A personal wardrobe stylist has shared her top tips on how to pack if you’re only taking a carry-on on holiday – and you may never look at a suitcase the same way again.
Alexa Pontellobased in Los Angeles, is a wardrobe stylist and image consultant who once worked in luxury retail at Chanel and Moda Operandi, and now shares her own tips, tricks and expertise on her social media pages.
Pontello presented its best carry-on packing methods in one video posted to her TikTok account last week, starting with the basics: making sure you have a good quality carry-on in your collection.
“The first tip is to have a really good carry-on,” Pontello said. “I like Away’s stuff.”
Alexa Pontello is a personal wardrobe stylist based in Los Angeles
Pontello shared her top tips for packing carry-on only in a recent TikTok video posted to her account
In the video, Pontello demonstrated these tips by using the brand’s larger carry-on bag, which she likes for its “compression compartments” and spaciousness.
The next tip Pontello offered was to roll up your clothes while packing them in the bag to save some space, and he showed how to do that.
“You take a pair of shorts or something like that, fold them in half and then roll them all the way down,” she said.
“What this does is make it quite small,” the expert continued.
“You can line it up with all the other stuff that’s rolled up, like this, or you can put it in the really small spaces of your suitcase and use all the surface area in here.”
Sometimes, though, rolling up your clothes can leave them a little wrinkled, which brings up Pontello’s next point.
“I always travel on a travel steamer,” she said, pulling out a small one to show the viewers.
“I really don’t go anywhere without this thing, and I highly recommend you get a really good one.”
The first tip Pontello gave was to make sure you actually have good carry-on luggage, and he also recommended rolling up your clothes when packing
In the video, she also suggested that travelers should bring a portable steamer in their carry-on luggage, as rolled-up clothes can sometimes wrinkle
Pontello has worked for both Chanel and online luxury retailer Moda Operandi
Pack light! Alexa’s carry-on tips
- Make sure you have good carry-on luggage
- Roll up your clothes to save space
- Travel by portable steamer
- Only bring three pairs of neutral shoes
- Bring a plastic bag for wet clothes if you are going to a warmer climate
- Try on all your outfits in advance
- Use shoe bags to protect shoes
- Pack reusable containers for toiletries
Then the professional wardrobe stylist shared a rule that could force you to make some extremely difficult decisions when it comes to your shoe choice.
“If you’re traveling with carry-on luggage only, take a maximum of three pairs of shoes,” she said.
Pontello insisted this was actually a “really great way to travel” as she explained how to decide which three pairs of shoes to take with you.
“Bring three pairs of different shoes, all in neutral colors,” she said.
“I’m going to Hawaii, so I’m bringing a pair of white sandals for the beach, a pair of easy, walk-on kitten heels to wear to dinner, a pair of shoes for walks and such.”
“If you pack more than three pairs, it will take up a lot of unnecessary space, and it can also make your suitcase very heavy, so I think three pairs is the best way to go.”
Last but not least, Pontello revealed a tip that applied to people traveling to warmer climates.
‘If you’re traveling somewhere where it’s hot and you’re in the ocean and have wet clothes, I hate having to repack and have to put something wet back in my suitcase, so I like to bring an emergency bag like this, where I can put my wet clothes,” she said, holding up a clear, reusable plastic bag.
Pontello advised that you only need to travel with three pairs of neutral shoes
If you’re traveling to a warm place, the stylist recommended bringing a plastic bag to store your wet clothes
“If you pack more than three pairs, it takes up a lot of unnecessary space, and it can also make your suitcase very heavy, so I think three pairs is the best way,” Pontello said in the shoe video
“Then I know it can be separated and it won’t touch anything else,” she concluded.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Pontello also gave three additional tips to keep in mind during the packing process.
“Before you start packing, make sure you try on any outfits you plan to take with you on your trip,” she advised.
‘This way you are satisfied with every outfit and you avoid packing too much.’
To keep the rest of the carry-on clean, she recommended using shoe bags to protect your shoes, and opting for travel-sized products or reusable containers for toiletries.
However, it looks like the stylist isn’t the only one sharing some extremely space-saving packing tips.
Over the summer, Jenna Carr, who goes by the name ‘The Travel Mum’ on TikTok, revealed exactly how she packed a week’s worth of clothes into one backpack to avoid ‘excessive’ airline baggage fees.
Carr, who lives in Britain, explained that she put all her belongings in a plastic bag and then sealed it with a vacuum cleaner, which molded to the shape of her backpack.
Additionally, on the plane she wears her “bulkiest” pair of shoes and wraps the rest of her shoes in cling film to ensure nothing in her backpack gets dirty.
She also recommended using small plastic food bags to keep various items organized, such as jewelry and her non-liquid makeup.