Quintessential tips for packing your luggage from a seasoned traveler.
Written by: Emily Yann, Sales Director at Sockwell and Travel Enthusiast
Before a global pandemic changed everything, I used to spend close to 40% of the year traveling. I’ve been with Sockwell, formerly Goodhew, since day one—all the way back in 2008. As the company grew, my travel became increasingly more frequent and thus, I became somewhat of an expert on how to pack a suitcase.
I felt a bit rusty in mid-2021 as I packed my bag for the first time in over a year, but it came back quickly as I reached into my bag-packing-muscle memory. Since then, I’ve been on a handful of trips, but I am waiting eagerly to see more trips on my calendar.
Travel can be stressful even for the most experienced travelers—whether you're lugging your bags through an airport to reach an exotic summer vacation destination or trying to fit all the luggage in your car while making sure you can still see through your back window.
I’ve found the best way to reduce stress is to pack efficiently and travel as light as possible. And being mobile with your luggage, no matter your destination, is empowering for any type of travel and a (literal) weight off your shoulders.
Less is More
When it comes to business travel, less is more. Trust me on this! Fitting all of my clothes, shoes and toiletries in a bag that fits in the overhead bin is essential for making my trip as low stress as possible. Carry-on luggage, preferably those on wheels, ensures that I can avoid baggage claim and hit the ground running as soon as I arrive at my destination. On top of my carry-on luggage, I carry my laptop, essential printed items (like product catalogs), and socks; lots of Sockwell socks.
You may not want to hear it, but the same concept applies to vacation travel. A weekend trip can quickly turn into six to nine outfits and a different book to read for each day of the trip. You’ll then lug your bags through the airport, hotel, in and out of cars, and back home, only to find you wore less than 50% of what you packed, and that you didn’t actually finish an entire book (although you’re very close).
I can personally attest to feeling overwhelmed after unpacking my suitcase from my recent beach vacation. Had I stuck to my essential travel checklist I would have left the majority of the items in my closet and stuck to my tried and true key pieces.
Top 5 Tips for Packing like a Pro
Pack one versatile outfit per day.
Weather can be unpredictable. Be prepared for some extra sun, a little rain, or maybe even a cold front by including easy-to-layer outfits for trips that will include an unexpected forecast or a mix of indoor and outdoor activities.
Know your essentials.
We all have “go-to” items in our closets that we’re most confident wearing. Whether it’s your favorite pair of jeans, the shirt that looks great with everything, or the comfortable shoes that can dress up any outfit. These at-home essentials double as your travel essentials. Forget about that one novel item you’ve considered wearing hundreds of times but never actually worn out of the house. You'll feel most like yourself in your tried and true garments, so stick with them at home and on the go.
Mix and match.
Having a closet full of neutral colors means I can mix and match just about any top and bottom to create a complete ensemble. When I shop for new clothes or pack for a trip, I look for low maintenance pieces that don’t wrinkle easily and would be comfortable whether standing, walking or sitting for long periods of time. I can’t tell you how much relief I feel when I don’t have to worry about being comfortable all day.
Create a uniform.
For business travel, I tend to have a uniform for each season. At the beginning of the season, I will lay out all the outfits I am thinking of bringing and actually try them all on; head to toe, shoes included. I’ll pack each outfit together so I can easily pair them in the closet when I arrive at my destination. Easy-breezy!
Don’t forget key accessories.
There are a few items I don’t leave home without, whether traveling for business or on vacation. These items are on my travel checklist, no matter the destination.
- Eagle Creek Compression Cubes. I have different colored bags that help me organize by outfit or type of clothing (i.e. workout and casual vs. pants and skirts). With this level of organization, I can save time and find things at ease without having to unpack everything. Bonus: They also help to maximize space by compressing the air between clothes.
- Sockwell Compression Socks. Even if it’s the middle of summer, I always carry my Sockwell graduated compression socks with me and wear them on the plane or at the hotel room at night to recover after long days on the go.
- While I’m always looking for the next smart luggage solution, I keep coming back to my Osprey Sojourn wheeled luggage. Whether you need a larger size for longer trips or a carry-on for a weekend getaway, Osprey luggage is durable and convenient.
I started business traveling—selling the world’s best socks—over a decade ago, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love that our product improves the lives of those who wear them and that I can feel better without compromising my personal style. Plus, my favorite graduated compression socks take up almost no space in my luggage and help me feel my best. I’d say that’s a win-win.
Where are you going this summer, and what are you packing? I hope you bring a pair of Sockwell graduated compression socks with you, no matter your destination. Keeping your legs and feet energized is the key to hitting the ground running and enjoying every last minute of your trip.