Perfect Packing – to fold or to roll? Or are you tempted by flat packing?

I recently spent a week in Barcelona. I went with a friend who only travelled with a small handbag (big enough for her kindle, phone, purse and all the essential paperwork) and a carry on bag. She arrived with more clothes than I did, even though I took a fair size suitcase, and she also brought two pairs of shoes in addition to the ones she was wearing and she still had room for her travel steam iron. Plus she bought more ‘stuff’ than I did and yes, it all went into that carry on bag on the way back.

Her advice is roll everything rather than fold it and she maintains there is nothing more useful than a shawl. It’s a good as a cardigan when the nights are chilly, works as a cover up when you’ve had too much sun,  wraps loose items of clothing in your bag bringing them together in a neat roll, can protect fragile stuff and is so light you can take it anywhere just in case…

Travellers on Tripadvisor were also on the side of rolling clothes rather than folding. The other advice they offered included:

  • Use kitchen sandwich bags for accessories
  • vacuum pack bags are a useful space-saving way to pack clothes
  • bin bags have multiple uses (laundry bag, shoe covers).

Packing cubes were also popular. I haven’t come across them before but had 16 different types on sale ranging in price from £5 to over £20. It’s tupperware for clothes….

Read the rest of Tripadvisor advice on packing HERE

Holiday Extras seem to be firmly on the side of folding clothers properly. They even have detailed instructions on how to do it. For example, here is how to pack a dress.

  1. Fold the dress at the shoulders, aligning the seams along the side of the dress.
  2. Shake out any wrinkles.
  3. Lay flat and smooth out the dress.
  4. Fold the bottom third of the skirt up and the top third down.
  5. Then, fold the skirt upwards towards the middle of the dress and fold the top part of the dress over this.

Read the full article HERE

Over on Fathom travel guide they offer an alternative to rolling and folding and that’s flat packing. This video shows how to do it. However, Pavia uses a Rimowa rolly bag which doesn’t look a bit like my case. (The Rimowa range costs about the same as a cheap package holiday – I think the one in the film is around £450+)  Read what else Fathom Guide says HERE

Are you a folder, roller or flat packer?
Do you have any tips about packing to share?

photo credit: Day 355/365: The Holiday Packing. via photopin (license)

4 thoughts on “Perfect Packing – to fold or to roll? Or are you tempted by flat packing?

  1. I find that rolling clothes up does use less space, but i only do it on the way home as I think that folding neatly to go away causes less creasing. Having said that, I ALWAYS take too much and return home with unworn clothes every single time.


  2. I’m a fan of rolling too. All the tripping back and forth to home, I’ve got it down to a fine art…unless it’s last minute and then I over pack and it all ends up a bit of a mess. So I clearly need time too!


    1. It’s even harder when you have to pack for a country where you can have all the seasons in one day (I’m thinking Ireland) so I can understand the over packing problem if you don’t have the time to think it through


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