How to Fold Clothes for Travel


How to Fold Clothes for Travel

Packing for a trip can be both exciting and daunting. One of the most critical aspects of preparing for travel is efficiently folding your clothes to maximize space and minimize wrinkles. With a plethora of folding techniques available, it can be challenging to know which method is best for your garments and luggage. In this guide, we will explore various folding techniques, tips, and tricks that will help you pack your clothes like a pro and ensure a stress-free travel experience.

Choosing the Right Luggage

Before diving into folding techniques, it’s essential to consider your luggage choice. The type of suitcase or travel bag you use can significantly impact the amount of space available and the ease of packing. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

Size: Choose luggage that is appropriate for the length of your trip and the amount of clothing you plan to pack. For a weekend getaway, a carry-on-sized suitcase or duffle bag should suffice. For longer trips, opt for larger suitcases with expandable compartments.

Compartments: Look for luggage with multiple compartments, pockets, and dividers to help keep your clothes organized and separate from other belongings.

Material: Opt for luggage made from durable materials, like hardshell polycarbonate or high-quality fabric, to protect your clothes from damage during transit.

Sorting Your Clothes

Before folding your clothes, sort them into categories to streamline the packing process. Separate garments into groups, such as:

Tops: T-shirts, blouses, and sweaters

Bottoms: Pants, shorts, and skirts

Undergarments: Socks, underwear, and bras

Outerwear: Jackets, coats, and rain gear

Sleepwear: Pajamas, robes, and sleep masks

Swimwear and activewear

Accessories: Belts, scarves, and hats

Selecting a Folding Technique

Now that your clothes are sorted and you have chosen the appropriate luggage, it’s time to select the best folding technique. There are several methods, including rolling, bundling, and the use of packing cubes. Each technique has its advantages, and the most suitable one may depend on the type and quantity of clothing you’re packing.

a. Rolling

Rolling is a popular technique for packing clothes, as it saves space and minimizes wrinkles. To roll your clothes, follow these steps:

For T-shirts, sweaters, and blouses: Lay the garment flat and fold in the sides. Start from the bottom and roll upwards, smoothing out any wrinkles as you go.

For pants and shorts: Fold the pants or shorts in half lengthwise, so the back pockets are facing out. Roll from the waistband down to the hem, again smoothing out wrinkles as you go.

For skirts and dresses: Fold the garment in half lengthwise, then roll from the waistband or top down to the hem.
b. Bundling

Bundling is a method that involves wrapping clothes around a central core, typically composed of bulkier items such as shoes or toiletries. This technique works well for reducing wrinkles and conserving space. To bundle your clothes, follow these steps:

Lay out a large item, like a jacket or coat, with the front facing down and the arms extended.

Place the core item in the center of the garment.

Layer additional clothing items on top, alternating between tops and bottoms.

Fold the arms and hems of each garment around the core item, working your way from the outermost layer to the innermost layer.

c. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are zippered fabric containers that help organize and compress your clothes. They come in various sizes and can be used to separate different categories of clothing or outfits. Packing cubes not only save space but also make it easier to locate specific items in your luggage. To use packing cubes effectively, follow these steps:

Select the appropriate size of packing cubes for your clothes. Smaller cubes are great for undergarments, socks, and accessories, while larger cubes can accommodate tops, bottoms, and outerwear.

Fold or roll your clothes using the techniques described earlier in this guide.

Place the folded or rolled clothes into the packing cube, arranging them in an organized manner. You can place similar items together or group them by outfit.

Zip the packing cube closed, ensuring that the clothes are compressed but not overstuffed.

Additional Packing Tips

Now that you’ve chosen a folding technique, consider these additional packing tips to further maximize space and minimize wrinkles:

Use every bit of available space: Utilize empty spaces, such as the insides of shoes, for smaller items like socks, underwear, or travel-sized toiletries.

Pack wrinkle-resistant fabrics: Opt for clothes made from wrinkle-resistant materials, like polyester, nylon, or spandex, to reduce the chances of creasing during transit.

Layer strategically: Pack heavier items, like shoes and toiletries, at the bottom of your suitcase to create a stable base. Then, layer lighter items, like clothes and accessories, on top.

Utilize compression bags: Compression bags can help save space by removing excess air from your packed clothes. They work best for bulky items like jackets and sweaters.

Unpacking and Managing Wrinkles Upon Arrival

When you reach your destination, follow these tips to ensure your clothes remain wrinkle-free and ready to wear:

Unpack promptly: As soon as you arrive at your accommodations, unpack your clothes and hang or fold them as necessary. This will help prevent wrinkles from setting in.

Utilize a travel steamer or iron: If you notice wrinkles in your clothes, use a travel steamer or iron to smooth them out. Alternatively, you can hang the garments in the bathroom while you take a hot shower, allowing the steam to loosen the wrinkles.

Keep clothes organized: Throughout your trip, maintain organization by using packing cubes or designated compartments in your luggage to separate clean clothes from dirty ones.


Mastering the art of folding clothes for travel takes practice and patience, but with the right techniques and packing strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a packing pro. By choosing appropriate luggage, sorting your clothes, selecting the best folding technique, and following additional packing tips, you’ll maximize space and minimize wrinkles, making for a more enjoyable and stress-free travel experience. Remember to unpack and manage wrinkles upon arrival to keep your clothes looking fresh and ready for your adventures.