Whether you’re going abroad for three months or taking a 36-hour vacation, the perfect travel wardrobe is the key to a successful journey. But a simple rule applies: Keep your clothes looking fresh while traveling, because who likes to look rumpled? To help keep your look polished after a stint on the road, in the air, or even at sea, we’re showing you how to pack without wrinkling your pieces. Keeping a couple useful accessories on hand will ensure that you’re on your way to a wrinkle-free wardrobe.
If you’re traveling with something that absolutely cannot be wrinkled but is difficult to iron (such as a suit or a pleated dress), consider making room for a garment bag. The best options can travel either full-length or folded and include compartments for accessories like cufflinks and jewelry. Most airlines have a compartment for hanging garment bags near the front of the plane—just don’t forget to grab it as you disembark.
“Bundle wrapping” is a packing method that involves folding all of your clothing together in a single bundle to minimize creases. First, create a central “core” by folding a single larger item, such as a jacket, then carefully wrap your other items of clothing around it. As a note, this method will require unpacking all of your clothing at once, so plan accordingly. For a visual of how bundle wrapping works, check out the video below to help you get started.
Another method for wrinkle-free packing is to use garment folders. They’re exactly what they sound like: individual folder compartments that help organize clothes and keep them wrinkle-free. This is an especially good option for shirts and blouses. Just be sure to select the right size.
One of the keys to packing without wrinkling isn’t how you pack, but what you pack. When possible, opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics such as wool, polyester, cashmere, and knits. Cotton and linen, on the other hand, are extremely prone to wrinkling, so try to minimize the presence of these items in your luggage.
To keep your clothes in the best possible condition, unpack immediately upon arrival. Another simple way to help clothing return to its natural shape is to hang them in the bathroom while running a hot shower. The warm steam from the shower will help loosen wrinkles while you relax after your long journey.
Now that you know how to pack your clothes without wrinkling them, here are a few carry-on bags that might just change the way you travel.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been recently updated.