I travel a lot, and I’ve decided that the best way to pack is a method called bundling. By bundling, I can easily fit as many as six pairs of pants (including jeans), two dresses, a pants suit, nine shirts, a pair of pajamas, and more. In the middle of the bundle, I place my socks and underwear.
This video gives the basics for bundling. Because I am using a divided bag rather than a single cavity bag, I don’t put my shoes or anything else under the bundle; the left side of the bag is simply every single thing that I am bringing to wear on the trip, minus the heavier shoes, jeans, belt, shirt, scarf, and jacket that I wear to the airport. You always want to wear your heaviest shoes and your jacket to the airport if you can, as it makes packing your bag more efficient.
Here’s the left side of the Copilot, packed with enough clothing for nine (or more) days.
Ooops, I forgot my PJs; so now they’re in, the mesh divider is zippered, and I still had enough space to put a few more days worth of clothes. I resisted the urge.
Here’s the top compartment of the bag stuffed with all the items I might want once on the plane; the gray felt bag holds an eye mask, a pair of compression socks, and a pair of earplugs. I also keep drugs I might need in a hurry such as Benadryl and Zantac (the cocktail I have to immediately dose myself with if I accidentally eat peaches — ugh), a spare epi-pen (there’s always one in my backpack or purse, too), some Shout wipes, and a few scented towelettes.