When it comes to packing for long trips, or anything that involves an airline I always pack using my Zip-loc bag method. Jeremy thinks it's a waste of time, but in reality it keeps the dirty clothes separate from the clean, and I am sure I didn't forget my underwear yet again.
Plus it's way cheaper than the bags they sell at Wal-Mart in the travel section that are labled "compression packing."
To start, since I'm such a forgetful packer I start a few days ahead of when we leave by laying out sets of clothes. Each set will have pants, a top, panties, and socks. This particular trip is to Puerto Rico and since it more adventurous than just looking at museums. I opted for more workout friendly clothing and packed sports bras for day wear. No sense in being sweaty and uncomfortable.
What ends up being laid out is clothing for everyday, plus one extra in case I get dirty or we get stuck for an extra day. You just never know. Then there is at least one nice outfit, it won't be worn for more than an hour if we go to dinner, and we're changing towns every night on this particular adventure so I am only taking one. I've also added in a bag with a sundress, a swimsuit with the cover up, and then a handful of spare underwear.
The whole point of zippy bag packing is to take up less room, when we were in Italy Jeremy and I were both in one suitcase and each had backpacks. Plus it was winter so we had more jackets and shoes than we are taking for this trip.
I also always make a list, laying things out never ensures that I'll actually pack everything. As Zip-loc bags are sealed and put into the suitcase they are checked off the list. What you see on that list is everything I need for our trip in the checked bag as well as my carry on, plus it includes two days of travel within the states getting where we need to go. Ellie was dropped off with my parents dog so they'd keep each other company and not get too lonely. That added two days of travel.
The makeup bag is the next item to always get narrowed down. My toiletries are insane for this particular trip, in Italy I managed to get it down to just one little quart bag in my carry-on. My giant drawer of makeup stuff got knocked down to mascara, eye shadow, eye liner, BB cream, clear mascara, blush, and bronzer.
I'm not going to name what all made it's way into my checked bag, hair stuff gets a little out of control. Plus the million creams to make me not age so quickly! I'm blaming Jeremy for not packing as well on this trip as far a toiletries go, we are taking two bags this time and I got the larger bag.
Now for the actual zippy bag method. I fold everything into the shape of the bag, as flat as humanly possible. Then panties and a sports bra were added in, and I leave my socks flat and unfolded. they take up less room this way.
I then half zip the bag and sit on it on a chair, when I think I've got all the air out I zip it the rest of the way. In a standard size suit case I had room for 9 clothing bags as well as my extras I mentioned earlier... plus all my unnecessary toiletries for this trip, and a king size pillow.
Yup, I pack my own pillow. I started to pack a blanket too but my carry on started to get a little heavy.
Do you use any funny packing methods on long trips?