As we plan trips over the holidays, there always a lot we need to account for: accommodations, travel fare, itinerary—and packing. Whether you’re visiting your mom in the Midwest or planning a respite from the cold by booking a trip to Cabo, it takes some effort to pack so that your clothes don’t arrive in a jumbled mess. Our guide will help you take a strategic approach to packing, so that your clothes arrive wrinkle-free and ready for holiday fun.
A guide to packing wrinkle-free clothes
1. Roll up soft fabrics
Clothes made of soft fabrics like cotton T-shirts and knitwear can be rolled up tightly and tucked into your suitcase as the bottom layer. Doing so not only saves space, but also prevents these items from wrinkling.
2. Fold structured and synthetic garments
Both synthetic fabrics (like polyester, nylon and Lycra) and structured garments (like jeans, button-down shirts and blazers) should be folded and placed as the next layer in your suitcase. Synthetics are wrinkle-resistant and travel-friendly—you can easily pull them out and throw them on as soon as you reach your destination. For structured clothes, place a layer of tissue paper or a plastic bag in between each folded item. This will cause less friction on the fabrics and help to reduce creasing.
3. Use mesh bags for delicates
Fold and place lingerie, underwear and swimwear in mesh laundry bags, which will keep them organized and protected. In the event your bag is inspected, your delicates can be seen without being touched.
4. Place clothes prone to wrinkles in a plastic dry cleaning bag
Packing silk garments or cocktail dresses can be tough. A plastic dry cleaning bag is the key to keeping silks and special occasion attire looking smooth; the plastic protects your clothes by reducing friction, which creates wrinkles. Fold each garment carefully, following the natural shape of the item, and use one plastic bag per garment. Pack these pieces last so that they can be laid atop all your other clothes.
5. Fill empty space
Ensure all your belongings are packed tightly in the suitcase and don’t have room to get jostled around. To fill space, fit shoes (in dust bags) into crevices between clothing, and line the perimeter with accessories or toiletry bags.
What to wear to the airport
Traveling can be tricky when your departure city has a totally different temperature than your destination. In this case, layers are your best friend—you can add or subtract warmth as necessary.
Basking in sunshine at home but expecting a blizzard at your destination? Put on as much clothing as you can handle, without overheating, when you’re headed to the airport. Pack a heavy sweater and thick blanket scarf in your carry-on bag, so you can throw them on upon arrival.
If you’re facing the opposite challenge, dress warmly but ensure you’re wearing layers, such as a button-down shirt or cardigan that you can easily remove once you arrive.
What to do upon arrival
It’s inevitable that some attire will get a little crumpled during transit. When you reach your destination, immediately hang garments like dresses, button-down shirts, silk blouses and dress pants on sturdy hangers so they can relax and not wrinkle any further.
To get any wrinkles out, a handheld steamer is an excellent travel companion. If you’re in a pinch, hanging clothes in the bathroom while you’re taking a hot steamy shower will help smooth out your garments.
These packing hacks will make for a well-organized suitcase, a wrinkle-free wardrobe and a comfortable travel day outfit. That leaves just one thing to do: enjoy your trip!
Photos: Leszek Czerwonka / Shutterstock.com, Master-L / Shutterstock.com, Luis Llerena, Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com