You’re departing for your next big adventure and you want to look as fabulous as possible without having to check a suitcase. Of course, you’ve managed to completely overstuff your 22-inch carry-on and have no idea where to start fixing it. We consulted Jennifer Broome, a meteorologist, travel writer, and overall wandering enthusiast, for tips and tricks for the perfect carry-on. Follow her advice and you can focus on what really matters—soaking up every moment of your trip.
1Preparation is key.
“When planning for a trip, take those few extra minutes to actually plan out what you are doing, what you are wearing,” says Broome. “The front end of planning what you are going to pack makes things a lot easier.” Always use Coco Chanel’s rule of taking out 10 percent, generally two to four pieces. A hint: Shoes typically are overpacked.
2No matter the trip length, pack for no more than four days.
Broome says everything you bring should be able to be worn at least three to four different times, and in multiple different ways. Bring soap pods for hand washables.
3Think of the perfect carry-on as a puzzle.
Every single piece has its place. Broome organizes by rolling some pieces and laying others flat across the top. “I stuff the bottom of my suitcase with the things I roll up, anything like a camisole, tank tops, or shorts. Shirts and sweaters get folded and lay flat, alternating the fold. When you have finished wearing something, throw it in the bottom of your suitcase so you know it’s been used.” No need to rummage through your dirty clothes to get to your things any longer.
4Remember that versatility is paramount.
“Stick with neutral colors, tones that you can wear multiple different ways. You can pop your attitude and sass with thoughtful scarves or jewelry. However, make sure the jewelry you bring can be worn with a T-shirt as well as an evening dress.”
5Find a beautiful travel wrap and take it with you everywhere.
“Think of it as a light cardigan, something that can be worn multiple different ways.” Heading from Denver to a sunny, warm destination? This piece is crucial. It’s great for all types of weather, and especially on those chilly plane rides.
6There’s no need for your entire wardrobe or makeup bag to be with you every trip.
Take some time, do some planning, and everything will fall into place—literally, right into your suitcase.