As a traveling performer, I am always on the lookout for killer new ways to pack efficiently, tightly and stylishly. With my clothes being pulled in and out of suitcases and lugged from airplane to airplane, I can honestly say I’ve given up on buying anything that requires consistent ironing, dry cleaning or even air drying. I’ve definitely given up on such luxuries as lacy bras and panties as hotel laundry facilities are basically death to delicates.
However, I still like to look good on the road yet still maintain a high feeling of comfort. To take a break from packing for Houston (I leave tomorrow afternoon for a month-long gig at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo), I thought I would give some of my best tips and tricks for packing a diverse wardrobe in a single suitcase and backpack.
SPACE SAVER BAGS
These things have literally been the lifesavers for my travels. For as long as I can remember, I used to just roll up my clothes and throw them in my suitcase, leaving them open to collecting that stale airport, airplane and whatever else smell that latches on in the course of travel. While I still highly recommend the rolling technique, putting all of my items in these air tight bags is the secret to keeping my clothes not only fresh but wrinkle-free. I am also able to bring SO many more items since I can vacuum seal them!
I’ve used many different brands but I usually stick with Zip-Loc as they have the tab that helps really create that air-tight seal. I use a large one for my main items (hoodies, shirts and pants) and then the small and mediums for bras, panties, socks, slippers, tank tops and tights.
MESH PACKING CUBES
My mom recently went to China for four months and she was having the hardest time figuring out how to organize everything for her trip; that is, until she stumbled upon packing cubes. Now most people would look at these things and think they were pointless and take up extra space. WRONG. These bad boys have simplified life ten-fold.
More often than not, I will drive to different gigs. Sometimes these gigs are 15-20 hours apart from each other which requires me to stop for the night. Before I leave the hotel, I’ll pack some clothes for the night, next day and some extras in one of these mesh cubes. I’ll then use a smaller cube for toiletries. Everything else goes into the space saver bags for later. This way, when I arrive at my hotel for the night, I can simply grab these two cubes without having to search for anything in the dark. I also don’t have to throw a bunch of things in a bag and take it all out on the hotel bed. Time is money, especially when you’ve just driven 10 hours straight!
I don’t know what it is about travel-size items but I absolutely adore them. Maybe it’s because anything mini is absolutely adorable or because it’s just more fun to see how many of your favorite brands come in travel-size. Also, the price tag ain’t too shabby either.
I love when I can do a trip with just a carry-on and that is where travel-size items are my best friend. As a special treat to myself, I will go to places like Sephora or Ulta and buy travel-size items of brands I’ve always wanted to try or simply ones that I can’t afford the regular of. Not only does this allow me to feel pampered, but I also get to try things without fully committing to an expensive product. There’s nothing like luxurious bath products to make you feel relaxed in a strange hotel room.
I despise going out to eat every night and watching my bank account drain faster than a Katy Perry relationship. In order to keep myself inside a traveler’s budget, I bring a few kitchen essentials that allow me to cook delicious meals inside my hotel room. A few things in my “kitchen box” include:
- Mini cutting board
- Sharp knife (perfect for cutting up fruits and veggies)
- Nutribullet (It’s heavy but SO worth it)
- French Press (travel size, of course)
- Dollar store utensils (2 of each)
- Italian seasoning (you can literally put it on everything)
- Plastic Tupperware
- Wine bottle opener (duh)
If I’m staying at a hotel that serves breakfast I’ll usually try and snag some bowls, plates and napkins but I don’t mind swinging by the local Target or Walmart and buying $1.99 paper plates.
As long as you stay organized, you can bring everything you want and need with you on all of your journeys. Happy traveling!
Photo Credit: The Odysessy Online