A ton of packing systems/cubes exist out there but my absolute favorite and can't-do-without is the SpacePak system from Flight001. I always use the lingerie SpacePak, and rotate between the underwear and clothes ones depending on how much I am taking and how bulky the items are. I love this system because you never have to worry where you are going to store your dirty clothes (goodbye hotel plastic laundry bag!) because one side of each SpacePak is for clean clothes, flip it over and the other side stores your dirties! It really helps keep your luggage organized throughout every stage of your trip. Check out the videos to see what I mean!!
Don't underestimate the power of the travel sized toiletry. If you can't find your favorite item in a travel version (check out your local drugstore, Target, Sephora or online @3floz.com), you can make your own. Bobbi Brown sells some great containers called 'Empties'. They are available for $15 from sites like Nordstrom and other Bobbi Brown retailers. The Container Store and REI also sell a variety of leakproof bottles and containers. I travel size a lot of items - unless I am going to be on a long trip.
Pare down your liquids by choosing a solid instead. Many personal care items that are commonly found in liquid, gel or lotion form can also be found in powders or solids. Many solid perfumes that available from such brands as Tocca and Diptyque. LUSH carries solid shampoos and conditioners, and lots of brands carry solid body washes and body lotions. Several brands also carry solid cleansers such as Amore Pacific and Tatcha.
Will you have access to a drug/department store when you land? Lighten up on your liquids by purchasing them when you get to your destination. Things like toothpaste, body lotion, body wash, shampoo and conditioner are usually readily available unless you are traveling to a remote area. If you purchase smaller sizes when you arrive at your destination, they don't take up unnecessary room or weight in your luggage. You also can usually use most of the product up by the time you leave and won't feel so bad throwing them in the recycle bin before you go home.
Samples!!! You know all those samples you've been meaning to use forever?? Bring them on your trip!! They take up a lot less room, and it's a great way to get through your sample stash.
I very rarely check my luggage so I prefer luggage that is as lightweight as possible. I'm partial to Tumi or Briggs and Riley because the pieces are well-built, have a good warranty and are durable well beyond my point of wanting something new. Some less expensive brands that still carry lightweight options are Osprey, Burton and eBags.
Pack an extra bag for overflow goodies and souvenirs. Eagle Creek and Eddie Bauer make some great packable/collapsable tote bags and backpacks that fit neatly into your luggage. What I'm using now, Tumi Just In Case Travel Duffel.
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