Fashion-Blogger Secrets for Packing a Carry-On
Photo: Courtesy of Kathleen Barnes
If you're in the market for a new bag, look for ones that feature compression technology, one of the top luggage trends of 2016. Some styles, like the Briggs & Riley carry-on, expand up to 25 percent to fit more items, and then compress back down to original size.
And, within your suitcase, another great way to gain incremental space is with compression pouches, which squeeze out excess air without requiring a vacuum. (However, you'll still want to keep an eye on the weight, and it's best to avoid using them with delicate fabrics, which may wrinkle.)
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D
Another fashion workhorse is the Turkish towel, a lightweight, superabsorbent and quick-drying cotton towel that not only is great on the beach or by the pool but also can easily transform into a coverup, a scarf, a skirt or even a tote bag.
Photo: Patrice J. Williams
One caveat for contact lens wearers: Make sure your cases for beauty products are easily distinguishable from the ones holding your lenses. Use different colors or styles, or label the travel ones with permanent marker or nail polish, so you'll always know what's inside.
Shoes are packed first and last for Blanchard, with the pair that will be worn the most put in last, near the lid of the suitcase (keep them in dust bags or shower caps to protect delicates), and the pairs to wear later packed first, either underneath all your clothes or tucked away in a corner, with the soles facing away from the clothes. And since she's prone to packing way more shoes than necessary, she sticks to one pair of sandals (weather permitting), one pair of wedges or a pair of heels, and one pair of casual sneakers, which covers everything from hours of sightseeing to a trip to the beach to an elegant night out.
As a final touch, Blanchard recommends keeping sleepwear near the very top of your bag. "There's nothing worse than tearing apart your suitcase for your pajamas at the end of a long travel day."