— travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams —

travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams

Somebody asked me how I fit 10 days’ worth of clothes into a single backpack, considering my beloved Northloom Miguee isn’t that big. There are a lot of articles containing packing tips out there, so I’m just going to list down a few tips that aren’t as publicized.

Compress your clothes in Ziploc bags.

And by Ziploc, I mean any brand of resealable storage bag (I just use the cheap SM Bonus ones). Most articles recommend special vacuum compression bags but they aren’t as readily available or cost-effective, so I just use regular Ziplocs and I kneel on them. By kneeling on them I’m using my weight — which is not insubstantial, he he — to squeeze the air out within, between and around the clothes, and I free up both hands to seal the bag. It works well enough, and you don’t have to buy special bags or, as in some types of bags, use vacuum devices.

Packing Tips 01

Packing Tips 02

If you don’t mind the number of Ziplocs you use, try to group just 1 whole outfit — instead of several, like I did here — in 1 bag, so you can just open one bag at a time and you don’t have to reseal them over and over. Plus, with less clothes in 1 bag, you’ll probably be able to squeeze out more air. Less air = less space.

Roll up your clothes.

Conventional wisdom says rolled-up clothes take less space and they don’t wrinkle your clothes as much. I don’t know if that’s true and if the difference is, like, statistically significant. 😀 But my clothes come out wrinkly however I pack them anyway, so I genuflect to conventional wisdom and roll them up when I can. (Exceptions include denim, as above, when I’m pretty sure rolling them up will actually cause them to take up more space.)

Here, I rolled my clothes, then used rubber bands to secure the roll. The rubber bands aren’t strictly necessary, but they help — especially when I’m still deciding which clothes to group together and where to put them — and they can be used for other purposes later in the trip.

Packing Tips 03

After rolling them, I then place the clothes inside Ziplocs, kneel on the bag, and seal.

Packing Tips 04

I’ll try to take some more photos next time I pack and update this post.

For what it’s worth, I don’t advise transferring toothpaste from big tubes to travel-sized tubes, because it looks messy and likely to result in a bit of wastage, and toothpaste that is already in travel-sized tubes is cheap and readily available. (For that reason, I tend to judge travel packing articles based on whether or not they include toothpaste transferring, which I know is supercilious of me, but come on, travel-sized toothpaste costs less than a dollar! Unless you use a special toothpaste, of course, in which case please go ahead.)

How do you pack?

Please share your own tips in the Comments, I’d love to read them. Especially how not to make clothes wrinkly!


© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains


19 Responses

  1. i also use compression sacks and pack quick-dry, rumple-proof clothes so i dont worry about creases, etc.

  2. What a brilliant idea, will definitely try it next time we go to Bantayan so I can squeeze the kids’ clothes in my back pack too! Thanks for the tip!

  3. I roll up my clothes, too. I find that they’re less wrinkly versus folding them (also depends on how well you roll them siguro). But in general man gud, I buy clothes made of materials that don’t wrinkle too much. I haven’t tried using ziplock bags, I will the next time. 🙂 I don’t transfer toothpaste to a smaller tube as well, murag maka-afford ra siguro ko sa sachet or the smaller tube haha! But I do that sometimes for lotion or shampoo

    1. Lagi, ma-afford ra man gud ang gamay nga Colgate. 😀 I love your post, thanks for sharing the link! I can relate to planning my outfits day by day…and then changing my mind when I’m already there. There’s usually something I end up not wearing and something I end up, um, recycling. 😀

  4. Gosh this helps so much! I’ve been taking weekend trips all year while being abroad in Europe and literally have only been using a north face backpack. I will admit over the course of the year I’ve gotten better but would never have thought to use ziploc bags!

  5. i used to roll out my clothes but i havent tried using ziplocks. Maybe next time, I will do this 😀 One style that worked for us was laying the clothes flat inside your suitcase (no folding at all) then you tuck the sleeves on the sides lang. We get to bring a lot of things with that system of packing, too. 😀

  6. As of now, I am currently packing for our 3 month travel nurse stint. I also roll up my clothes and use packing cubes They are such a space saver! And you have your clothes neatly organized too. You don’t have to rummage through you back pack or luggage to search for items. I also tend to bring light weight clothes (unless its winter then thats a different story) and sundresses. I say, the more we pack, the more we learn! 🙂

    1. I’d heard of packing cubes before but I didn’t really know that much about them, so when I read your comment, I did a bit more research and watched a video on how to use them hehe! They do seem to work very well in saving space. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  7. Hi sis,
    i also use ziplock bags but i separate for everyday wear paired with the jewelries i’d like for tat day/or nite. i always ironed already my clothes (that needed to be ironed) b4 packing so at least when i get to my hotel room, ill unpack and a li’l himas himas sa clothes at hang to get the wrinkled off. and mostly my clothes i brought with me while on vacay are satin, or rayon materials and reversible shorts or jeans. my flatshoes is foldable (always prep for some evening niteouts) and i love my Skechers GoWalk in white,while travelling bcos it can pair with any attire. Regarding with the toothpaste,lotion and deodorant i always have a ready travel size,bath bar soap, my shampoo n conditioner are in sachets,and i also brought with me a detergent bar soap to wash my clothes bcos im avoiding dirty clothes to brought back home. However, when im back home im sort of in a lazy mode,still reminiscing the vacay i had

    1. Hi Gayle! That’s a very useful tip, including the jewelry that you intend to wear with the clothes so that you won’t have to rummage around the bag for them. And I really need to invest more on less wrinkly clothes. Me too, when I get home from vacation, it takes me days (sometimes weeks!) to unpack. 😀

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