With holiday travel season comes the inevitable task of packing everything you need for a number of days in a tiny suitcase and hoping you didn't forget anything. We've all found ourselves in those dreaded situations in which we arrive at our destination and realize we packed too much, too little, forgot essential items, or simply brought the wrong wardrobe for the climate or activities that we're faced with.
To ensure that packing doesn't put a damper on "the most wonderful time of the year," we reached out to four stylish frequent flyers, including our co-founder and CEO, a style blogger, a model and winemaker, and a celebrity stylist. If anyone knows what to do and not to do when packing, it's these women.
Instead of facing frequent trips with dread, they see packing as a routine part of life and have learned from their past travel blunders. As such, we asked these experts to divulge the packing mistakes they'd never make, and their answers are sure to stick with you the next time you're faced with an empty suitcase.
Keep scrolling to read their advice and shop some of our favorite travel essentials while you're at it!
"My biggest packing mistake is not bringing a carry-on suitcase and trying to stuff my large tote instead. I always end up regretting it at the end because it’s a pain to carry your heavy purse around the airport, and it's always a good idea to have an extra empty suitcase that you can bring stuff back in.
"Another big packing mistake? Not bringing extra socks on the airplane. I always take off my shoes on the plane and my feet always end up getting so cold, and I always wish I had an extra pair of socks!" — Chriselle Lim
"I would never overpack. I try to be as efficient as possible with my time and that means carrying on whenever possible. I plan out specific outfits ahead of time and group them by shared accessories as to limit the number of shoes, scarves, etc." — Katherine Power
"My packing philosophy is less is more!! I never leave home without Lorenza Rosé or a bikini because all the best adventures should involve rosé and swimming. I use Wineskins to seal and protect the bottle in my luggage.
"This one is hard for me to follow, but I try not to bring anything I've never worn before. If I haven't worn it at home, chances are it's not gonna happen on the road. And ONLY shoes that don't hurt your feet! I usually do one pair of Vans, Newbark slides or loafers, and Saint Laurent Chelsea boots. Ready for anything!
"I leave the shampoo and conditioner and blow dryers at home.. "
"I try to leave a little extra room for any treasures found along the way." — Michele Ouellet
"Folding your clothes instead of rolling them to save space and avoid wrinkles.
"Packing your jewelry or any valuables that will make you upset if stolen or damaged.
"Forgetting dust bags for your shoes—these will prevent any staining of adjacent clothes.
"Forgetting to pack a very lightweight option—a tank and leggings—in your carry-on, just in case your luggage goes rogue.
"Packing your phone charger in your luggage vs. your carry-on. If you get stranded in another airport, you want to have that with you!" — Tara Swennen
Shop Travel Essentials
Say sayonara to tangled cords.
This should help ensure you never misplace your passport.
A roomy, durable tote is essential to have on hand.
A chic tag will help you to easily spot your luggage at baggage claim.
Frequent flyers never use the airline's recycled pillows.
Give everyone else suitcase envy with this guy.
Behold the softest eye mask ever.
This would make a great gift.
Spare your clothing and pack your shoes in these.
Fill this chic bottle up after going through security.
This high-tech suitcase has location sensors that sync to an iOS app to help you keep track of your bag. Sold!
Comfy flats will always come in handy when traveling.
Tumi's durable toiletry kit will keep you organized for years.
Want more travel tips? Check out the three-bin theory every smart traveler follows.