When it comes to packing, I have it down pat.  It's not really a fair fight because we travel a lot, and I HATE checking bags.  There are a number of tips and tricks the Sherpa has up his sleeve, but let's go slow.  This first entry is going to show you how I would pack for a long weekend trip.  As we are headed to Hong Kong at the end of this weekend, I am showing how to pack a pretty heavy load for a six day trip.  I know I said a weekend and six days doesn't really qualify even for a long weekend, but I want to show all the skeptics who don't believe you can pack heavy and still carry-on.

Here is what six day's looks like for me, keep in mind, it's Hong Kong, it's July and it's going to be REALLY hot!

Six Days - Hong Kong Packing

Six Days - Hong Kong Packing

The list looks something like this:

  • (4) t-shirts
  • (1) polo
  • (4) shorts
  • (1) pair of jeans
  • (6) underwear
  • (1) workout set - shorts, shirt, socks
  • (2) pairs of socks
  • (1) pair of tennis shoes
  • (1) pair of dress shoes
  • (1) belt
  • (1) dopp kit
  • (1) swimsuit

And here is what the bag looks like:

Leather duffel bag

Leather duffel bag

That's a pretty standard Fossil duffel bag, maybe even a little on the small side.  I haven't found the right replacement yet (slightly bigger, just as durable with a zipper down the side), but yours is likely a little larger and should fit in any overhead bin, maybe even under the seat in front of you if you try.

Step One:

Lay out all of the items you are going to pack at once so you can make sure you have everything you need and prioritize what to pack first.  Roll up the jeans, shorts and underwear.  Start to stack them to the side so you can place them in the case in an order that makes sense.

Step Two:

Fold your shirts and stack them in an alternating fashion to create an even space and reduce wasted space.

Step Three:

Stuff your dress shoes with socks, or a belt to keep their shape.

Step Four:

Now put everything together.  Place the jeans and shorts rolled and lining the bottom of bag.  Press them together and drop in some gym clothes at the end.  Your dress shoes go in next on top of the gym clothes, and your underwear over the shorts and jeans.  Then your gym shoes against the end of the bag and above the dress shoes, it will be easier to press these down to make more room if you need it later.  Then the shirts against the opposite side, dopp kit on top for quick access to your liquids bag.

Zip it up and you are done. But if that seems a little too easy, here is a video that shows the whole process start to finish with, I might add, some not-at-all awkward dialogue.