Essential tips for packing your luggage from a seasoned traveler.
By Emily Yann, Sockwell Sales Director and Travel Enthusiast
I’ve been with Sockwell since day one—when it was known as Goodhew—all the way back in 2008. As the company has grown, I’ve spent up to 40% of the year traveling on business. With all that practice, I’ve become an expert on how to pack a suitcase.
Travel can be stressful even for the most experienced travelers, whether you’re lugging your bags through an airport to reach an exotic 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.
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 Sockwell 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 ten outfits and a different book to read for each day of the trip. You’ll then lug your bags through the airport, the hotel, in and out of cars, and back home, only to find you wore less than half 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
1. 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.
2. Know Your Essentials
We all have go-to items in our closets that we’re most confident wearing: a favorite pair of jeans, the shirt that looks great with everything, those 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.
3. 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 will 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.
4. 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!
5. 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:
- Packing cubes. I have different colored bags that help me organize by outfit or type of clothing (e.g., workout and casual or pants and skirts). With this level of organization, I can save time and find things at ease without having to unpack my whole bag. Bonus: Packing cubes also help to maximize space by compressing the air between clothes.
- Compression socks. Even if it’s the middle of summer, I always carry Sockwell graduated compression socks with me and wear them on the plane or in the hotel room at night to recover after long days on the go.
- Wheeled luggage. 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, these options are durable and convenient.
I started business traveling—selling the world’s best socks—over 15 ago, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love that our products improve 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.
No matter where you’re going, bring (or wear) a pair of Sockwell graduated compression socks. Keeping your legs and feet energized is the key to hitting the ground running and enjoying every last minute of your trip.