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How to Pack Like a Ninja

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BC chapter.

If you are lucky enough to be spending your spring break traveling to warm islands or perfectly powdered mountains for some much needed relaxation after a particularly stressful midterm week, you might run into a few luggage problems at the airport! Whether it be your checked baggage being overweight (resulting in a nasty fee) or the airport confiscating all the makeup you stashed in your carry-on because it was .01 oz over the legal amount of liquids you are allowed to carry onto the plane, I think that we can all agree that huge suitcases bursting at the seams are a hassle, especially if you are just going away for a week. After extreme amounts of Pinteresting and Googling ways of fitting as many clothes, bathing suits, and shoes possible into a carry-on suitcase in preparation for my vacation to Aruba, I have decided that I am the (self-proclaimed) Packing Ninja of BC and that it is my duty to help all you girls have the best spring vacation while keeping the luggage to a minimum!

1.     Pick Pockets

My ideal carry-on has lots of pockets, both inside and out. They are so useful for stuffing phone and camera chargers into, as well as those pesky 1-quart Ziploc bags of liquids that need to be accessible when going through security. By putting all of your miscellaneous objects in these pockets, you leave more room in the main compartment for your clothes and shoes! Also make sure to properly label your carry-on and check that your suitcase fits the sizing requirements your airline provides.

2.     Take Advantage of Your Purse


In addition to a carry-on suitcase, most airlines allow you to take a personal item on the plane.  I like to use my large purse to store my passport, makeup bag, iPod, camera, books, feminine products, a smaller clutch purse, and even a mini First Aid Kit!

3.     Plan Your Outfits Before You Go

I’m not saying that you have to know exactly what you are going to wear every single day down to a T, but it is convenient to have an idea. If you know that you are going to a fancy restaurant one night, be sure to pack one nice dress and pair of shoes. If it’s going to be 100 degrees one day and torrential downpour the next day, make sure you have two outfits to accommodate the weather.  DO NOT just throw your whole summer or winter wardrobe into your suitcase – you will never get it to close.  Keep it to a minimum; it’ll keep your carry-on lighter and your sanity intact!

4.     Bulk Up

To save space, I wear my bulkiest clothing on the plane, including sweatshirts, yoga pants, and sneakers.  I leave all the lighter clothing and smaller shoes, like flip-flops and sandals, in my carry-on. Plus, when I land in sunny Aruba, I can always take some layers off until I am able to check into the hotel and slip into my bathing suit!

5.     Buy your shampoo and conditioner there

I know hitting up a convenience store is the last thing you want to do when you land, but it’s so much cheaper to buy your shampoo and conditioner when you get to your destination rather than pay for a checked baggage just so you can bring your liquids with you. An even cheaper option – use the hotel’s complimentary shampoos and conditioners!

6.     Roll Up your clothes – Don’t fold them!

When I pack all of my clothes, I like to lay out an outfit, complete with underwear and socks, and then roll everything up into a neat cylinder and secure with a rubber band. I swear I’m not weird for doing this!  Having a bunch rolled up outfits saves so much space once you put them into your carry-on.  This means more room for shoes and bathing suits!  Also, rolling your clothes does not create wrinkles or creases that folding would. 

Even if you are just packing a suitcase to spend a relaxing week at home for spring vacation, these tips will make sure you have all that you need to enjoy your break and will (hopefully) put an end to overpacking!


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Boston College Class of 2016Communications and Political ScienceInterests include Legal Matter Management,  Matter Management
Meghan Gibbons is a double major in Communications and Political Science in her senior year at Boston College. Although originally from New Jersey, she is a huge fan of all Boston sports! Along with her at Boston College is her identical twin, who she always enjoys playing twin pranks with. Meghan is a huge foodie, book worm and beach bum