While traveling is a total blast, packing (and unpacking, ugh) are arguably the worst part about actually taking the epic train adventure or solo trip you’ve been dreaming about. Since we’re all about tips, tricks, and hacks that save time *and* stress, we reached out to New York Times best-selling author and traveler extraordinaire Jenny Han. Gearing up for a nine-city tour to promote her new book Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Han shared the secrets that help her stay organized while looking chic on the go. Scroll on for her smart ideas; you’ll be using ’em on your next journey!
1. Bring a baby pillow. Han swears by bringing a little pillow for a long trip. “I always carry a baby pillow in my go-to carryall for the flight,” she tells us. “My pillow has little green bunnies on it, and it fits right in my tote.” She also suggests packing an extra pillowcase so you have a fresh one for the flight or drive home.
2. Remember socks! “Always pack socks in your purse,” Han advises. “I’ve actually had my feet nearly go frostbitten on train trips before!” She says that socks are also awesome to have on hand if you wear sandals on a plane and take your shoes off, but don’t want your bare feet to touch the floor. “Just slip on those emergency socks and you’re good to go,” she promises.
3. Keep a dental kit in your purse. Feeling fresh is ultra-important if you’re traveling for biz, so Han suggests packing a toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste in your purse. “Just ask for a dental kit at the next hotel you stay at, and then keep it in your travel cosmetics case,” she says.
4. Utilize cosmetics cases. “Keep a cosmetics case permanently packed in your suitcase,” Han says. “Make sure it’s stocked with your travel sized shampoos, a razor, and your lotions; this way, you’ll *never* have to re-pack them.”
5. Get a good garment bag. Since Han travels a ton and regularly has to make appearances on her trips, she often brings dresses and silky things along with her. She tells us that a good garment bag is the key to keeping everything in tip-top condition. “Hang your nice things in a garment bag, gently fold it in half, and lay it on top of everything else,” she advises. “You can just hang the garment bag as soon as you get to your hotel room.”
7. Invest in packing cubes. “Definitely get packing cubes so you can keep everything nice and organized,” Han says. “I like to keep my pajamas and soft t-shirts in one cube because I reach for them most often. I use my other cubes for underwear, jeans, and workout clothes.” When it comes to the suitcase, Han tells us that Away luggage is the way to go. “I use the Bigger Carry-On ($245) because it’s the perfect size for a weekend trip. Mine is green, and I love that I can charge my phone in it!”
8. Keep a few Ziploc bags on hand. You never know when you might need an extra baggie, so bring some with you just in case. Han tells us these can be especially clutch when “traveling with lotion or a damp bathing suit, or simply breezing through airport security.” So true.
Will you try any of Jenny’s tips on your next trip? Have a few of your own to share? Give us a shout on Twitter to let us know!
(Photos via Jenny Han)