Avoiding incurring add-on expenses as you pack your best travel outfits into your bag for that last-minute trip is pretty difficult due to the infuriating additional fees that today's airlines charge for both checked and carry-on luggage. Sure, some airlines will let you bring a compact carry-on bag and a so-called "personal item" however, you might find yourself throwing up your hands and wondering what the best way to pack a suit for travel is.
It does take a bit of time before you learn how to pack for your travels in a convenient way, maybe even need a helpful guide in order to get you started. Lucky for you, we've gathered the five best ways to take a suit with you on a short trip. Take your pick of the method that works best for you and never have to stress about that part of traveling again.
Assuming you're traveling with carry-on luggage, the kind that will fit into most overhead bins, you're going to be able to pack a suit with relative ease.
Step 1: Fold the suit in half along its back axis so that its shoulders are touching. The trick to making sure it arrives relatively wrinkle-free, however, is to follow the lines of the suit, meaning its seams and sleeves.
Step 2: Fold one-half of the jacket inside out so that the liner is exposed.
Step 3: Make sure both sleeves are smooth and flat and then fold the jacket in half over your forearm. It will now be in a slender, rectangular package ready to be laid down in your bag.
Step 4: Smooth your suit pants, fold them in half, fold them again, then put them on top of the jacket. All done!
Sure, you could buy a fancy suit roller bag and save yourself some time, but there's really no need for such a specific accessory. But it's easy to roll up your suit for compact, efficient travel without the need for any additional travel luggage. And that's kind of the point here anyway.
Step 1: The secret to the rolling technique is to make sure your suit is folded in half across all its natural seams and with its sleeves as flat as can be.
Step 2: Next, find something roughly tubular around which to roll the suit. Ideally, use a pair of non-dress pants for this, as any garment rolled tightly will wrinkle. Use your best jeans to make the central tube, for example, then carefully roll your suit jacket around them. Follow that with your suit pants.
Step 3: Tuck everything into a t-shirt and secure the bundle with a belt, or just stow it in a bag. This tube of clothing should easily fit in most backpacks.
Strange as it is to believe, it's much cheaper to send a Priority Box via the United States Postal Service than it is to check a bag with most airlines.
Step 1: Plan ahead by about three days and mail your suit to your hotel.
Step 2: Pack it using the same process as outlined in the fold it down method, tuck the suit into a large Priority Box, and send it along for cheaper than what the airline would charge.
If you need to bring a suit along for your travels, one way to keep it in relatively good shape is to just wear the thing while you're on the plane. Change at the airport and shove your casual clothes into a bag, then as soon as you get off your flight, change again, draping your suit over your shoulder on a hanger. Your slacks and blazer will be fine for a few hours on your person without looking soiled, especially if you're just sitting there in your seat.
Packing a suit bag is intuitive enough that you don't need step-by-step instructions. Why isn't this the first option, though? A suit bag will only protect your slacks and blazer if the bag itself is properly handled. Once it's stuffed into a bin or crushed under another bag, there goes all your proper planning.
Step 1: Politely ask the flight attendants if they'll let you hang your suit bag in that handy storage closet near the front of the plane.
Step 2: If that doesn't work, carefully slide your unfolded suit bag atop other passengers' roll-aboard luggage.
Step 3: As a last resort, after takeoff, retrieve your folded-up suit bag from the overhead bin or from under the seat in front of you and unfurl it across your lap and knees.
The next time you have to take a quick, last-minute trip, or you're just really struggling with designating space in your luggage, look over our tips for how to pack your suit. Not only will your suit arrive in one piece, but you'll be able to wear it without needing to get it pressed.
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