Travel Pre-Packing List for clothes

I really think this is THE best tip for travelling light and to avoid over packing.

Before I even start packing, I start by making a list, in a piece of paper starting by the days I will be gone. For example: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday Monday. That is 5 days, hence I need 5 pair of underwear.

If you don’t make the list, most likely you start stressing ‘Oh God I need to pack’ ‘Oh I dont know what to pack’and you go straight to your closet, take EVERYTHING OUT, start putting things inside your luggage cause ‘you might need them’ and then you find yourself sitting on top of the luggage trying to zip it and with a huge bill at the counter for over weight luggage! The truth is, you come back from your trip and you didn’t even wear half of the things you packed! plus it doesnt leave you any space for shopping at your destination!

Then I write down what is the plan for every day, so I can plan an outfit accordingly.


Travelling day, a casual plane outfit, or if it is a business trip I wear a comfortable business outfit and perhaps a night-out dinner outfit. (one casual outfit, one night outfit)


  • Sports outfit for morning routine.
  • Business day, hence one business outfit.


  • Sports outfit for morning routine.
  • Sightseeing day, casual outfit depending on the weather (one casual outfit)
  • One dinner/ party outfit


  • Sightseeing day, casual outfit
  • Pack anything needed for the weather, so for summer (bikini, dress, flip flops, etc.)


  • Travelling day, hence a casual outfit something comfortable to fly back home.


Hence in total all I need is:

  • 5 underwear
  • 3 Casual outfits
  • 2 Business outfit
  • 2 Night out outfit
  • 2 Sports Outfits

Mix and Matching

Since I need 2 business outfits, I would pack 1 dark blue suit, and two different white tops, same shoes matching the suit so I dont need to pack more shoes.

Same for casual outfits, I would pack 1 pair of jeans and 3 different tops, and one pair of shorts or skirt.

For night out dress I would pack probably 2 different ones but use the same shoes. I always pack only 1 small night handbag and one day bag/travel bag.

Sport outfits are easy to roll and place them in between empty holes inside the luggage. Sports shoes on the other hand take a lot of space.

Shoes take a lot of space! so try to make your outfits according to the shoes you will wear.

Once you have the list you know exactly what underwear to wear for each outfit so you are not stressing during the trip that you are wearing a black bra under a white shirt for example!


Color code

The easiest way to pack, is if you stick always to the same color scheme so you can always mix and match. I like to always wear dark blue, white, beige, and mix and match everything. You can always light it up with some accessories like a scarf to give it a different look.

Once the list is ready, i have a very good visual picture of what I need so then I go to my closet and start selecting.

Bed Mountain

Once I took all the clothes out of my closet, I place them on top of my bed as a mountain. I then start filtering out those things I threw in that I might not really need.

Then I have in front of me all the outfits I really need, and I put them so I can see the pants the shirt and the shoes I will be wearing that day, so I make sure I dont forget something (like the right color socks!)


Then I start folding the clothes, with my hand I make sure they are all really squared and flat.

Square mountains

Once they are all really flat, I start stalking them up in squares, up the same height as the luggage. Once I have my first square mountain, I place it inside the luggage and start placing them like tetris.

Separate the luggage

I usually like to have a mental map of the things I pack inside my luggage so that is easier to reach it. I always pack the same way so for me it is pretty easy.

Left side of the luggage, is where I put all accessories, shoes, sports shoes, handbags, make up bag, hair straightener, etc.

Mid pocket, in that middle pocket that separate both sides, I like to put inside there my underwear and bras.

Right side of the luggage, is where I stalk all my squared mountains.

Everything else, I just try to make it fit in between the holes and corners.

So there you have it, making a list will save you A LOT of time, and money on over weight luggage, and you will feel so ready for the trip! There is a saying that you actually need to make one step backwards in order to jump further, and I think it applies here since you need to take a bit of time to write the list to gain a lot of time packing and enjoying your trip!

These are tips for PACKING CLOTHES ONLY, if you want the Ultimate packing list to make sure you dont forget anything, go check out my other blog post here.

Safe travels!

Instagram: @onboardwithmarcela