How to Pack Like a Pro
Published: August 2010
How do some of the world’s most experienced travelers arrange their suitcases? T+L takes a peek.
Founder and CEO, Espa, Spa and Skincare Brand
Home Base: London
Annual Miles on the Road: 125,000
Philosophy: Less is more.
Check or Carry On? Unless I’m away for more than five days, I carry on.
Preferred Luggage: A Mulberry semi-hard-sided suitcase.
Packing List: Elegant basics: two pairs of trousers, one dress, and one pair of shoes (the other is on my feet).
Technique: Solid items go on the bottom. Then I layer my clothes, which I roll, using tissue paper for delicates.
Double Duty: My Smythson travel wallet also works as an evening clutch.
Beauty Sleep: To cut out the drone of the engines, I use Bose noise-canceling headphones. At touchdown, I use Bach Rescue Remedy drops to reenergize.
Jet-Lag Cure: Upon arrival, I try to go for a swim in my Miraclesuit. It’s so much easier to adjust to the time change when you’re relaxed.
President and CEO, Rimowa
Home Base: Cologne, Germany
Annual Miles on the Road: 200,000
Philosophy: Comfort and efficiency are everything.
Check or Carry On? If I’m flying within Europe, I carry on. For transatlantic flights, I check.
Preferred Luggage: Our own Rimowa Topas Titanium suitcase with a removable Flex Divider System, which helps everything fit and eliminates shifting.
Packing List: Two Brooks Brothers non-iron dress shirts for work and special occasions. If I have to go straight to a meeting, I wear my jacket on the plane and tuck an Hermès tie into my pocket.
Technique: I fold and stack everything neatly, and never overload. It’s horrible on the luggage itself, and wrinkles your clothes.
Mile High: I’m a pilot, so I always travel with Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses on the chance I can squeeze in a few hours flying in a new city.
Associate Principal and Fashion Consultant, McKinsey & Company
Home Base: Washington, D.C.
Annual Miles on the Road: 1 million
Philosophy: Never scrimp on style.
Check or Carry On? I never check. People call me Mary Poppins because stuff just keeps coming out of my bag!
Preferred Luggage: The Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene canvas suitcase.
Just in Case: I have this Goyard tote that smooshes into my luggage, so when I buy something I can still meet the two-bag carry-on rule.
Technique: Eagle Creek folding bags compress, but don’t wrinkle. I start with one for clothing, then layer a bag for socks and intimates, another for jewelry and toiletries, and finally shoes on top.
Fashion Statement: I’m all about bold costume jewelry, from Chanel pearls to an oversize Dior cocktail ring.
Feet First: I wear black patent Christian Louboutin pumps, but carry Havaiana flip-flops for running through the terminal.
Safari Specialist and Founder, Epic Private Journeys
Home Base: Toowang, Australia
Annual Miles on the Road: 80,150
Philosophy: Keep it light, but don’t compromise on quality.
Check or Carry On? If I need more than one bag I’ll check, but I always carry on my necessities.
Lesson Learned: Once I didn’t carry on and the airline lost my bag. I had to walk about 50 miles in a pair of rudimentary boots. Low-cut trekking shoes—mine are by Merrell—are essential.
Preferred Luggage: North Face Base Camp duffels are durable and can be squeezed into small aircraft cabins.
Packing List: A jacket—Columbia’s are waterproof but breathable, so you won’t overheat. And I like shirts made of wicking material.
Tools: My Swarovski 8 x 32 binoculars are powerful without being bulky. And whenever I check my bags, I carry a Leatherman—with a corkscrew for opening wine bottles in the bush!