How to pack like a freaking ninja: 8 days in a carry on bag

I consider myself a pretty seasoned traveler and I like giving myself these dorky travel challenges: going through security without setting off the metal detectors (on the first try), using a max of 2 bins on the conveyor belt, seeing how many days I can pack into a carry-on bag…


I also encourage you to check out a more recent post where I discuss how and why I choose what to pack.


You see, I thought I got the last one totally nailed when I spent 4 days in Atlanta and only packed a carry on, but I forgot to bring underwear, so that’s sort of a false victory. (I ended up going to Target to remedy that situation, by the way). In about a week and a half I’ll be embarking on a 7-night stay in the Dominican Republic with my boyfriend. Oh, and I’m flying to Maryland to meet him one day early, so we can travel together. So that’s a total of NINE DAYS of clothes I need to account for. I’ve never been gone that long before unless it was a family road trip—thus oversized suitcases were never an issue. However, a conversation with my co-workers and my dorky desire to test my travel prowess provoked me to attempt to pack this entire trip into my trusty pink Delsey carry-on (BTW, the blue valet I use in this video is a Baggallini).

I’ve seen other folks online successfully pack multiple days in a carry-on but they employed a level of clothing reuse that I felt was suspect. Besides, I’m stylish. I like to have options and not recycle anything other than a pair of jeans. So here’s what I decided to bring… brace yourself:

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • taupe long sleeve blouse
  • gray long sleeve shirt
  • Betsey Johnson long sleeve tee shirt

(Those are my airplane clothes. I wear pants and long sleeve shirts when I fly because I’m always cold)

  • orange maxi dress
  • peach shirtdress
  • white/floral tube dress
  • white shorts / Lacoste top
  • white sequin tank / jeggings
  • green walking shorts / orange beaded top
  • black tailored shorts / black & white sleeveless top
  • pink romper
  • white romper
  • green “brunch dress”
  • multi-color party dress
  • swimsuit cover-up
  • 3 swimsuits
  • 4 tanks / 2 shorts (pajamas… it’s a formality)
  • 4 brassieres
  • 9 undergarments
  • 2 belts
  • black clutch purse
  • gold flip flops
  • black wedges
  • yellow/neutral flat sandals

I couldn’t even really fit all the stuff on the bed to show you guys.

packing ninja, how to pack a carry-on, suitcase, how-to, video, tutorial, luggage, how to pack like a ninja, travel tips, packing light

Here are the shoes—and for people that know me, three pairs of shoes on a trip is nearly unheard of. I’m just bringing the most versatile ones.

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The swimsuits, pajamas, “airport security socks”, my Ritz-Carlton travel candle and my trusty valet.

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Now let me tell you something about those last two items. I have shared a hotel room with several folks at a time and you do NOT want to be in a situation where the bathroom gets blown up and there’s no recourse. A scented candle is both allowable and necessary. And the valet, I like to call that CVS in a bag. I’ve got makeup AND brushes, makeup remover, toothbrush, flosser sticks, a nail file, Band-Aids, emergency “femme products”, razors, safety pins, earrings, a shower cap, deodorant, lint removing sheets, dress tape, and a tube filled with OTC pills that will remedy headaches, tummy issues and allergies.

All my products considered, I used the following method to pack.

this is how to pack like a ninja

I had to admit, I was feeling very skeptical. But I folded everything over and even wedged in my travel candle. It was important that it be packed near the top and easily accessible since sometimes airport security wants a look at it.

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Much to my disbelief, I closed the suitcase EFFORTLESSLY! Note my bags in the flat zipper compartment for my dirty laundry as the days pass.

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I reserved the small zip compartment for a pen and the cords and chargers for my devices.

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And the larger one is for my flat iron, brush, comb, headscarf and 1-quart bag of liquids that needs to be accessible.

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That stuff ends up getting packed last because I’m usually using it before I go. Finally, here’s my travel outfit.

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I’m wearing my bulkiest shoes and carrying a large tote as my personal item. In there I will have my passport, wallet, laptop & charger, iPod & headphones, as well as the clutch purse I’m bringing on the trip. My airport security socks will go in there as well. I considered bringing a book, but my phone has a Kindle app that I’ll make good use of without adding weight to my tote.

And THAT, my friends is how you pack for 8 days in a carry-on bag.

Author: Quia Querisma

Quia Querisma is a designer shoe-wearing digital diva, jetsetting boulevardierre, and freelance writer who's teaching you how to pack like a freaking ninja.

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  • Lisa

    I never post comments. But I feel compelled to post this one for you. Girl, you rock! I’m so impressed and excited by the thought and thrill of the challenge you put into this normally stressful task. I would travel with you any day! Kinda looking forward to my next trip now. Nothing on the calendar yet. But I will definitely keep you in mind when I dive in to challenge my own ninja packing skills!

  • Kaylee

    I found your blog via Pinterest & I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this post and the video. I’m traveling to Europe in a month and I need a method of packing that can fix the most clothes without taking up a lot of shape! Thanks for this!

  • Kacie

    Love this! Great post! I’d love to see how to do this for a winter trip! I am going to DC fa or 6 days in January – I go every year and I am ALWAYS pushing 50 pound suitcase PLUS carry-on and purse, mainly due to boots and coats! I try to wear my heaviest boots and coat on the plane. I always say I am going to plan my outfits and bring the bare minimum, but like you, I am always changing my mind and wanting variety on the trip.

  • http://about.me/querisma Quia

    Thanks ladies! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Please, by all means… share, pin, everything, lol! Also, I will be doing a winter wardrobe video before the new year so look for that soon!

  • Amanda

    I found this on Pinterest and it is AMAZING. I seriously can’t believe how you fit so many different outfits into one bag. You are my packing hero!

  • TAYLOR

    I was in disbelief until I read this! I am traveling to Paris this Spring. This is very helpful, thank you!

  • Catherine

    I found your blog from a pin and yes lint removal sheets! I’m going to follow this next time I need to pack.

  • http://pinterest Cate

    This is incredible! You take real clothes! I am going to get a valet and try this! Thank you!!

  • Kim

    Holy cow! I wish I could hire you! I travel 15 days at a time for work and I wear the same things over and over. Booooring! And so not pretty, either. Jeans and Tshirts anyone? I’m going to have to re-think my pack next trip! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • http://www.laviajeramorena.com Chanel @ La Viajera Morena

    Excellent :D Thanks for sharing!

  • Jillian

    Thank you for this post! It really helped me rethink how I pack for trips. This summer I will be going on my biggest trip yet spanning 2 months and bringing me everywhere from Massachusetts to California to Japan. And while I can’t use just a carry on, I am really hoping to use your tips to help me pack effectively so I only need to check one bag. Thanks again for the post :)

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Hi Jillian, your two month excursion sounds amazing! That’s a lot of clothing to consider and if ninja packing doesn’t work, you might want to check out http://www.howtopacklikearockstar.com too. I really recommend that one if bag weight isn’t an issue (checking luggage, road trips, cruises). Safe travels!

  • lisha

    As a Flight Attendant in Europe I am surprised they let you board with this. You don’t mention the weight… Heavy carry-ons are a major safety hazard. Please be aware that if you ever travel to Europe you may have to check it in.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      I’ll admit, the winter clothes were heavier than I prefer. When I did the summer clothes for the Dominican Republic that wasn’t the case.

  • Kim

    Holy cow girl! First- you are adorable. Second- YOU ROCK! I am going on a 7 day cruise ending in Puerto Rico in a few weeks and then staying over a few days extra before flying back to the states. I just did a trial run. I packed 12 tops, 2 maxi dresses, 7 bottoms (shorts/capri’s) 3 swim dresses/cover ups, 3 swimsuits, 3 sandals… It fits beautifully. still have room for the undergarments & cosmetics. my bag measures 14x8x22. I am stoked to be able to bring just a carryon. Granted my husband insists on checking 1 bag so we will be bringing snorkle gear and have room for souveniers for the kids. I am amazed at what you can fit into a travel carryon suitcase when you pack it correctly. THANK YOU!!!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks Kim :) And I’m glad to hear that ninja packing got it done for you while packing for your cruise. Have fun & safe travels.

  • Melodysuper helpful for a person who has to pack

    wow, that was amazing! super helpful for a person who has to pack for 4(myself, hubs and 2 kiddos) Thank you!!!

  • Alicia

    Thank you so much for this! I am traveling around Europe this spring for 17 nights and this is definitely useful information! Where did you get your valet?? I think it would be perfect for my travels!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Hi Alicia, your European trip sounds great! Safe travels. My valet is from eBags: http://bit.ly/TRQd8i

  • Kristi Monnett-Nailor

    I am leaving for a cruise in just a few days and the rising costs of checking a bag seems like such a waste if I can make this work. My only, fear is cosmetics. I know you need 3oz liquids in a qt size bag but what about mascara, powders and eye shadows? Are they considered something that needs to be in the clear qt size bag as well???

  • Kristi Monnett-Nailor

    And what about sunscreen??? Would you just buy it there????

  • http://about.me/querisma Quia

    Hi Kristi! No need to worry. From my experience, I’d just buy the sunscreen there b/c you’d need more than 3oz while on vacation. As for your cosmetics, all powder-based items (and mascara) are fine to pack in the valet. Creams, gels, and liquids should be in the quart bag. If it’s the kind of thing that can xfer containers, you may want to consider the small, travel-sized containers you can find in drugstores. Good luck & safe travels!

  • Donna O

    I am going on a whirlwind trip with overnight stays in 3 different states…..starting in Northern MN….1st to Vegas….2nd to Hawaii…..3rd to Phoenix and finally back to MN. All in 11 days and only being ‘allowed’ a carry on by the b/f! I thought he was crazy for not letting my bring a huge suitcase but after seeing this I now KNOW I can pack all that I need.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      WOW!! That’s quite a tour you’re going on… have a great time and safe travels. The good news is that warm weather clothes are a lot easier to pack!

  • Jennifer

    My New Year’s resolution was to pack lighter when I travel and NO checked luggage. I just returned from a 5-day stay in icy cold Washington DC and the resolution still stands! Even had room to bring home a few gifts for the family.

  • Amy Webber

    Just one comment re: travelling south and sunscreen! I travel for work and also travel with just a carry on …. until I go down south. In Mexico, sunscreen, though expensive (approx. $25/bottle), is readily available. Although, we go through about 4 bottles in 7-day trip so it really is cheaper to pay the baggage charge and check your luggage so you can take large bottles of sunscreen with you.

    My first time Cuba, I went with just a carry on and no sunscreen, assuming I would buy it once I arrived at the resort. It ended up being $50 US for a tiny bottle of sunscreen and we couldn’t find any at the other shops located around the resort. We ended up paying over $250 in sunscreen that week – we could have checked multiple suitcases for that price!!! So do some research before you leave – always good to be cautious!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Great tip, Amy. Thank you for sharing!

  • LoveActing21

    Going on a European 20 day trip! This will DEFINITELY be helpful! Great tips!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Safe travels! Happy ninja packing.

  • Amanda

    You can also pack sock and underwear or scarves or belts and put them in your shoes

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Great tip! Thanks for sharing :)

  • LC

    Great tips! I’ve NEVER considered just doing a carry on, but now I will definitely be trying this! Thanks! :)

  • Ayanna

    OMG!!! Where was this last week when I went to Washington DC for the Inauguration. I was gone a total of 5 days and my suitecase weighed 56lbs. That didn’t include my toiletries which I carried on the plane with me. A friend of mine got all of her stuff in a carry on and I couldn’t understand how. Now I know. Thank you.

  • Lynn

    I have been traveling all my life, and also set “challenges” for myself when I travel….I thought 4 days was going to be my limit but the way you have packed your carry-on is truly amazing. I will have to set a new challenge for myself next time I travel….hope you have/had a great trip

  • Nicol

    We have 6 kids and only ever do carry-ons. My husband went to Brazil for 3 weeks last year and wanted to do carry-on only. He spent all time on the beach and at a wedding. Invested in exofficio.com underwear (their slogan is something like “six weeks, eight countries and two pairs of underwear” ) and zip-off pants for the plane along with a “lightest ever” suitcase that is also small sized. Total success. TAM airlines allows 11lb MAX as carry-on – includes suitcase. He made it no problem. Also had a small duffel. Luckily, he did not need sunscreen as it was very expensive there. Five pairs of shorts, two bathing suits, six or eight shirts and one dress outfit with sandals. If you pack right and truly believe you don’t need all that stuff you’ll have no problems.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks for the tips, Nicol. Never heard of Exofficio, I need to check it out.

  • Carla de la Tour

    Love your video and how you did it. You are rockin’ with efficiency in the packing world. I like to stick my sock inside my shoes. Have you ever tried tissue papper or dry cleaning plastic bags between your clothes? I found this trick to keep my clothes from wrinkling and it totally works even if you pack your suitcase to it’s maxium. Happy Travels,Carla

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks a bunch, Carla! The socks inside the shoes is definitely a good trick. A commenter named Amanda recommended that as well. I’ve heard about putting tissue paper between the layers of clothes but that would require forethought on my part, lol. Great tips, though and thanks for sharing.

  • Kathy

    Great JOB! I always have a problem with make-up/hair productslotions and sunscreens. It DOES seem thatifI don’t bring larger bottle the ones I have to buy are SO VERY expensive. Have you ever tried rolling up your clothes! I once acked my suitcase like you did then took it all out and rolled it and put it back in . . . I found I had more room and clothes were less wrinkled. Thanks for all your tips!

  • http://facebook Pattie

    I just got back from Punta Cana. You do not need two pairs of jeans. I never wore long pants down there – too hot during the day and I wore skirts and dresses in the evening. I don’t know why you need all these clothes! Have a great time.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      The clothes I packed for Punta Cana were in the still images, and I was there for 7 days…. definitely needed everything I brought along :) The video just shows the technique I used.

  • Pam

    It also helps if you use space bags. They are great.

  • Linda

    My husband and I packed one carry-on each plus the allowed personal item (a small purse-sized bag each) and a Scotty vest each for a 28 day cruise. And yes, we had dress clothes for dinner each evening. We did have the ship do our laundry for us during the 28 days.

    It went well–the hardest part was fitting liquids for each of us in the required quart sized bag. Since we were not checking any bags, all toiletries/liquids had to be carefully considered.

  • Julie

    You are FABULOUS, and a packing hero to all women and their hubby’s.
    Can’t thank you enough.

  • tena

    dude…you. are. a. G!!! awesome. brilliance on the scented candle as well (never considered this). very cool since i like keeping most of my stuff with me and i abhor having to pay an airline for doing what they should be doing anyway–carrying my stuff.

    awesome.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      LOL!! Thanks, and yes the scented candle is real talk. Hahah!

  • M

    For long travels, I’ve found that it helps to take shampoo & conditioner 2-in-1…..so instead of carrying a small bottle of shampoo and a small bottle of conditioner (neither of which will be enough alone for your trip) you can take along 2 bottles of the 2-in-1 product and be fully stocked for your entire trip.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Great tip! I’ve used Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 in the past.

  • June

    Great video! I’m going to Hawai’i for 12 days, and I’m inspired to bring a carry on just like you! I’ll probably bring an empty suitcase for stuff I buy though lol…

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Lol, awesome! It’ll be a breeze. Warm weather clothes are easy. Have fun!!

  • Kim

    You, my dear, are my HERO! I am going to try this the next time I have to go away for a week or so!

  • matt

    I am impressed, however, I feel it is much easier for a girl to pack 9 days worth of clothes, shoes, etc into such a bag than for a guy. Guys clothes are much bigger and bulkier, not to mention our shoes. I guess the way around it is guys tend to rewear things more.

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  • http://www.julienapper.blogspot.com Julie

    I am taking a 10 day trip to Sicily this June. I found you via Pintrest and am so inspired. I wanted to be sure that I left enough room in my suitcase to bring home purchases and now I have no doubt I will be able to bring all that I need and not have to cut back on anything!! :)
    thanks!

  • Wanda

    How can I view your video with the summer clothes? Going to Europe for 5 weeks this summer and need to pack not only me, but my three children and husband.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      I don’t have a video with summer clothes, but I used the same method. Just employ the technique with the clothes you want to bring. Works the same way :)

  • http://www.thedixonchick.com Stephanie

    Ninja boom! The only thing I would do differently is put the socks inside the running shoes. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Sissy

    Sorry! I love that you travel stylishly and I am also suspect of clothing reuse (disgusting.) But, I must disagree with your technique. For one, you are bringing way too many clothes and you leave no space for any souvenirs/cute finds from your trip. From the pictures I see your suitcase is already bulging a little with just the clothes. I travelled to Spain with a small backpack (18×12), wore stylish clothes and still had space for buying clothes at my favorite stores there. I think I am going to show my technique. Hope you like it.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Hey, there’s always multiple ways to get the job done :)

  • http://pinterest Madi

    You’ve packed alot in a carry-on that still can be quite heavy and no room to spare. Just a suggestion: Lay out everything and take away anything that you can’t mix and match or you can’t wear 2-3 times. It’s still possible to take stylish clothes just not that much. Underwear can be washed everynight; no need to take alot. When my 3 kids were young, I washed along the way. You have good ideas; but I like my way of packing.

  • Gabriella

    I found your blog just in time on pintrest! I’m headed to Fort Lauderdale in one week and was stressing over packing! Thank you for the tips…I’ll be putting them to use this week while packing! Can’t wait.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      How funny! A commenter headed to Ft. Lauderdale in the same timeframe is who spurred me to record the video with the spring/summer clothes. Have a great trip!

  • Katy

    I tripped by a Pinterest pin of your blog today and had to take a look. You make packing look fun! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks. So going to get a valet and copy yours for our next trip. Never though to buy a bigger “purse” to carry as a personal item for electronics and quick grab personal items. I’ve got my eye on you now! Gotta see what you come up with next.

    P.S. What are the dimensions of your carry on?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks, Katy. That valet is a life saver. It’s well worth the $30. I’m really glad you enjoyed the travel tips, and I’m going to continue to share them in addition to covering different destinations I visit. As for the suitcase, here are the dimensions: 21″ x 13.5″ x 8.25″. You can find the valet here: http://bit.ly/TRQd8i

  • Erin

    Quia you have literally changed my life with your instructional videos. The first time I “packed like a freaking ninja” I was completely amazed and couldn’t believe how well it worked. Now I share the good news with all of my over-packing friends! Thank you so much!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      I love it, Erin!! Thanks :)

  • Sharron

    good job, thank you. I have packed both with & without extra clothing. It is nice to have a choice of outfits & also nice to be light with just the essentials. I have been saved by a tip from another helpful person like yourself,
    ” Pack carry on bag like a weekend bag – your covered if they lose your suitcase”.
    My sister spent a week in Punta Cana and did not get her suitcase until the last day, was she ever happy she had this tip!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Glad I could be of assistance, but Sharon THAT… is an amazing idea. Packing the essentials in your personal item just in case you’re separated from your luggage!? Sounds like a new video! Gratzi, and you’re getting a shout out. lol

  • Brittany

    I did a ton of traveling last spring and summer and the entire time i was battling w a bulky suitcase and rude people at baggage claim carousels. I was dreading the packing process for, not only me, but my entire family for our summer vacation this year. Your video and pictures have given me hope that we will not only be able to pack enough clothes for every member of our family (6 of us in all), but the SUV will actually have room in it for everyone to travel comfortably and won’t be overflowing with luggage. Thanks so so so Much!!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      That’s awesome, Brittany! So glad that this post helped.

  • Liz

    First off I am so happy I found this site!!!!! But I had a question….you mentioned in your post that you packed razors. I would think it couldn’t be aloud due to safety reasons…..
    Im going to attempt this in June on our trip to cancun so Just wondering! Thanks!

  • Erica

    Do you find your clothes to be wrinkly when you unpack them?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      A little bit, but not nearly as bad as they were when I’d rolled them. The only fabrics that got wrinkled were jersey knits. My “work clothes” which were the cotton blends, etc didn’t suffer much at all.

  • Chery

    I love your suitcase… Where did you buy that one?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks! It was a gift but check ebags.com or other luggage retailers. I know ebags has it in black & blue.

  • Patricia Mohl

    Where do you fit in bras, underwear and socks?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      My bras aren’t large (gift & curse) so I twist them at the center so the cups lay within each other and tuck them neatly in the 4 corners of the suitcase. Strapless bras are worn on travel days so they aren’t crushed. Socks go inside of athletic shoes or are tucked around edges, and underwear goes inside of the top portion of the valet.

  • Ashley

    Hi I’m so thankful I found this on Pinterest, I’m going on my first trip out of country to Cuba. I’m always forgetting something when I pack or pack to much, thank you for this. It’s so simple and I love it.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Hey Ashley, I’m glad you found your way here too. SUPER envious of your trip to Cuba. I’ve been reading up on educational tourism there so I can make my down there. It looks beautiful.

  • Donna Bandy

    Thank you, thank you! You are amazing! Going to Italy for 8 days and I am going to just do it!!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Glad to help Donna, have a wonderful time in Italy! I plan to go one day.

  • Laura

    Wow,wow,wow! What a great job. I have packed a carry on to Italy for 18 days and my clothes were not even nearly as darling as yours. I liked the way you just put clothes in flat and then folded. I will try that. Thanks for your information it is very helpful and gives me hope!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks Laura! When I first start, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work, does it? LOL

  • Sydney B

    Ok so normally I never look at these videos, but this one CHANGED MY LIFE!!! I’m so amazed at your packing skills and I am so excited to attempt this on my next vacation!! I noticed at the beginning of filling the suitcase that you had that small space to fill. One thing that helps me pack is by laying out a beach towel, laying all of my clothes on it, then rolling it up. It keeps the clothes from getting wrinkled and saves a lot of space!!!!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      That’s so awesome Sydney. I’m flattered that you not only watched my video, but you took the time to comment on my blog post. I have to admit, fitting all of that into my suitcase the very first time was a triumphant moment! I like your idea about using the beach towel, too. That’s a great method for controlling just how much stuff you bring along.

  • http://www.sactownwinoandfoodie.wordpress.com Beth

    Girl, that is impressive! I am going to Asia for 9 days this summer and am re-thinking my packing strategy. I know I’ll do some shopping, but with the restriction of having to put it in my carry on tote and not a gigantic suitcase will help my wallet!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Woo, good luck! It’ll help that you’re going during warm weather… summer clothes are less bulky. Have a great time in China!

  • Amy

    Love this idea! However…not sure if my view of this page isn’t working properly or what…but I can’t see what method you used to start packing everything? There’s a blank space right after your write: “All my products considered, I used the following method to pack.” and then a picture of your clothes in the suitcase already. How did you put everything in so it fit so well? Apologies if that’s a dumb question! hehe (:^D

  • Pamela

    great technique!! I’m definitely going to try this when I travel. now I just have one question… what do you mean by “airport security socks”?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      Thanks! And that just refers to a pair of socks that I keep handy so I don’t have to walk through the screeners barefoot.

  • Jennie

    These are the types of clothes I will be packing for my trip this weekend. Did you have any trouble with wrinkling?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia

      It depends on the fabric mostly, but I don’t generally run into issues. I hang everything up as soon as I arrive at my destination.

  • oberg

    thank you so very much for this

  • Ilovethesun

    Brilliant

  • http://Pinterest Joslynn Calhoun

    This is amazing! I have a bootcamp graduation to go to in June in Texas and I only want to use a carry-on! this was extremely helpful and I can’t wait to try and use this to pack my bag! Hope to see more videos like this!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Thanks! I live in Dallas so let me just warn you… Texas summers are HOT. Be sure to wear your sunblock and know where the pool is at all times :)

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  • Michelle

    This is awesome! I packed like this on my last trip and the stuff fit into my suitcase so much better! Thank you for sharing! (Btw, you are adorable!)

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Thank you and thank you :) So glad you found it helpful.

  • Tricia

    What are airport security socks?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Just a nickname for a pair of ankle socks that I keep accessible for going through airport security so I’m not walking through barefoot.

  • Gloria

    Do you have a list of what you pack in your travel valet? ie Make up, meds …
    Thanks

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Hi Gloria, I never did make a formal list but these are the core elements in my valet (and the 1qt liquids bag). I add things as needed.

      Meds:
      Advil
      Tylenol
      Aleve
      BC Powder
      Lactaid
      Gas-X
      Cold eze
      Claratin
      Claratin-D
      Immodium AD
      Jet Zone

      Cosmetics:
      Pressed powder
      Eye liner
      Macara
      Eyeshadow primer
      Creme blush
      Neutral eyeshadow palette (if I know I want something different, I’ll pack it)
      Smudgees
      Oil removal sheets

      Toiletries:
      Toothbrush
      Toothpaste
      Dental floss
      Disposable razor
      Deodorant
      Makeup removal cloths
      Q-tips

      Misc:
      Matches
      Bobby pins
      Saftey pins
      Fashion tape
      Sleep mask

      In the 1qt liquids bag:
      Lotion
      2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner
      Perfume testers
      Liquid eye makeup remover
      Hand sanitizer
      Body wash

  • Leslie

    Do you use one of those smaller satin valets for jewelry? Just curious.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Actually no. I usually just end up using the small cloth pouches that my jewelry comes in.

  • Katheryn

    Hi! I watched your video and I didn’t believe I would possibly be able to pack 5 days worth of stuff (day and night clothes, so ten outfits) in my carry on—my carry on looks like yours only it has a hard plastic shell so there is no stretch room. But I tried it and I could not BELIEVE how much space I had left over! This method of folding things over is genius! Thank you SO much for the post, what a help!!

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  • http://pushingfurniture.blogspot.com Laura

    HOLY CRAP! I found a link to your article on Pinterest, and as I had a busy three-day weekend trip coming up, I tried this method. I had absolutely no faith that it would work, mind you – all I was taking was my overnight bag, which is about the size of a large bowling ball bag. I fit SIX outfits, three pair of shoes, and an 8×11″ accessory bag into the thing, and I’ve NEVER been able to do that before! Thank you so, so much!

    Man, now I can’t wait to go on another cruise and ninja pack! :D

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      Okay, now THAT is impressive. Kudos :D

  • Tamra Stansbury

    I’m surprised that you did not pack mascara and toothpaste in your TSA liquids & gels baggie. Am I doing it wrong?

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      I hadn’t run into any snags yet. I hope you didn’t jinx me though, LOL. The toothpaste probably should go in there.

      • Tamra Stansbury

        Sorry! Jinxing was not my intent!

  • Teresa

    You are a Lifesaver!! I just returned from an 8 day trip to Cancun with my husband and we did the rolling technique on the way down and our 2 carry-ons were bursting at the seams. I remembered your post I found on Pinterest a while back and decided to pack your way for our return trip home and all I can say is WOW! Not only did I fit everything we originally brought, but we had so much room leftover, I was able to buy souvenirs I didn’t think I could fit before…thanks so much for your tips and your videos are great! Keep up the great work :)

  • Heather Hall

    Whoa!!! I kept staring at that bag and thinking, “How is she going to get that bag closed? Look at all those clothes!” Then BOOM, without sitting on it, you zipped it up with ease. You are awesome! I’m going to try your technique today.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      LOL, thanks! That’s one of the reasons that I don’t edit/chop up the part where I’m actually putting the stuff into the suitcase. No screen magic here :)

  • http://NoriaJewelry.etsy.com Anna

    Wow. I’ve always done the rolling technique and thought I was pretty good packing a suitcase. I’ve never seen this ‘ninja method’ before but it looks awesome! We have a week-long trip coming up into weeks and I’ll be trying this new method for sure. Thank you for sharing!

  • Lynn

    Ahhh-Mazing!!! I watched the video with my mouth literally hanging open in disbelief. I have Shared it with everyone I know. You actually took REAL clothes….and didn’t give a tutorial on how to live 8 days on 3 pieces of clothing. I bow to you. Unbelievable!

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      LOL!! Thank you. It was important to me that I used items that I’d actually wear in a real situation rather than just saying take 2 bottoms, 4 tops and get it how you live. *I* know that wouldn’t be a viable solution for my lifestyle!

  • Irene Juppe

    Hi!:)
    Thank you for sharing your idea on packing a carry-on luggage. I still have problems packing this.( I am 51 years old) :)
    Every Summer we go to Grand Haven, MI. I am constantly rearranging my clothes and toiletry items in the luggage. Always getting frustrated. I am going to try your method this Summer. Thank you so much!!! :) :) :)

  • Nancy

    Any ideas fo tall and large size people whose clothes take up more space? Being tall has its challenges.

    • http://about.me/querisma Quia Querisma

      My best guess would be to focus on multi-purpose items. Two pairs of shoes total (the ones on your feet and one pair in the suitcase), and then choosing items that can do double duty so you’re not bringing so many individual items. Denim and dark slacks can be worn more than once, if you’re into dresses, choose ones that can go day to evening, things like that. It’s also easier to keep to a single suitcase when packing for warmer climates since summer fabrics are lighter and not as bulky.

  • Heather

    Wholly crap! AMAZING!!!!

  • Kim P

    Wow! Amazing packing job! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://runningafterbaby.blogspot.com/ Elaine

    Thrilled to see this. I seemed to have lost my tallent for packing light on trips – thanks for reminding me how to do it the right way! Great post.

  • Rachael

    Sounds great but I have to pack for about 3 weeks in Florida. As much as i’d like to just use a carry-on bag, I think i’ll have to stick with my larger suitcase. The method i’ve been using is rolling the clothes. Like I roll up the shorts and shirts that i’m packing into cylinders and stack and distribute those. That way they are condensed and can fit in the sides of the suitcase too; in all those nooks and crannies. My problem is, I can pack plenty of shirts and pants and underwear(packed like 25 shirts and some denim shorts that can be worn multiple times), but I can’t seem to find room for my shoes(a few pairs of flip flops and a pair of sneakers for Disney World) and toiletry bag. I thought about bringing a small duffle bag as a carry-on as well, but this seems to be over kill…wish I could find a way to fit everything in my suitcase and just bring my purse and laptop on the plane. Any suggestions for my situation?

    • http://www.myjetsetstyle.com/ Quia Querisma

      My best advice would be to scale back on the number of tops. It already sounds like you might be pushing weight limits with your bag. Considering how long you’ll be in Florida, I imagine you’ll be washing clothes as well. See if 10-12 tops will cut it. Wear your sneakers on travel day and decide which toiletries you absolutely *must* bring from home, otherwise you can find a grocery or convenience store where you are and buy them there. Good luck!!

      • Rachael

        Yah i’m buying larger things like shampoo there. I think my problem is I get greedy. I feel the need to pack lots of options and all my favorites, so that I always have a back up outfit if I decide I don’t like that one when the day comes. I’ll try to scale back I guess. Thanks!

        • http://www.myjetsetstyle.com/ Quia Querisma

          LOL!! Yes, yes. I understand this well. Three weeks is a long time to be away from home… why would you *not* want to have all of your faves with you? Looks like that checked bag fee may just be worth it at this point :)

          • Rachael

            Yah and to make matters worse, we are moving at the same time. So I literally have to pack everything…either for the trip or the move. I have to have everything set because when I get back, i’ll be coming home to a new house. It’s crazy. Oh and thanks for the feedback, I scaled back on shirts and pjs to save space.

  • lkubota

    you’re my hero!

  • Amanda Spence

    I love your carry on tote! What kind is it?

    • http://www.myjetsetstyle.com/ Quia Querisma

      Thanks! It’s L.A.M.B.

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  • Debra Zavala

    I usually roll my stuff. Looks like you got more in by folding after laying flat together. I am amazed because I do not pack light and have many dresses. always come prepared. You did great. Thanks for the tips.

  • Tes Scholtz

    Wow! That is impressive!! You really are a freaking ninja! LOL! I am glad to know I am not the only one who forgot to pack underwear one time…I am still living that one down…oops! On a side note, I love the color of the blue dress in your video, it’s gorgeous! So is the gold & white chevron bikini! Smokin!! :D

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