Yeah. So having the pen is like being the person with the lighter, in a group of smokers.

4 (19m 53s):
For me in my personal bag, I always do print out the reservations of where we’re going to be going. Especially if it’s international, you don’t know if you’re going to have good internet connection or any internet connection at all. So you want to have directions to your hotel or your reservations, things like that. You always want to have on your personal item. If for whatever reason you were to check your bag and that was in there and you lose that, then you’re out of luck. So those are the things that should always be on you. But I do also like to have plain cards. I never travel without playing cards. As Zayna feels about the pins being clutch. I feel the plain cards are a clutch. I

5 (20m 30s):
Heard you thought that the change of underwear with clutch,

4 (20m 33s):
I think a change of underwear is clutch. I always do have that on my personal bag. And if it’s not in my personal bag, I have it ready to go in my carry on bag. Isn’t the overhead if I need it. Yeah. I always have that in. I mean, it’s definitely needed. So if you have a carry on, then it’s going to be in there. But if I don’t have a carry on, then yes, it is in my personal bag because you never know.

5 (20m 57s):
So in your carry on luggage, what you do store above, that’s all of the normal stuff that you’re going to pack. So you’re going to have a personal bag. Typically, that’s going to go under your seat with all of the essentials we just talked about, and then your carry on goes up above. And when you get onto an airplane, the first thing you should do is pull out your hand sanitizer or your sanitizing wipes and wipe down your tray table and your space in front of you, your arm rest, everything so that you’re not touching someone else’s germs. The,

2 (21m 24s):
The tables are nasty flight attendants. Don’t have an opportunity to wipe down the tray tables. And you have no idea how long it’s been since it’s been cleaned or even just like the armrests. I dunno. Yeah. I’m a real germaphobe in that sense, because you don’t know if someone put their dirty tissues on there or just

5 (21m 40s):
Yeah. And the touch screens, people are touching it. Children are touching it with their boogers and they’re spitting their mouth and whatever

3 (21m 48s):
Spit in their mouth,

5 (21m 50s):
Sucking on their fingers and touching the screen. So

3 (21m 53s):
We talk a lot about carry ons and personal bags and what to keep in them in episode number 13, where we talk about how to survive a long haul flight. So if you are wanting to know like, what is every last thing you should keep in your personal bag, go back to that episode and give it a listen.

4 (22m 11s):
Yeah. I was just going to reference that to Kim. A very good point on that. We’re just going over some of the basic highlights. It’s more detailed in there, but this episode, again, more specifically about what you are packing and carry on size versus non carry on, et cetera.

5 (22m 26s):
And by the way, guys, I’m not trying to put down children. I love children. I have a two year old nephew. He’s amazing. He’s the cutest fucker I’ve ever met. He

3 (22m 33s):
Loves me.

5 (22m 36s):
I’m just saying, you know, kids are germy.

2 (22m 38s):
The kids put anything and everything in their mouth, it’s just nature. So

4 (22m 43s):
What are some other tips you ladies have about Packing?

5 (22m 45s):
So one thing I always do is make sure to check the weather before you go, you know, you could expect the weather to be nice while you’re there. And unexpectedly, there is a rain storm or snowstorm coming in. So don’t pull a Zaina bring gloves, bring a beanie.

4 (22m 59s):
Yeah. I can’t stress enough. How important checking the weather before you go is because you think you have a mindset of what the is going to be for the location you’re going, but whether it’s temperamental, it can always change. So you definitely want to make sure you’re packing right. And have that right balance depending on what the weather is going to be.

3 (23m 16s):
I always like to look at the weather as well as what I’m planning to do that day. So if I’m going on a hike, I know I need hiking clothes. If I’m going to a winery, I want to dress in something a little bit nicer. And then what shoes do I need to go with those outfits? So I kind of use the weather plus what we’re doing that day

5 (23m 33s):
To daily itinerary

3 (23m 35s):
To dictate what I need to pack.

2 (23m 38s):
And when I pack, I like to pack by outfits.

3 (23m 41s):
Exactly me too.

5 (23m 42s):
I like to pack by outfit too. And likeliness said, I’ll ask her a week or two in advance. Have you done your Packing? And she says, no. And I’m like, okay, I’ve already laid out every single outfit that I have planned for the vacation. But when I’m saying to check the weather, it also means like, should you bring an umbrella just in case?

4 (24m 1s):
But when you say you lay out your outfits before you go, you don’t officially pack it. At that point, you’re getting ideas of what you need. And you do something really unique, Brittany, where you try to pair an article of clothing with something else that you can wear another time so that you don’t bring a lot.

5 (24m 18s):
True. Yeah. I will try to bring a versatile sweater or, you know, I will try to wear the same pair of jeans more than once so that I don’t have to bring one complete outfit for each day.

3 (24m 29s):
Yeah. So you’ll reuse jeans and sweaters. Anything else, underwear.

4 (24m 36s):
It definitely not reusing that underwear. I think you bring enough to shit yourself twice a day. Don’t you cam that’s your favorite line?

3 (24m 43s):
Three times a day.

4 (24m 44s):
One of the things I like to do too, and this isn’t necessarily a space saving technique, but Brittany and I do have specific shoe bags that are reusable to put our shoes in so that it doesn’t dirty up our clothing and our luggage. And depending on where we’re going, how long the trip’s going to be. That’s either in my personal item bag that we were talking about earlier, I just shoved that in my backpack, save extra room, or if I have the space, it fits into my luggage. So those are the things like don’t be afraid to potentially carry some items with you in that personal bag to save space in your luggage.

5 (25m 18s):
Jamal and I also purchased specific laundry bags. So instead of just using a plastic bag, we have a laundry bag that is washable. So we can throw all of our dirty clothes in. And once we get home dump all of our dirty clothes into the washer, along with that laundry bag and wash everything together.

2 (25m 34s):
So I have two things that I do. One, if I have my carry on, then I have a specific spot on my luggage to put my shoes. And I do wrap it in a, just a plastic bag from the groceries.

3 (25m 46s):
That’s what I used to since I have so many of them laying around.

2 (25m 49s):
Yes. Right. So I have the plastic bags, I’ll put my shoes in there and then I’ll put the shoes in a specific spot in my luggage, but I will start to crumble up my clothes into tiny, tiny balls. And I will shove it in my shoes that are in that spot. When we come home, I know it’s weird, but anyways, I shove it in the shoes and I shove it in that spot. But if I have my big Luggage that I do check, then there is a netted area. And then I will just shove all my dirty clothes in that section

4 (26m 15s):
And see for me though, I do have my dirty clothes bag, but before I really had that, I used your same technique to an extent I would take smaller items like socks, underwear, or regular t-shirts. And if they were dirty and I would stuff them in the shoes, that way they would keep space and knock it cramped. And it’s less space for where you have to put your dirty clothes. But now with that bag, what I like about it, it’s not necessarily air tight, but it does have like a little string seal that you can push a lot of the air out. So it flattens it a lot more to give more space in your luggage. To that way, when you’re coming back, your clothes are dirty and you have the space for those souvenirs that you may want to bring back. So I love that laundry bag.

5 (26m 55s):
I’m a big fan of making a packing list. I have a pre-saved no, on my iPhone and I just go back into it has all of my essential, so I will list out everything I think that I need. And then I’ll add things specific to the trip that I need to bring. But I have like a general outline of everything I want to bring beforehand. So it lists like charger, brush, makeup, brushes, makeup. So that even though you think you won’t forget these things that you use every day, you might, when you’re packing, I almost always forget a toothbrush and it’s like, I know that I’m going to use it, but it’s like that morning of when you’re trying to pack everything, you’re using your toothbrush last, you leave it.

3 (27m 33s):
That’s why I have a travel toothbrush that stays in my travel stuff and I never bring my home toothbrush.

5 (27m 40s):
Interesting. Okay. Maybe I should steal that tip from you. Yeah. I don’t want to forget my toothbrush and have to share with one of you ladies.

3 (27m 47s):
Well, I got you. If you do.

2 (27m 49s):
Yeah. I have a travel toothbrush. I have a travel toothpaste, so it’s those little things. And then even for facewash I have like a little bottle that is filled up and I’ll have shampoo and conditioner. So it’s like those little things. So I don’t have to go and grab them because I know that I would probably forget it, but essentially the things that like are top, top, top priority for me is always my passport thyroid medication, my eyedrops. And that’s pretty much it. And I feel owner know and my phone and my phone charger. And as long as I have those things, I feel like anything else if I do forget, which I, plenty of times have sucks, but I could be sure

3 (28m 23s):
The thing I forget most often. Cause it’s like, you’re using it. It’s easy to accidentally leave it plugged in

4 (28m 29s):
Before I leave the house. I double-check my side pockets that I have on my luggage since of my, I don’t use the hard shell because that’s where I put my power cord for my phone. And I, these double check that pocket three times before I leave to make sure like, yes, I really saw it in there. And yeah,

3 (28m 45s):
I do that with my makeup too, because if I forget makeup, that’s like the one thing that would ruin my trip and I would be so unhappy and not easy to go to the store and just pick up a whole new set of makeup.

5 (28m 57s):
I am.

3 (28m 58s):
So, yeah, I definitely like triple checking that one,

5 (29m 0s):
But maybe you should get an extra charger just for your travel. So you never forget.

3 (29m 5s):

5 (29m 6s):

2 (29m 7s):
So what I do is like a few days before the trip, I always make a list of things that I absolutely cannot forget. And what I’m talking about again is like my thyroid medication, my eyedrops, my phone charger. Cause I know I’m going to bring my phone, but, and then even stuff like making sure that I take the trash out or even recycling because the worst thing is to leave your trash in your house.

3 (29m 26s):
Oh my God. I know I did that. Like not that long ago. And I came home and was like, why does it smell so bad in here?

2 (29m 35s):
We’ll make food. Make sure you take the trash out before you go. And so, yeah. So it’s just, it’s nice because I’m also a list person and there’s just, oh, it’s so gratifying to cross something off the list.

5 (29m 44s):
Oh, I know what you mean also in your traveling, make sure to check, to see if you need adapters for the different areas that you’re going to. It’s always good to have a first aid kit with you and your personal bag. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve added a hike onto even the city vacation. It’s nice to have just a first aid kit to refer to.

4 (30m 3s):
Yeah. And we’re not even talking about an extensive first aid. We’re talking about simple things like sunscreen Alovera in case you get burned a few band-aids maybe Neosporin. And obviously you’ve heard before, when we talked about traveling to have antibiotics, have antidiarrheal medication, those are the minimal things that we’re talking about in a first aid, which can be somewhere, spread out within your luggage. Not even its own bag, but necessarily have your first data centrals.

3 (30m 27s):
You guys buy Alovera on every trip,

5 (30m 31s):
Jamal bias. Alovera almost on every trip because he never packs it. And he is so prone to getting burned. Do you guys want,

2 (30m 38s):
That’s why I was laughing so hard because Jamal’s the one that just said Alovera and I’m like, Hmm.

4 (30m 43s):
Well, I say that because Brittany, as we know, nurse, Brittany, sit next to me. So I expect her to come ready with the first aid. And she’s the one who lets me down by not including it in it. So that’s why I say it. It’s more a burn at her than you guys think it’s a burn at me for giving advice that I don’t take. But you know, Brittany should be on that

2 (31m 2s):
Out of everyone in the group. Jamal burns the easiest. Yes,

4 (31m 6s):
This is true. I won’t deny it. So

2 (31m 7s):
Like when we went to Peru and we hiked rainbow mountain, that was high altitude and Jamal got burned. So we bought Alovera there. And

5 (31m 15s):
When we were in the Philippines, Jamal and I went on a boat out in the sun for like eight hours during the day and the next day his skin was blistering and peeling

2 (31m 25s):

4 (31m 25s):
It was rough. But moving on from my sensitive skin, why don’t you ladies talk about toiletries and the coordination you guys do since we traveled together?

5 (31m 36s):
Yeah. Since we traveled together a lot, it doesn’t make sense for all three of us to pack a curling iron and a hair straightener and a blow dryer. So we’ll kind of ask like, Hey, who’s bringing what and we’ll share some of these things so that it doesn’t take up space and everyone’s Luggage.

3 (31m 52s):
If we’re trying to conserve space, we will definitely coordinate someone to bring something

2 (31m 56s):
And save your sample size makeup. What have you not, you know, when you order online from, let’s say sephora.com or ulta.com, they’ll give you sample sizes of things. Save those, go into the store, ask for sample sizes so you can take it with you. And that also helps save space. You want to hear a funny story? When we were in Japan, I obviously I took my own face wash in like a little three ounce container. And when we were at a specific hotel, Brittany, your mom went on that trip with us and she made the comment to me. Did you see the shishito facewash in the hotel? And you know, for any makeup lovers out there shadow is a pretty penny, but it’s also because it’s very good quality. And I was like, no, I didn’t. And so later that night I saw that they had a bottle of facewash for the people in the hotel.

2 (32m 42s):
So I emptied out my face wash out of the three ounce bottle because I’m like, holy shit, I’m going to get three ounces of Shiseido, but oh yeah, I can dump my shit down the drain for that. I was so excited. But by the time we got home, the free soap that they gave us was water that pumps into foam and it leaked out, oh no. So I lost my face wash and I lost the freezing Cheeto. So, you know,

3 (33m 11s):
I ever see in a hotel where we’re staying, they have nicer bodywash or shampoo or whatever, I’ll save the stuff that I’ve brought use theirs.

4 (33m 19s):
Yeah. Usually I feel like it’s very hard to find even reputable hotels that will put good beauty products in. So Brittany and I, that’s something that we always pack is our bar of soap. We have our little three ounce containers for our shampoo and conditioner. Cause usually they’re not very good necessarily in there. And that toiletry bag, we have a reusable bag for it. And that usually goes on our personal item as well to again, make more space in our luggage. And since everything’s under three ounces and in a specific sealed bag, it is airplane ready to go, no issues. And again, taking less space in your luggage itself and can easily fit on your personal items.

2 (34m 0s):
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3 (34m 6s):
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2 (34m 55s):
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5 (35m 1s):
Let’s talk about our packing techniques. I think everyone’s been waiting to hear about how we fit it all in.

3 (35m 6s):
All right, I’ll go first. So my packing technique. So once I have all my outfits figured out what I’m bringing, I pile it all on my bed in stocks. I’ll have my shorts, my jeans, my shirts, all of that in little stacks. And then I then moved to putting it in the luggage. So I roll up things very small. So if I have a stack of four pairs of shorts, I roll each one individually or folded up pretty small, but individually not in the stock four. And then I slotted in to all of the little spaces in the suitcase. Usually by the time I pack, I realized I’ve got too much stuff and it’s not all gonna fit. So I do have to take some things out. So once I get it all in, it looks like it’s going to close.

3 (35m 47s):
I lay all my jackets or big stuff on top laying over it. And then I strap it in with the strap that it comes with or zip it up. At that point, it’s usually pretty hard to close because there’s a lot of stuff in there. So I have to kind of kneel on it or sit on it as I’m zipping and kind of like stuff. Neil’s zip stuff. Neil’s zip all the way until it’s closed. My hard shell does have a little bit of an expansion. So I’ll usually open the expansion until I can get it closed. And I’ll close the expansion again because with the expansion open, it’s not a carry on size and that helps

5 (36m 18s):
Tips. So for me, I again make a list of everything that I want. And then I lay out my days by outfits and I actually tried to organize my suitcase by outfit. So I will Marie Kondo fold all of my clothing. So they all are like in tiny, almost like envelope size pieces, I would say stack it all in together. And then I do the same thing. Kim does lay all of my jackets or sweaters on top and then I easily close my bag by zipping it around. I don’t have to sit on

3 (36m 49s):
It. You’re not packing up stuff.

5 (36m 51s):
Nope. Just the right amount

4 (36m 53s):
For me. I have a relatively simple technique that I feel works well for me. I just want to throw out first that I have tried the technique of rolling clothes. You know, I’m sure anyone who’s interested in travel or Packing has read before, oh, you know, if you roll your clothes, it makes more space. They don’t really wrinkle tried that once didn’t really save me space and they definitely came out wrinkled. So

3 (37m 16s):

4 (37m 17s):
Either I’m doing it wrong or that whole tip is a fallacy. I don’t really know. But for me it’s really simple. I’ll take my jeans or shorts or if I’m having no jeans and only shorts or vice versa, I’ll put my pants on one side, whereas I will put my shirts and tops on another side. And usually when I do that, it makes everything pretty even. And I still have spaces on the side where I will stuff my shoes and my shoe bag that I talked about and fit any other miscellaneous items, other toiletries, like my shaving kit that I have for my beard to grow myself, et cetera. So it makes a lot of space. Now when it comes to my underwear and socks, that’s again, one of the things that I like about the non-hard shell ones is even on the inside, they have little zip pocket areas.

4 (38m 5s):
So I will just lay those flat on the top areas. And it saves a lot of, a lot of space that way and any big bulky items that I do have like a jacket. I will lay that on top of everything else once it’s finalized. And it really makes a lot of space for me. And I’m usually able to fit in everything I need without any issues. That

5 (38m 23s):
Way you have a specific technique. I

2 (38m 25s):
Just get it in I’m just kidding guys. So I agreed with Jamal. I’ve tried rolling. It didn’t work for me, I guess for me, I, you know, I, I, like I mentioned packed by outfits, so I have all my outfits laid out, but then I take my outfits apart and I put all my pants together, all my shorts together and then all my shirts together. And then I try to stack it as high as I can. And then as soon as I can’t stack it anymore, then I’ll move to another stack right next to it and squinch it together. That way I still have pockets around me that are open because my makeup bag, I want to make sure that I fit that in or whatever hairstyle, curling, iron, straightening, iron, whatever it is that I’m bringing. And then I feel like there’s always something else that I need to shove in there too.

2 (39m 7s):
So again, just cornering things and stacking it as high as possible. That way I have pockets all around me to fit non-important, but yet important things in there.

5 (39m 16s):
Jamal and I, when we are checking bags, we typically do a split. So Jamal will put half of his stuff in my luggage and I’ll put half of my stuff in his luggage. So in the event, our luggage was lost. We would both still have some clothing.

4 (39m 31s):
Yeah. So God forbid something were to happen. Maybe I’m taking four pairs of jeans. I’ll put you in one Luggage, two and another half of my underwear in one half and another socks, vice versa. Brittany does the same thing. So in the unlikely but unfortunate event that it happens, none of us will be without clothing for that trip. Yes. We’ll be Smart. We’ll be reusing a lot of clothing, but at least we’ll have clothing.

5 (39m 52s):
Yeah. So Kim, I think it’s your favorite time of the episode.

3 (39m 57s):
It’s time for your questions. I like it. Okay. Our first question is from Josh w from Sacramento

4 (40m 7s):
And another hometown listener. Excellent. Thank you so much, Josh.

3 (40m 11s):
Josh asked, do you need packing cubes? What are packing cubes? First of all?

5 (40m 15s):
So packing cubes are, they are what they sound like they’re cubes and they come in a variety of sizes, but they are so that you can help separate your clothing and to put them in a cube to kind of consolidate down and then fit all of these packed cubes into your luggage efficiently.

3 (40m 31s):
They’re usually like a mesh material. So there, they don’t take up a lot of space, but they’re to help you organize your luggage.

5 (40m 36s):
Yes. So some people use them to put specific outfits in some people use like one for jeans, one for shirts, one for socks, one for underwear. So instead of it just being in your suitcase, they’re in these they’re typically like square or rectangle shaped packing cubes. And then you just arrange the cubes in your luggage.

4 (40m 55s):
So the answer is no, I don’t have any of those things. I just pack. As I described, I don’t necessarily think they’re necessary. If I ever had them use them. I may feel differently about it, but I don’t see the need for them because there are techniques over time that people can develop to be better Packers. And I think this is just something to be like, okay, well, this helps you, but you don’t necessarily need that help. You can do it with training.

3 (41m 20s):
I totally agree. They’re a luxury, not a necessity. I think the one case where I would say it’s more useful is if you have a top loading backpacking backpack where your stuff is just flailing around everywhere, I can see how it would be useful to want a little organization in a situation like that. But in a regular suitcase, I don’t think he needed it at all.

4 (41m 39s):
I never thought about it from that perspective of a big backpacking backpack. I can see that now, but as a regular suitcase. Definitely not.

5 (41m 47s):
Yeah. So our next question is from Collin, from Queens, New York. Thank you Colin for engaging with us. Thanks

3 (41m 53s):

5 (41m 53s):
He asks, what’s something you cannot travel without.

2 (41m 56s):
Well, Colin for me, it’s my three pens.

3 (42m 1s):
I think headphones are really important. Nothing is worse than a long flight, or you don’t have any entertainment or sound

2 (42m 10s):
Because nowadays they charge for headphones depending on the airline. I think for me, sometimes it’s hard because I have an iPhone and as you know, like the newer iPhones, the Jack, isn’t your circular Jack for the headphones. It’s the kind of rectangular thin one. So if I have my earphones, that’s great, but it’s not going to work on the airplane. So I have to bring the adapter to plug it in or get headphones from the flight attendants. So yeah,

3 (42m 37s):
I always bring the headphones, the old version with the adapter on it. So I have dual use for both of it. I

5 (42m 43s):
Do too.

4 (42m 43s):
I just want to say, that’s why Samsung galaxies are better. I’m going to say it right now. I’m the only one at the table that has a galaxy. You guys always say my pictures are better and I don’t have to worry about adapters

3 (42m 54s):
Playing. The one thing,

7 (42m 57s):
The one

4 (42m 57s):
Thing for me, you know, that’s a really tough question on what’s the one thing I can’t travel without. I really don’t have an answer for that. It’s really dependent upon where I’m going, which is the thing that I’m probably going to need most. But in terms of just travel comfort to have, like I said, I love to have plain cards, love to have snacks while I’m on the plane. And those are the things I would say, like really cannot travel without otherwise other specific items. I really think it’s dependent upon where you’re going.

5 (43m 23s):
I have a few things. Snacks can’t live without snacks.

3 (43m 26s):
They’re so important.

5 (43m 27s):
Comfy cardigan to keep you warm on the plane. I feel like the planes always get super cold. I’m always freezing. I do not want to be uncomfortable while I’m on the plane and then headphones with the adapter because I do have an iPhone as well. Those are like my three go-to comfort items that I need anytime I travel.

2 (43m 44s):
And this is more of a luxury than a necessity, but it’s always nice to have a portable phone charger too.

5 (43m 50s):
That’s super important. I think that is essential for any trip to pack in a bag.

2 (43m 55s):
Yeah. When we left Johannesburg to fly to Atlanta, that was a 16 and a half hour flight. My phone was at 33% and I thought to myself, oh, you’re fine. Because of course it’s going to have a USB on the airplane for such a long flight. And Nope, it didn’t. So I couldn’t even use my phone because my phone would have died over a 16 and a half hour flight. Oh gosh. It was

5 (44m 17s):
Ridiculous. Kim’s worst nightmare

2 (44m 20s):
Who doesn’t have a phone charger on the airplanes, but you know what? So to bring a portable phone charger,

5 (44m 26s):
Any final thoughts?

4 (44m 28s):
No final thoughts for me. I’m

3 (44m 29s):
Good. I think we covered it all. How to Pack, how to fit it all into a carry on.

2 (44m 35s):
No. So, you know, next trip that you go on, pack your suitcase, take a picture, tag us on Instagram. We want to see how you’re packing and how you implemented our tips.

5 (44m 44s):
And if you have any tips to offer us, email us at Travel Squad Podcast at gmail.com.

3 (44m 51s):
Thank you guys so much for tuning into this week’s episode. Keep the adventure going with us and follow us on Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in all of your adventures and send us your questions of the week.

2 (45m 2s):
And if you found the information, this episode to be useful, or you thought we were just playing funny, please share it with a friend that would enjoy it too.

4 (45m 9s):
Please subscribe, rate, and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

5 (45m 14s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, pack your bags and your snow bunny gear because we are taking to Boise, Idaho,

4 (45m 20s):
Boise, Bye

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