Tomorrow we’re leaving for our family vacation in the Outer Banks. I’m sooo excited- it’s basically our first “real” vacation of the summer so I’m totally looking forward to it.

Anyway, in this video I show you how I packed my two suitcases for our vacation. Since we’re driving down to North Carolina, no need to worry about checking luggage or bringing a carry-on (all of our bags will be with us in the car).

The first suitcase contains my clothes, shoes, undergarments, and jewelry. The second suitcase (my ZUCA bag) contains my bath care, hair care, make-up, hair accessories, and cosmetics.

Video Details

Hi, everyone. So I am about to head to the beach for a week. We are driving. We’re not flying. But as I was packing my bags, I just thought that I would just do a quick video and show you guys how I’ve packed my suitcases.

Now, I did a few – I did a video maybe like two or three videos ago on how to store your luggage. But I didn’t show you guys how I packed my bags. So since you guys expressed interest, I thought I would share with you guys.

How to Pack a Suitcase

So let me first show you my first bag and then we will look at the second bag over there. So this bag here is a – this is where I keep all of my clothes, my shoes, my towels, and my undergarments. So let me just quickly start at the top. So up here is where I have my underwear, I have sports bras, regular bras then I have my bathing suits in here, and then I have socks over here.

Now, I always keep all of my undergarments like the things I just mentioned in the top part of the suitcase in these little zippered compartments or these elastic compartments because I just feel like it’s the perfect place to keep them. It’s out of the way. The things aren’t going to get lost in the bottom of the suitcase. They stay folded more or less. So I just feel like that’s the perfect spot.

[VIDEO] How to Pack a Suitcase

How to Pack a Suitcase

So down here in the main part of the suitcase, I have all my clothes, my towel, my beach bag. So since we are going to the beach, we’re driving, we are renting a beach house. It’s our family vacation for the summer. So we are probably going to arrive earlier than when the beach house is ready so I put my beach bag and towel on top so when we arrive to the beach. I can just open up my suitcase, quickly grab these two things, and head to the beach while we wait for the house to be ready.

So let me show you what’s underneath. So I have the beach bag then I have my beach towel. And then underneath, I have a little clutch bag. So whenever I’m on vacation, I don’t really like to carry heavy stuff like carry my heavy Milano purse. I like to just carry a small bag so it’s nice and light. So that’s the bag I’ll be carrying for the week.

All of my shoes, I put inside shoe covers so none of the dirt on the bottom of the shoes will get inside the suitcase or on to the clothes. So again, these are the shoe covers, these are my tennis shoes, nothing is going to get dirty. I love these things. If you don’t have shoe covers, you could just use a plastic bag from the grocery store. Put them inside. Tie it up. And nothing is going to get dirty.

How to Pack a Suitcase for Organized Travel

How to Pack a Suitcase for Organized Travel

So as you can see here, I just zigzagged the shoes like here’s the front part of this one, here’s the front part of this one, put them together. It saves space. My flip flops are over here. They are together in one shoe cover.

Now whenever I go on vacation, I feel like in the past, I have been the biggest over packer like I always think, “Oh, I’m going to need like all these outfits because I’m going to do all these things.” But in reality, whenever I get home from vacation, I always end up over packing. I always end up putting clothes away that I didn’t wear.

So I have made the, I was going to say commitment. I guess it is a commitment. But I’ve made the decision a few years ago that I’m going to start packing less stuff. So I only have like I think I have three – no, I have two pairs of shorts. No. Actually, I have three pairs of shorts. I have two dresses, and I have one skirt. And I have a few tops to kind of mix and match with the shorts and the skirts. So I’m bringing very minimal stuff.

So nothing here is really folded like crazy perfectly. I just feel like I’m going on vacation. It’s my time to relax. I’m not going to spend so much time being picky about things. I kind of just fold it nicely and put it inside. Now, I’m not struggling for space. If I was struggling for space then I would spend more time folding nicely to make sure I was maximizing space. But space is not an issue.

So on the side of the suitcase, I have one of those drawer sachets that I have inside my closet and my dresser drawers. So I just take one of those and I stick inside the suitcase so my clothes smell nice. And then over here in this zippered pocket, I have my jewelry in this little pouch here. That’s pretty much all I have in that pocket. And this pocket over here, I have garbage bags. I feel like I always need garbage bags when I’m travelling and I never have them so I started carrying trash bags just like empty ones over here. And then on this side, I have just like a trash bag liner for all my dirty laundry.

Now, if you have a laundry bag that’s reusable then that’s a lot better than a trash bag because you’re not wasting bags. But I don’t have one so I’m using that trash bag.

So that’s really it for this suitcase. Let me show you the other suitcase.

How to Pack Toiletries & Hair Care

So this is the second suitcase that I’m carrying with me to the beach. Now, this suitcase has all of my shampoo, conditioner, lotions, sunblock, makeup, cosmetics, hair accessories. I want to go ahead and open it up and show you guys exactly what’s inside. So I like to keep my clothes separate from all my bath stuff so in case anything spills, they’re kind of already separated. But at the same time, I feel like clothes stays in the main part of the hotel room or the main part of the beach house or the beach room, wherever you’re staying. And then the cosmetics and bath stuff, all those in the bathroom.

So it’s just kind of easy to keep it separate. So all right. So inside here, so at the very top, I have Wet Ones. I always carry Wet Ones to the beach or to the pool with me in case my hand feels sticky or in case I’m eating something and I just want to clean my hands.

How to Pack Sunblock to Prevent Spills

How to Pack Sunblock to Prevent Spills

And then down here is where I have all of my sunblock and suntan lotion. I put all the bottles inside of a freezer bag. So in case the bottles spill, explode or leak, nothing is going to get greasy besides the bag. And then when I’m done from vacation and I’m coming back and unpacking, I’ll just keep all these plastic bags inside this bag for next time.

So up here is a secret little compartment. So up here is where I have my brushes. So I just like my round brush and then my regular brush for brushing my hair. So that stays up there. Inside here, so I have my blow dryer up here. And then these little bags down here, this is for bath care, hair care, makeup, accessories. So I want to take these bags out and show you guys exactly what’s inside.

So the first bag here has some accessories. There are two scarves and I think there are two belts. Now, this could go in the main suitcase since technically it is clothes but these things just fits so perfectly inside of here and this is what I’ve just done in the past and so I just keep this for accessories to accessorize my outfits.

So moving on to my makeup, so I’ll do the same thing with my makeup like what I do for my suntan lotions bottles. I’ll put them inside of a little plastic baggy so in case they spill, leak, or explode, the stuff is not going to get everywhere on the other stuff and on the bag. It’s going to stay inside the little plastic baggy. So I’ll do that for my makeup remover. I’ll do it for my eyeliners because I feel like the caps always fall off and then the pencil just gets everywhere. So if they’re in a plastic baggy, nothing else is going to get ruined.

Makeup Packing Tip: Keep liquids & other items that may leak in plastic sandwich bags

Makeup Packing Tip: Keep liquids & other items that may leak in plastic sandwich bags

I’ll do it for my tint and moisturizer because this one kind of has a loose cap. And then I’ll also do it for my scissors and my tweezers because I feel like these things are sharp so I want to put them in a baggy. I don’t know. I just feel like these got to be in a baggy so nobody hurts themselves when they take them out. And then my Q-tips are in a little plastic organizer that they can get refilled once it gets low. So this goes with me on all my trips. And I think that is everything in this bag.

And then moving on to all of my hair care. So again, freezer bag for my hair gel, my hairspray, and my hair, I forgot what that is, it’s like straightening stuff. And then I’ll put all of my hair gel holders in a separate little baggy.

And then my last bag has all of my bath care. So this has like my shampoo, my conditioner, my face wash, lotion. It has Advil, my toothbrush, my soap, razor. So same thing here, if something is going to prone to spill, I will put it inside of a Ziploc bag like my shampoo, conditioner, my face wash, what else? My toothbrush has a little cover over it so it doesn’t get dirty. And I think that is really it. There’s nothing really special inside of this one.

And then on the outside of my bag, there is a lot of different compartments. So let me quickly show you guys what I have. So right here is where I have a few magazines. So whenever I go on vacation to the beach or on any kind of trip, I always bring magazines with me because I feel like it’s the perfect time to catch up on all the magazines that you are receiving that you might not have time to read.

So for example, I am behind with my Real Simple magazine. So in here are the last two issues. And I think there is also Getting Organized Magazine in here. But what I’ll do is I’ll put it inside of one of these jumbo Ziploc bags. So in case I want to bring my reading material to the beach with me or to the pool, nothing will get wet or sandy if I put the magazine down on the sand or down on the ground. So that’s the reason why I use a big Ziploc bag.

And then in the compartment up here is where I have my phone charger which also works well with my iPad charger. OK. And then on the back of the bag, it has this little pocket here. This is where I have my iPad. Since we are taking the car driving, I don’t have to worry about losing this like I don’t have to worry about this falling out of the pocket because my bag is always going to be with me. So the iPad just fits really perfectly inside of that pocket.

Then in the last pocket on this side is where I have my flat iron. Now, I keep my flat iron inside of this heat-resistant bag made by Baggallini. I love this bag because if you are packing for a trip and you’re finishing up your hair and your flat iron is still hot, you can just put it inside of this bag and because it’s heat-resistant, nothing is going to get warm or nothing is going to burn. It’s just awesome. And it just fits so nicely inside of this little compartment right here. It’s hard to put it in and hold the camera at the same time. There you go.

So before I end this video, I just want to quickly tell you guys about this bag. Now, I love this bag. I got this bag about two years ago. It’s made Zuca. Let me tell you why it’s a cool bag. So besides having really awesome zippers that zip really nicely and having wheels that roll incredibly smoothly and having a handle that goes up like amazingly easy and the bag is also a chair like if you notice that’s a flat surface, it’s made to actually sit on when you’re at the airport. It is just such a cool bag. It came with those inserts like there are five of them. Those are two and I will show you guys, four of them but it comes with five. They have little labels in front so you can add your own label. So that’s always awesome. There are just lots of compartments.

What else is awesome about it? It’s just an awesome bag. They have I think like 30 different color combinations like different colors, different frames, different patterns. These bags, they’re actually made for ice skaters. They’re ice skating bags. But a lot of people use them like a lot of makeup artist have them for carrying all their makeup.

So that’s how I’m packing my suitcases for my week-long vacation at the beach. If you have tips you want to share on how you pack your suitcase or pack for vacation, leave a comment below or create a video response and let us see exactly how you pack your suitcase.

So I am off to the beach. I will see you guys soon. Bye.

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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