5 More Packing Tips for the Perennially Over-Packed

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun

“Oh…is this yours?”

I wish “carry on” referred to a passenger’s ability to actually carry their bags onto the plane, because if that were the case, I’d start lifting weights tomorrow.


Can I get a show of hands from my fellow packing-challenged girls (you are not alone!)? My flight to Vancouver doesn’t leave until tomorrow afternoon, but knowing how I am about packing, I should probably start now!

You know the saying, “everything but the kitchen sink”? Yeah, forget that. I’m not leaving without the sink. πŸ™‚ But seriously, I tend to over-pack.

I think I’ve gotten a little better lately, though. Had one two many close calls with lost luggage, and out of principle I refuse to pay the extra check-in fees the airlines charge (what a racket!).

Things like e-packing lists have helped streamline the packing process, but I’m always on the market for new tips, like these, which I gleaned from a travel segment on the Today Show last week (which I originally recorded for the NKOTB/BSB live concert performance)…

1. If it won’t fit, wear it

With carry-on space at a premium, wear as many of your bulky items on the plane as you can, like heavy jackets, platform shoes, etc. Not only will you save space in your bag, but since planes tend to be a little chilly, the extra layers should help keep you warm.

2. The goal is containment

Don’t forget those nooks and crannies. Fill any spaces created by larger items with smaller things to save space. For instance, underwear can be rolled up and placed into the cup of a bra, or a bathing suit (or socks) can be rolled up and inserted in a tennis shoe.

3. Stuff that clutch!

If you plan to bring a clutch purse with you, use every cubic inch of space. It may not hold a lot, but it might be a good place for something small and valuable, like jewelry.

4. It’s the serpentine belt

Even rolled up, belts can take a lot of room. Try snaking them along the inside perimeter of your bag (I love this one!).

5. Gonna get rolled

To eek out even more room from your luggage, roll your clothes instead of folding them, and secure them with rubber bands to keep everything in its place.

You got the right stuff? Baby?

So. About that KNOTB/BSB concert, I was thinking about getting tickets, but after seeing them live on the Today Show, I dunno. It was kinda weird watching a bunch of grown men kick from the left to the right the same way a bunch of boys did 20 years ago. Yeah, the kicks certainly weren’t as high or enthusiastic as they used to be, LOL! πŸ™‚ Don’t forget those stretches, guys!

For even MORE travel beauty tips try…

Oh, and when Jordan Knight busted out the falsetto in I’ll Be Loving You, I’m not kidding — Tabs flexed his ears and ran from the room!

Watch your cat around the 2-minute mark

Have you been thinking about seeing the show, or have you seen it already?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 41 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. evo says:

    I always tend to overpack. Never fails even when I try planning for it. Makeup is worse though. One time I even forgot to bring pjs! Thank god for extra large shirts they sell in vegas hotels.

    Are you going to Vancouver, BC or Vancouver, Washington?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Evo,

      I’m going to Vancouver, BC! πŸ™‚

      • evo says:

        Nice! Our summer has finally arrived although it can still be chilly in the morning and evenings.

        Got tickets to watch hockey? It’ll be crazy downtown when we win the cup!

        • Karen says:

          I don’t — wish I did, though!

          We’ll probably try to find a sports bar to watch the game. Do you know of any good ones near the downtown area?

          • evo says:

            There are lots especially on Granville street. The commedore ballroom is open to the public for the games.

            But if u want to be in the thick of things, the city has shut down georgia street (main artery in/out of dt) @ 2pm and will place 2 large screen tvs so everyone can watch. It’s usually crazy.

  2. Molly says:

    love these tips, especially the first one, hah! i leave for france and spain on the 20th and i just made a two-page packing list, sigh.

    • Karen says:

      How exciting, Molly! Where will you be going?

    • Francine says:

      I live downtown Vancouver and it’s absolutely mayhem on game day – even on away games! Expect Friday to be amazingly manic. It’s great to be in the thick of things, esp with a win! Maybe you coming to visit will give our team the boost they need πŸ˜‰

      Enjoy the city. I love it and will never leave!

  3. Radhika says:

    Haaa…packing is one thing I am GOOD at…Hopping a couple of times between India and the US helps πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Enjoy your trip to Vancouver πŸ™‚ Oh and quite unrelated, is EvRev similar to Chanel’s Nakkar?
    Radhika recently posted … Dove Gentle Exfoliating Facial Foam with Exfoliating Beads Review

  4. Vijaya says:

    You are so right on about stuffing clutches and things. I don’t use clutches, but I often draw while on a flight, so I take everything I can in the pencil case with me, whether that be a bunch of tampons, hand sanitizer or whatever.
    Vijaya recently posted … Adventures in Neutral Eyes- Mistress

  5. Monique says:

    You have to check out the website redwinehelpsyousleepontrains. They also have a youtube channel under the same name. They have great packing tips for backpacks. I can’t wait to use it for my next trip. I am so a pack the sink girl too. My friends like to say “Mo doesn’t pack for a trip bit an invasion!”
    Yeah, I like to brink options!

  6. Macy says:

    Wow. I was going to pack for a trip to Illinois as soon as I got off the computer, and then I stumbled upon this article! That clutch purse idea is great. Quick question: do you prefer liquid or powder foundation in the summer?

  7. Jessi says:

    I ALWAYS over pack too. I just bring way more than I will ever wear. I forget how low maintenance I am when it comes to clothes and pack my entire closet. I change my mind easily so I’m just super paranoid that I’ll end up hating what i packed!
    Jessi recently posted … Bright Summery Nails with LOreals Summer Siren Nail Polishes! Wth Swatches!

  8. Emily says:

    Okay, so this wasn’t a major trip- but when I went for a sleepover last Friday I forgot to bring pajamas!! I had to borrow my bff Alena’s lol.

  9. Juji says:

    As both an overpacker AND a virgo, I have to say that packing cells or pouches from brands like Eagle Creek are a god send. So too are zip-lock baggies for last minute impulse buys! \

    I’ve always found the packing cells/pouches/baggies improve my chances of fitting in more, as I have to ensure that items are well folded or at least neatly packed away.

    I also like to pack a few empty extra large baggies in between my folded/rolled clothing for any extras which I may need to stow later.

    I’m pretty sure all the customs officials I’ve encountered have thought I was over the top OCD, but it was totally worth it when I could find all my items easily.
    Juji recently posted … Saturday burgers

  10. BettyS says:

    I’m a great packer. I love those space bags, the kind you stuff and squeeze the air out of. It’s like shrink wrapping your clothes, and it’s great for saving space.

  11. I totally saw that episode of the Today Show! I loved these tips, especially the belt and clutch one! I used to think rolling up clothes didn’t really save space, but I tried it on my last trip and it worked! And it keeps the wrinkles to a minimum!

    How much makeup do you typically carry?
    Kajal Couture recently posted … MAC Dupes for the Urban Decay Naked Palette

  12. Christina says:

    Gosh I haven’t traveled in so long that I probably wouldn’t even know where to begin to pack! The last time I traveled out of California was when I went to Orlando, FL for a convention 3 years ago. Ack! The next time I do get a chance, I am totally going through all your packing posts! ^_^

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Vancouver! πŸ˜€ I’ve only been to Montreal but I think Canada is absolutely lovely! πŸ˜€

  13. Jen says:

    My favorite packing tip: carry an empty pillowcase to put your dirty clothes in so they aren’t touching anything clean. If I’m gone long enough to have to do laundry, it becomes my laundry bag and I just wash it with my dirty clothes.

  14. Denise says:

    Oh gosh, I’m such an over packer! During our last beach island trip, I attempted to pack bottled water in my check in, lol.
    Denise recently posted … Blossom with Maybellines Lip Smooth Color Bloom

  15. Jen says:

    Thanks for the packing tips. I went to NKOTBSB concert in Baltimore, it was awesome. You should definitely check them out. Their performance on TV did not do them justice. The concert so worth it.

  16. Ms Erin says:

    My cat, Juni (short for Juniper) just happened to be here when I was reading, so I played the video for him. He didn’t run away but his ears did flip back. LOL!

  17. Isabel Cutrim says:

    I’m sooo in trouble. I’ll be spending 40 days in Europe this summer and I’m only allowed one piece of luggage. I’m going to leave soooo much stuff!

  18. Alison says:

    What a timely post! I’ll be spending most of tomorrow packing for an epic 2.5-week trip. My fiance and I will be visiting both our families AND taking a 10-day trip to Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels) with my fiance’s mom. I usually over-pack, but for a trip this long, I really need to think things through and make sure I’m using my suitcase space wisely. One nice thing about packing for a summer trip- your clothes aren’t as bulky! πŸ™‚

  19. Neetha says:

    That was a good post Karen!!
    I tend to over pack all the time πŸ™
    Especially while travelling to India and back – that drives me crazy …

    Take care – Have a safe trip – Have fun πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  20. Kari says:

    I’ll take all of the packing tips I can get! I am going to France in July with my step-daughters high school French class…too many choices…not enough luggage!

  21. Rona says:

    Nice tips! The problem I always have is with the weight off my bag though. I always put the fake’ I’m not straining to carry this I swear this bag is super light’ look on my face

  22. How about your makeup? What essentials are you gonna bring? =)
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted … Stage Cosmetics Photo Pro Foundation Review Foundation For Glowing Skin

  23. Katie says:

    I am so paranoid that my luggage will get lost that I never pack my favorite things, unless they’re easily replaceable. I just know too many people who have lost luggage! πŸ™‚

  24. Nina says:

    i do the roll your clothes tip … it really saves space! enjoy your trip!

  25. Sri says:

    putting (chubby) Tabs in your luggage will (absolutely) made your things over-packed πŸ˜€
    seems he want to join the adventure with you..

    I put the heels in the luggage, then the heels broke when I arrived at the airport :'(

  26. Wendy says:

    I always pack a travel lysol and clorox wipes because I read somewhere that the tv remote in the hotel rooms is NEVER cleaned so I clean the remote and the door knobs.
    And I have to say I always pack more undies and socks than i really need but it’s nice to come home and not have to do laundry.
    Happy Birthday and have a good trip girl!

  27. Terri says:

    Hi Karen,

    I hope you have a wonderful trip (and that you are having an excellent birthday)!


  28. Kim says:

    I always roll my stuff, too. It saves space and actually helps with the wrinkles, which is weird – it seems like it would have the opposite effect.

    I like Jen’s suggestion above about using a pillow case for her dirty clothes. I usually use the plastic dry cleaning bag from the hotel for that. I hope that’s not a faux pas!

  29. corinne says:

    Good tips! I leave for Boston tomorrow to see NKOTBSB at Fenway Park and all my other trips this summer is to see them in concert =) The Today Show wasn’t that great granted, but seriously if u were a fan of either bands before this tour you should go check it out. This will be my first concert of this tour. and only 5 more after HAHA. But ya, I was just on their cruise last month and I can’t get enough.

    • Cherry says:

      Oh yes, nkotbsb is indeed a great show. Just saw them last week in CT. They put on a fun performance. Women were swooning when they removed their shirts. Sooo funny! Def worth it if you can get tickets, Karen!

  30. Kristina says:

    don’t quite agree with #1 – you really dont want to be wearing uncomfy heels on a long flight! unless you plan to wear socks instead πŸ™‚ and take them off

    for me, packing whole outfits works the best – so a skirt/top preplanned and rolled away together πŸ™‚

  31. et says:

    hey i luv ur blog , especially when its about traveling
    im traveling in a few days and i cant find a good quality soft suitcase , and i luv urs , and tht its expandable πŸ™‚ just wanted to ask which brand is it , thnk u πŸ™‚

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